Moving a loved one to an assisted living memory care community is a significant life change. While you know you’re making the right decision for your loved one’s wellbeing, you may start to feel overwhelmed as moving day approaches. It’s natural to feel this way, but thankfully, there are many things you can do to ease the transition for your loved one (and for yourself).
Here are a few steps to take when moving your loved one into their new community:
Make the new space more familiar
Moving into an unfamiliar environment can be stressful for anyone, and especially so for older adults with dementia. One of the best ways to ease your loved one’s transition to the memory care community is to make their new space look and feel as similar to their previous home as possible. Here are a few ideas:
- Add a personal touch with décor like family photos or mementos.
- Make the bed with familiar bedding and pillows.
- Place furniture in the same arrangement as their previous home.
These familiar surroundings can bring your loved one a great deal of comfort and security in the midst of a big change.
Follow their regular routine
For individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, routines are very important. Following a daily schedule helps the person know what to expect and maintain more independence. If your loved one has a set routine, make sure the memory care community knows about it ahead of move-in day. Maybe your loved one enjoys a cup of coffee with the newspaper every morning, takes afternoon walks, or watches a certain TV show each night. Keeping these predictable routines intact will help to relieve stress and confusion as your loved one gets settled into the memory care community.
Also, provide the community’s care staff with information about your loved one’s favorite (and least favorite) activities, foods, music, and interests. This way, caregivers will know what makes your loved one most comfortable and happy!
It might take a few weeks or even months for your loved one to adjust to their new living arrangement. Visit or call often and ask friends and family members to do the same. Work with your loved one’s caregivers to determine the best days or times to visit. Spending extra time with your loved one is sure to make them feel loved and appreciated as they get used to the community.
Transitioning a loved one to an assisted living memory care community can be an emotional time for everyone involved. As difficult as it seems now, it will get easier. Stay positive, and remember that you’re making the best decision for both you and your loved one. By following these tips, you can help make your loved one’s new place feel just like home!