These seven tips for helping a senior with Alzheimer’s move can ease the transition for your loved one while preserving your sanity.
Helping a Senior with Dementia Move to Memory Care
1. Plan ahead
Relocation stress and transfer trauma is a real thing. It stems from a loss of control. By planning ahead and letting your loved one help choose their senior community, you can ensure the move is what your loved one wants—even if they don’t remember and can’t convey that right now.
2. Include your loved one as much as possible
Allowing your loved one to participate in day-to-day decisions, such as which items they want to bring to their new home, will help them feel more independent.
3. Help your family member get familiar with their surroundings
Relocation stress is often caused by uncertainty. Discuss the transition as much as you can with your loved one. Tour the senior community together several times before the move.
4. Work with your loved one to make their apartment feel like home
Plan to clear your schedule on moving day. Give your loved one as much time as they need during the move. Help them decorate their new apartment with family photos, memory books, and familiar décor.
Replicate their favorite room from their house—whether that’s a living room or bedroom—as closely as possible to provide a sense of comfort and familiarity.
5. Ask for help when it’s time to leave
Remember that nursery school teacher who distracted your toddler so you could make a run for the door decades ago? Ask a staff member to engage your loved one in a fun activity while you slip out—after saying good-bye, of course.
6. Maintain a positive attitude
Your loved one will likely mimic your attitude to make up their mind about the situation. If you seem anxious and full of fears and doubts, they will too. Stay positive and upbeat. As your tour the community, point out all the great amenities they will enjoy. Be friendly to staff and residents, and gently encourage your loved one to do the same.
7. Choose a community that helps make the transition easy
Top memory care communities keep a senior’s comfort and well-being in mind with apartments that are designed to fit their unique needs.
Visual cues and themes along with bright, contrasting colors, can help residents find their way and stimulate their memory pathways. Furniture should be comfortable and familiar. And activities should help seniors with Alzheimer’s stay busy and feel productive.
Five Star’s memory care communities are designed to ease the transition into senior living with all the comforts of home and the care and support your loved one requires.