Memory care for most elderly individuals is a monumental step in regaining a higher quality of life despite cognitive conditions such as dementia. However, along with it comes a whole host of factors that can be confusing to navigate. As a loved one, you’re in a great position to support your loved one through this new journey as they join a retirement community. Here are four tips to ensure your loved one’s move to memory care goes swimmingly!
Keep Your Message Simple and Consistent
The memory care conversation can be a tough one, and due to the nature of those who need memory care, you’re likely to need to remind your loved one of their move often. However, you need to remember that other family members will also tend to chime in with their own opinions on it. Contrasting input may confuse and even distress elderly individuals with dementia, which is why you need to reassure your loved one that everyone else is on the same page. If possible, you should discuss with your other family members on a script or guideline using the same verbiage, so that your loved one receives a straightforward response to their move to memory care.
Help Your Loved One Pack
Moving is an emotional experience for just about everyone, however, it’s especially emotionally stirring for an individual with dementia and other cognitive conditions. Whether it’s taking down or boxing up precious items and the equally precious memories attached to them, it can add more stress and discomfort to your loved one’s emotional state. One great way to show your support for your loved one during the preparation for their move would be to help out with their packing process. Not only does it speed up packing overall, but it can also make it less emotionally taxing for them, preventing your loved one from getting overwhelmed and having outbursts.
Encourage Your Loved One to Participate
While your loved one may need time to gradually adjust to their new community, it also requires active participation. Hence, you can speed up your loved one’s transition to life in a retirement community by encouraging them to socialize and be more engaged in exploring their new surroundings. From art classes to bingo games, your loved one’s community should host a variety of activities that they won’t regret joining in on.
Communicating and active listening shouldn’t stop simply because your loved one is living in a retirement community. Make sure to ask the team at your loved one’s community about their communication model. Not only do you need opportunities to communicate with your loved one, but it’s also extra helpful if you have frequent opportunities to communicate with team members as well, such as receiving updates on your loved one’s experience in their community. Being kept in the loop can help you retain peace of mind about leaving your loved one in the community’s care.
If you’re looking for a memory care option for your loved one, look no further than our retirement community’s excellent Memory Care program!