Making the transition into a Memory Care facility doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With a little planning and preparation, it can be a smooth, positive experience for both you and your loved one. Making the decision to move a loved one into a Memory Care facility can be a difficult one. However, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition a little easier.
Here are a few tips:
Have a Heart-To-Heart Conversation
Talk to your loved one about how they feel about the transition to Memory Care. By interacting with your loved one, you can deepen your understanding and bond with them. This approach to communication will not only help you know how to react the next time your loved one is upset or disoriented, but it will give you insight into what’s causing their emotions.
Have Important Conversations with Team Members
After the transition, the community team will become an integral support system. Make sure to establish a plan for continued communication and connection on the day of the move into assisted living. Make full inquiries, express your gratitude for their help and stay connected.
You should also visit the facility together and take a tour. This will help your loved one see that the facility is a safe, comfortable place to be. It will also give you assurance and peace of mind.
Pack for Them and Take Keepsakes
Moving can be an emotionally turbulent experience for anyone, but it can be especially overwhelming for a loved one with dementia. Packing your loved one’s things when they’re asleep, at an appointment, or spending time with friends will afford you ample time you need to carefully pack their belongings without causing them additional stress.
Get into Rhythm with the Community Programming
Practice keeping in touch and regular check-ins to see how they’re doing and if they need anything. Your loved one will settle in easier when they know that you’re around. Furthermore, get into your loved one’s new rhythm by participating in their programs or meals. Visiting during a game, activity, or lunchtime can take the focus off any kind of pressure. It can also provide a natural stopping point for the visit, making it easier to say goodbye.
Making regular visits and staying in communication with your loved one after they move will show them that you’re still committed to supporting them. However, communication may be a little difficult during the first few weeks or months. They may ask to come home during visits or phone calls, become disoriented, or act hostile.
Welcome Openness and Flexibility
It’s important to remember that every transition is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, there are multiple opportunities to evaluate and readjust along the way. Adjustment challenges are normal, but watch out for red flags that persist over time. If your loved one experiences any difficulty, reach out to the team to address concerns and work together on a plan.
Acknowledge the Reality of Transition Period
Moving to a Memory Care community takes some getting used to. It’s important to accept that the transition might take several weeks. This way, you can be patient with your loved one as they adjust to their new surroundings and routine. Additionally, you can be patient with yourself as you learn how to best support your loved one during this time.