If the extent of the memory problems your loved one is suffering from calls for a move to a memory care facility, this is obviously a distressing time for everyone.
However distressing it might be, if there’s any risk of your elderly relative falling, wandering off or generally coming to harm, a residential facility is often the only safe, viable option.
Before we outline 6 ways to move your loved one into a memory care facility the easy way, why should you consider this type of set-up in the first place?
Why Choose Memory Care?
While regular senior communities and assisted living make a wonderful solution for many circumstances, when your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, a regular facility falls short of the mark.
If your loved one has a tendency to wander off, the security at a standard senior community is not designed to keep people in. The same goes for activities which are not designed to cater for the needs of someone troubled by cognitive issues.
Both of these flash points are neutralized with memory care since its entire purpose is to support the specialized requirements of those with degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Beyond this, the color-coded layouts and personalized activities will be much more in line with those struggling with memory.
So, assuming that memory care makes the best fit for your relative and you’re committed to making the move, how can you make this tough time just a little bit easier?
We’ll give some handy pointers right now to do just that…
6 Ways To Ease The Transition to Memory Care
- Open Lines of Communication Early
- Visit The Facility Several Times Before Moving Day
- Try to Keep Your Loved One Away From The Chaos of Moving
- Make The New Environment as Homely as Possible
- Take Full Advantage of Transition Programs and Counseling Services
- Keep In Close Contact With Caregiving Staff
1) Open Lines of Communication Early
You should try formulating a plan for long-term memory care as soon as you can after a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. It’s only a matter of time before that inevitable day comes so you might as well set the ball rolling and get properly prepared.
If your parent or loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, involving them in the process of choosing a suitable community will maximize the chance of it being a great fit.
While this advice holds good in the immediate stages after diagnosis, how about if your relative is in the mid to latter stages of dementia?
In this case, you risk upsetting your loved one if you involve them in the move. You might be better off here taking care of as much of the logistics as you can yourself so as not to rattle your parent.
2) Visit The Facility Several Times Before Moving Day
If a move to memory care is now just a matter of time and you’ve chosen the best facility, you should take the opportunity to visit a few times in the lead-up to moving day.
This is a great way to ease your loved one in gently and to make the transition to residential care smoother when that day rolls around.
From meeting staff and residents to scoping out the activities, each time you visit the facility with your relative, the more comfortable and familiar they’ll find it.
When moving day comes, your loved one will already be comfortable heading to the facility and you should find they benefits strongly from this.
And as far as moving goes, you can do your part here, too…
3) Try to Keep Your Loved One Away From The Chaos of Moving
While it might well be vital to get your loved one involved in the process of decluttering and stripping down possessions, keep them away from the nuts and bolts of moving.
Whether you need to enlist help from friends and family or you consider it’s worth paying for professional help, ensure your relative doesn’t need to worry about getting from A to B with everything intact.
Think about leaving one family member to take your parent out to do something special while the physical move takes place. Make it as easy as you can on them at this rough time.
Once you’re fully installed, you can help greatly at this stage, too…
4) Make The New Environment as Homely as Possible
Make sure you’ve given plenty of thought in advance to setting up your loved one’s room.
The key goal is to make things seem like a home from home. Make certain that mementos, photographs and furnishings all come together to make your relative like this is an environment they could settle into and feel at home in.
Rather than buying lots of new stuff to fill the room with, focus instead on the old. Familiarity is just what your loved one needs at this new and exciting but frightening stage of life.
5) Take Full Advantage of Transition Programs and Counseling Services
As well as moving physically, your loved one will be coping with huge emotional changes.
Having accepted that they need help with day-to-day activities and surrendered their independence for the help they need around-the-clock, it’s only natural your parent will be feeling all at sea emotionally.
There are plenty of counseling services and transition programs in place that can give some support to all the family when it’s most needed.
6) Keep In Close Contact With Caregiving Staff
During the process of moving your loved one, make it your business to communicate with the caregiving staff.
Establish how you can contact them if required and try to build a relationship with staff early on. The better you get on with these caregivers, the more seamless your loved one’s experience will be.
Take the time at the beginning and you’ll find this is the gift that keeps on giving.
If you’d like any further help with finding an appropriate memory care facility, contact us today.