Moving a parent into a memory care community is frequently riddled with unknowns, but there is no reason to be frustrated or overly stressed when a loved one is embarking on their move to memory care.
Before the actual move, a number of crucial steps in moving your parent into a memory care community need to be completed. Caregivers can concentrate on regulating their emotions, keeping open lines of communication, and coming up with little strategies to make unfamiliar surroundings feel like home.
Help Your Loved One Pack
Moving can be an extremely challenging experience for anybody, but it can be particularly difficult for a family member who has dementia. Disorientation and anxiety are only heightened by the process of removing pictures and packing up sentimental belongings. Hence, you could try to help your parents pack when they are sleeping, are out for an appointment, or are with a friend, in order to reduce anxiety and the risk of tantrums.
Bring Familiar Items
Your family member will move into the memory care facility you select. If you can, incorporate your loved one’s décor and sentimental belongings into the apartment before they relocate into the space, to establish a homely and comfortable atmosphere. With this approach, the resident will be able to see their items upon entering their residence, hopefully lessening their anxiety. It’s also advised that while deciding what to bring to a memory care center, family members should give priority to important items. Start with a few of your parent’s possessions rather than transferring all of them at once to promote comfort rather than clutter.
Encourage Your Loved One to Interact and Take Part in Activities
Your loved one can tour the neighborhood and start settling in while you unpack the last few additions to their memory care room.
Aim to walk around while your loved one is participating in a memory care activity, be it a game of bingo or an art class. It can be less stressful on moving day to witness your family member benefiting from memory care straight away, making friends, and getting accustomed to their new daily routine.
Check In on Your Parent’s Emotions During Moving Day
On the day of the move, your parent might lament, ask why they have to live in memory care, or make other requests out of fear or discomfort. In these circumstances, practicing empathy is key. You could also reassure them of the things that will stay constant despite the move—frequent visits from you, access to some of their treasured belongings, etc.
Communicate with the staff
When a parent is transferred to memory care, the community’s personnel will play a crucial role as a source of support. Plan for ongoing communication and interaction on the day of the move. Here are some questions to pose to the staff members and senior living professionals:
- How can you assist my parent with the transition?
- Do you follow a set procedure for submitting updates?
- Do you document and share activities that indicate my loved one is actively engaged?
By following these tips, moving your loved one to memory care should feel less daunting.