An estimated 50 million people are living with dementia worldwide. If a loved one is suffering from dementia, caring for them yourself can be hard. It can be a challenge to fit that care around your own busy life. Eventually, it may come to the point where you need help. Memory care homes can give your loved one the care and support they need 24 hours a day. But making the transition is hard. Read on as we look at some practical tips for easing the transition to memory care homes.
Choose the Right Facility
Not all memory care homes are created equal. The levels of care, staffing ratios, procedures, and treatments will all differ from care home to care home. You want to be sure you find the best fit for your loved one, and the best way to do so is by doing your research. Visit a few local facilities, speak to the staff, find out what they offer, and try to imagine your loved one living in that facility. Don’t settle; keep looking until you find the best place for their needs.
Make Visits Before You Move
Moving to new surroundings is stressful enough even without dementia. Suddenly uprooting from a home they have known for years to a completely new and strange place can be upsetting for people with dementia. So try to make this transition a little easier by taking them for several visits to the facility before you finally make the move. That way they may feel more comfortable in surroundings that they recognize.
Moving to a new place is a huge step, and can be a big source of worry. Try not to let this worry happen for longer than it needs to. Telling your loved one a couple of months before the move that they’re going to be leaving their home can lead to unnecessary stress. It’s far better to minimize the anticipation and worry. You might even consider only telling them on the day of the move.
Take over Responsibility for the Move
It’s very tempting to ask your loved one to make decisions on what they want to take with them. But this kind of decision making can be very difficult for people with dementia. Instead, spend some time observing them in their own home and seeing which objects they interact with most. Use that insight to make decisions on which items to move and give them one less thing to worry about.
Don’t Take Too Much
When it comes to packing up their belongings, try not to include too much. In a memory care home, most residents bring far much more than they actually need or use. For people suffering from memory loss, having to choose between a large selection of clothes, for example, can be very frustrating. Speak to the care home who can advise you on what your loved one will need to bring.
Move at a Time They’re at Their Best
You know your loved one better than anyone else. So you’ll know that there are some times of day when they are at their best, and others when they struggle with their condition. Moving when they are in the middle of one of their worst moments can make the process even harder. Try to schedule the move for their best time of day.
Work with the Facility
The staff at the memory care home will ultimately be responsible for the care of your loved one. So try to include them as early as possible. Meet with them and discuss your concerns for the move. And most importantly, ask for their advice; they have far more experience with transitions into memory care than you ever will. Working together will only benefit both you and your loved one.
Make It Feel Familiar
Before the move, take the time to make your loved one’s room feel as familiar as possible. Put their favorite bedding on the bed, add in one or two items of furniture that will remind them of home. If there are any other knick-knacks or ornaments that have always been up at home, then bring a few of these along, too.
Another thing that can really help is to fill the space with photographs. This can help your loved remember treasured memories, as well as reminding them of their loved ones in the present. Label the photographs so that care staff can talk to your loved one about the people in the pictures.
Visit Often But Don’t Smother Them
This will be a big change for your loved one, so it’s important to give them some space to adjust and find their feet. Don’t be there every hour of every day; if they’re spending all their time with you, then they won’t be able to adapt to their new home as quickly. But it’s still important that you visit them regularly, even if only for short periods of time. That way they know that you haven’t abandoned them, but they’ll be able to establish their own rhythm. Once they are settled in it can be easier to visit as often as you like.
Are You Looking for Great Memory Care Homes for a Loved One?
If you’re trying to find the best memory care homes for your loved one, then we’re here to help. We offer exceptional memory care for seniors in our 6-person homes. The smaller setting is ideal for clients with dementia. Each memory care home has two dedicated and professional staff who can tailor care to individual needs. If you would like to know more about the care we offer then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.