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Should I tell Mom that I'm moving?

Answered by David Troxel

March 16, 2015

My mother has dementia. She is 85 and living in an elderly/retirement apartment. We have a friend who comes in twice a day to help my sister and myself and brother. Mom has a hard time eating and drinking as much as her body needs. She weighs 86 pounds.

I am 54 years old. My husband has taken a job in Tennessee. He has been commuting for the past nine months and I try to visit as often as I can. We have recently told my sister and brother that in 2015 we are planning to move.

I am the youngest of my siblings. They are very upset with me and feel that I am going to kill my mother by telling her. They are not supportive and haven’t been for a while.

I do all of her cooking and siblings help with the cleaning of her apartment, etc.

My question is: do I tell her that I am moving, or should I just tell her that I am going to visit my husband for a while? Her memory is not that good.

I am at a loss but will always choose my husband who is my life.

You have shown great dedication to your mother. I’m sorry that despite this, you are getting criticism from your siblings.

One way to think of your situation is to ask yourself what your mother would have wanted for you. My guess is, like most mothers, she would have wanted you to have a good life on your own and a happy marriage. She most likely would have wanted you to support your husband and make the move to Tennessee.

I don’t think you need to give your mother all the details of your move. Develop a simple statement that is truthful. Tell her that you are going to be spending time with your husband in Tennessee, and will be calling her often and sending some cards. Schedule a return visit on a regular basis to help out and visit.

I hope you are able to build a great life for yourself in Tennessee and still stay in touch with your Mom and siblings.

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