When someone you love is living with dementia, there will likely come a day when it’s no longer safe or beneficial for them to continue living at home.
The right time to consider a memory care community varies from family to family. However, Alzheimer’s and related dementias will progress over time. As a result, most family members aren’t equipped to care for someone with advanced forms of these conditions.
Deciding to transition someone you love into a memory care community shouldn’t make you feel selfish or guilty. The priority is their health and wellness, and memory care communities are equipped with the team members, programming and safety features needed to promote a higher quality of life for those living with dementia.
At Astral at Franklin, our Navigate Memory Care Program serves as your compass as you navigate this journey. Our memory care team in Franklin, Indiana, is sharing tips to help you ease your loved one’s transition into their new home.
Before you begin researching memory care communities or making any significant decisions, you should have an open conversation to talk through this change.
It’s possible that your loved one shared their wishes for care early in their dementia journey. This is ideal because it provides a clear plan and ensures your loved one is comfortable with the decision.
However, if your family member living with dementia did not plan out their care, you need to communicate the need for memory care with them. As dementia progresses, it impacts a person’s ability to process information, so avoid telling them they need “more help.” If you try to convince them they have to move because they are unsafe, this may only increase their confusion. For instance, saying something like, “Your house is no longer safe for you, so you’re moving to a new home,” might make them wonder what happened to their home. Why isn’t it safe?
One way to make the change feel less overwhelming for a person living with dementia is to use the phrase “for right now.” This can make the move seem less permanent and, therefore, less frightening.
Moving can be stressful for anyone, but for a person living with dementia, this process can be incredibly overwhelming and confusing. For example, the process of packing up belongings and moving furniture to different locations can cause them to feel disoriented, as they likely feel comfortable and familiar with their surroundings.
To ensure your loved one doesn’t experience any feelings of panic or confusion, and to avoid any added agitation, consider packing during a time when your loved one won’t be home. For example, if your parent goes to sleep or takes a nap at a set time in the afternoon or if they have an upcoming appointment.
Your loved one isn’t just moving to a memory care community; they’re moving to their new home. As a result, it’s important to take plenty of time to create an environment that feels – and looks – like home.
That being said, avoid purchasing any new furniture or decor; your loved one will do better surrounded by the items that were in their original home, which can help them maintain a sense of familiarity as they transition.
Prioritize the meaningful objects that they cherish while packing, and include items like:
If you are serving as the primary caregiver of a person living with dementia, you are a consistent person in their lives. When they transition to a memory care community, they need to know you are still a part of their journey.
In the later stages of dementia, communicating verbally can become more challenging, so nonverbal communication, such as sounds, sights, and touch, may be the most effective way to communicate your love. Just remember your presence, support and love are what is most important to them.
At Astral at Franklin, we understand the importance of a smooth transition when moving to a memory care community. Our Navigate Memory Care program is here to provide the support and comfort your loved one needs to find purpose and joy.
Discover a memory care community where life begins again in Franklin, Indiana. Visit our website today for more information.
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