As the effects of Alzheimer’s or dementia become more severe, you may begin to consider transitioning your loved one to a memory care community with programs specifically designed to meet their evolving needs. There are many ways that you can make the moving process easier for your loved one as they adjust to a new routine and space.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about moving your mom or dad into memory care and for ways to help you both transition smoothly into this new phase of your journey.
When researching and touring communities, ask a lot of questions about the services offered.
Questions like these will help you get to know the community and care staff. Knowing your mom or dad is being cared for by a highly equipped, compassionate team of professionals will make you feel confident in choosing a memory care community.
As a child of someone in need of memory care, you just want to do what’s best for your parent. Being the decision maker can be a tough job, but remember: You are not alone.
Health care providers can be a great resource to help guide you through the process and explain the move to your loved one. Trust their knowledge and expertise and lean on care providers whenever you’re feeling unsure. Other resources include experts at the communities you are looking into, and even family and friends who have gone through similar experiences with aging parents.
Moving offers a great opportunity to reduce clutter and downsize your loved one’s space. Because many people with memory loss experience decision-making impairments, it may be best to not include your loved one in the planning and moving process.
Does your parent have a favorite collection of trinkets? Maybe they’ve always had the same family picture hanging up in their home? Be intentional with items you choose to pack and pay special attention to those that are significant to your loved one and will help them feel at home.
Tip: Music has been shown to be a great benefit for people living with memory impairments, so it may help to bring a small CD player with some of your loved one’s favorite music.
Related: Memory Care Decorating Tips
If possible, schedule your family member’s move to coincide with their best time of day. If you’ve noticed that your loved one struggles most around sundown, plan to arrive at the memory care community earlier in the day. This will allow your loved one time to settle into their new space while they’re at their best.
Memory care community staff are the experts in caring for people with memory impairments, but you are the expert on who your loved one is. Help the staff to get to know your family member by sharing their passions, likes and dislikes, hobbies, favorite stories, and more.
Tip: Consider bringing a scrapbook or making a display board with photos of family members, their names and descriptions. This can be a great resource for staff to review and share with your mom or dad.
Keep in mind that it will take some time for your loved one to adjust to his or her new surroundings and making regular visits can help to ease them into the transition. However, there is a balance of how often you should visit to allow your mom or dad the opportunity to adjust on their own. Trust the community’s care staff and their advice for the best days or times to visit.
Download our Memory Care Moving Checklist so that you have these tips handy if/when the time comes for you to help a loved one move.
At Independence Village, our memory care communities are designed to give your loved one the best possible care with safety and comfort being top of mind. With a licensed care staff and a life enrichment team ready to serve your loved one, Independence Village is here to help guide you through this journey and find the right solution for you and your family.
If you have questions about our memory care services, call 1-844-403-6569 to speak with a Community Specialist today.