Caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia requires a lot of time and energy. And for many family caregivers, there may come a day when you realize that the best way to support your loved one is to transition their care to a memory care community. The move to memory care is a significant transition for older adults, but one that can improve quality of life for your loved one and reduce caregiver burnout.
However, it is important to recognize that moving to a new home can be especially difficult for older adults with memory loss. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take now to prepare for your loved one’s move to make the transition as smooth, comfortable and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.
Tour the community before the move.
Once you have determined the right community for your loved one, make plans to visit the facility at least once before they move in. Your loved one will have a chance to become familiar with the environment and floor plan, meet staff and other residents and participate in some of the community’s activities. The more familiar your loved one feels with their new home, the less anxiety and more comfortable they will feel when it comes to moving in.
Take care of all the preparation.
The process of planning and packing for a move to memory care is too stressful for a senior to handle on their own. You can help ease the stress of moving for your loved one by:
- Helping them choose the best community.
- Sorting and packing belongings.
- Communicating with the facility to customize a care plan for your loved one (e.g., medications and dietary needs).
Have a positive attitude.
When talking about memory care with your loved one, maintain a positive attitude. Your loved one will pick up on grief or sadness if you are crying and carrying on about the move. If you seem anxious or overwhelmed, they likely will too. Point out all the positives of their new community, such as the dining services and social opportunities, to help them get excited.
Make their new space feel like home.
As you begin the process of moving your loved one into their new community, take extra time to recreate as much of their home environment as possible. Include some of their favorite things from home, like photographs of people they love, cherished possessions, a favorite piece of furniture or a special blanket. Familiar belongings can help your loved feel comfortable and more at ease when they move into their home.
Understand that it takes time to adjust.
Finally, understand that it can take several weeks for a loved one with memory-related conditions to adjust to their new home. While they take time to settle and establish a new routine, encourage them to get involved with community activities and engage with other residents to build a sense of security and familiarity. Visit them frequently and continue to offer support and reassurance.
Explore Memory Care at Country Place Senior Living
At Country Place, we’re committed to providing the highest quality of care and support to every family we serve. To learn more, schedule a personal tour today. We’re happy to answer all your questions about memory care and help you decide if our community is right for your loved one.