Do you have a loved one, like a spouse or a parent, struggling with Alzheimer's or another type of dementia? Is it time for them to move into a memory care facility? Moving a loved one into a memory facility is always challenging. You and your other family members will likely feel great sadness. Your loved one may be confused by the move and feel significant anxiety. While the move may be difficult, it's usually in the best interest of the person with dementia to live in a facility with skilled and experienced caretakers. The move will also take the burden off you and your family, which may alleviate great stress. Below are a few tips to make the transition easier and to reduce anxiety for your loved one.
Don't announce the move in advance
You may know that your loved one will be moving into the new facility months in advance. However, there usually is no need to share this information in advance with someone who is suffering from dementia. They likely won't understand the reasons for the move and will be stressed and anxious. Instead, wait until the last minute. Yes, it could be a confusing moment for them, but that's better than being confused for weeks or months. You could tell them the stay is temporary and then break the news after they have grown comfortable with their new home. Lying usually isn't the right thing to do, but when caring for people with dementia, small white fibs can often reduce the stress for everyone involved.
Give them time to adjust on their own
Many memory care facilities don't allow visitors during the first week or two after a new resident arrives. This policy may seem harsh, but it's critical for the residents to have a positive transition. When family members visit frequently, it reminds the resident that they are not at their home. By not visiting for a week or two, your loved one will be able to bond with the staff, connect with fellow residents, and grow to be comfortable in their new home. Even if your loved one's facility doesn't have this policy, limiting your visits in the beginning, is helpful so your loved one can begin to feel at home.
Moving can be highly stressful for someone with dementia. You may want to talk to their doctor about prescribing anti-anxiety medication in the period leading up to and following the move. Most doctors who work with dementia patients understand the need and will be willing to prescribe medication to ease the transition. Discuss your loved one's needs and prescription history with their doctor to see if medication is appropriate.
Ready to help your loved one take the next step? Contact a memory care facility in your area today to learn how you can make the transition easier for everyone.Share
17 July 2023
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