How to Transition an Alzheimer’s Patient Into Memory Care
Moving from home to a memory care facility can be challenging for the person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia and their family members. However, choosing the best new community for your loved one will enrich their life and enhance their safety. What’s more, family members can take a step back and focus on enjoying time with their senior loved one free from the pressures of caregiving.
Determine a Plan, Choose a Memory Care Community
The most important thing during the moving process is to research and visit as many memory care units as possible. You might also speak to a health care professional and ask them to explain why it’s necessary for the Alzheimer’s patient to move into a dementia care facility and talk about the positive aspects of moving with your loved one.
10 Key Tips for Family Members to Ease the Transition to a Memory Care Program
Below are 10 tips for a successful transition into a residential care community.
1. Prepare a Simple Explanation About the Transition to Memory care
Encourage family members to stick to a simple script when your loved one asks questions about the move. Being on the same page and repeating a message such as “You’re moving to a lovely new home where you’ll be safe” can help them feel at ease.
2. Take Care of the Packing Process
Emotional situations like packing and moving can be daunting for anyone, but it can be particularly unnerving for someone with memory loss. Pack while your loved one isn’t around to minimize distress.
3. Fill the New Surroundings With Familiar Items
Be sure to include as many familiar decorations and pieces of furniture as possible to help your loved one feel comforted and stay connected to their identity.
4. Choose the Perfect Time Frame for Your Family Member
Most people with a dementia diagnosis have a particular time of day when they’re at their best. Do your best to transition at this time on moving day.
5. Let the New Memory Care Community Know Your Loved One’s Story
The more you tell the team at the memory care community about your loved one’s background, the better. Be sure to include special needs, medication, and plenty of information about likes, dislikes, and personality.
6. Go on a Few Visits to the New Environment Before Move-In Day
Familiarity is critical for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, so be sure to take them on several visits before moving in so they can get to know the care facility and staff.
7. Acknowledge the Alzheimer’s Patient’s Feelings and Concerns
If they express concern or ask questions, be sure to acknowledge your loved one’s feelings and answer them in a gentle, positive manner.
8. Make Regular Visits and Create Good Memories During the Adjustment Period for a Smooth Transition
Once your loved one has moved in, be sure to visit them as regularly to reassure them and ensure they’re happy in their new space.
9. Encourage Your Loved One to Take Part in Community Activities
Activities such as art classes are part of the daily routine in memory care communities and can be enriching and promote health for people with memory loss.
10. Keep an Eye Out for Persisting Red Flags
If your loved one is having difficulty making friends or not enjoying daily living, speak to staff and ask if you can devise a plan to support them in finding new friends and taking part in activities.