5 Strategies for a Successful Transition to Memory Care
Mike McClernonMar 15th, 2021
Watching a parent or older family member live through the challenges of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be complicated and heartbreaking. Eventually, you may determine that moving your loved one into an Assisted Living and Dementia Care Community could be the best option for them. The professional care, secure setting, and mental stimulation provided in a community may be more than you can offer at home.
Even though you may have determined that a Memory Care Community is the best place for your family member, it’s still natural to be worried about the transition. A significant change or disruption in routine can be extremely upsetting for those with memory impairments, so it’s best to handle the transition sensitively, with ample preparation and positivity.
Assisted Living Locators of Long Island works with families across Long Island and Eastern Queens to navigate this difficult transition. We’re sharing some tips on easing the transition into Dementia Care and ensuring your loved one is set up for success.
1. Find The Right Community
The first step in the transition from home to an Assisted Living and Dementia Care Community is finding the right one. You’ll need to understand your family member’s unique situation so that you can find a community that best matches their needs. You can do the research yourself or work with a Senior Care Advisor like Assisted Living Locators of Long Island. We work with families looking for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care and help them find a community that aligns with their health care needs, budget, location, and environment.
Once you and your family find a community that you’re comfortable with, the transition can go a lot more smoothly. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is moving into a community where they’ll be safe, engaged, respected, and properly cared for.
2. Provide a Detailed Life Story
Once you have determined an Assisted Living and Memory Care Community and move-in date, work with the community staff to share as much information about your family member as you can. You’ll want to share vital information like their health care needs, physician, and current medications, but you’ll also want to share other details such as their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and life story.
By knowing helpful things about your family member, like their favorite meal or song, the caregivers can work to make their first few weeks familiar and comfortable.
3. Tailor Your Conversations About The Move
Preparing your family member for the move can look different based on how advanced their memory loss is. If they are in the early stages of dementia and can still effectively communicate and reason, it can be a good idea to prepare them for the move as much as possible. Tour the community beforehand, have positive discussions about what to expect, and answer any questions they may have.
If your loved one is in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s or related dementias, telling them about the move ahead of time may cause more harm than good. It can create feelings of fear, apprehension, and even anger surrounding the move. While it may seem hurtful not to prepare them for such a significant change, doing so may only present more challenges.
4. Create a Familiar Environment
Once move-in day has arrived, surround your family member with familiar items from home. A move to an Assisted Living and Memory Care Community typically involves downsizing.
While you can’t bring everything, you should bring items that represent home comforts. A favorite blanket or pillow, familiar artwork, or a cherished teacup are all items that can create a familiar and home-like atmosphere. Bringing photos of family members, friends, and your loved one can also be comforting and calming.
5. Give Them Time to Adjust
Leaving your family member in their new home can be difficult and emotional. It can be natural to want to call or visit them every day, but it’s important to give them time to adapt to their new environment and routine. You chose this Assisted Living and Dementia Care Community because you were confident in its ability to provide a safe and comforting home for your family member, so you know you can trust the staff to help make them comfortable during the transition.
Communicate with the staff about the best times of day to call. It’s also a good idea to stay in contact with the caregivers about how your parent or family member is adjusting to their new home. It may be rocky at first, but your parent is ultimately in the best possible place for their needs.
A loved one’s transition into an Assisted Living and Memory Care Community on Long Island can be full of emotions, sadness, and guilt. But, with the right research, preparation, and positivity, you can make the transition gentle and comforting for you and your family.
If you have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s and think it’s time to make the move into an Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, we encourage you to reach out to Assisted Living Locators of Long Island. We are familiar with all the Dementia Care Communities on Long Island and will work with your family to find the one that best fits your family’s needs. To learn more about our free services, contact us today.