Alzheimer's Care Resources
Helping Seniors Transition to Memory Care Assisted Living
June 4, 2015
Moving a senior loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease to an assisted living community can present unique challenges. For people with memory loss, change can be difficult. But safety concerns and the need for more specialized care often necessitate such a move. If your family is preparing for this transition with a senior loved one, there are steps you can take to make the transition go a little more smoothly.
5 Tips for Making a Smooth Transition to a Memory Care Assisted Living Community
The dementia care experts from the Five Star Senior Living communities offer these tips to help:
- Reminiscence Board: Create a Reminiscence board full of photos of the important people and events in your senior loved one’s life. Label each photo. It can provide conversation starters for staff when they are first getting to know your family member.
- Familiar Environment: People with Alzheimer’s disease benefit from familiar surroundings. Before moving day arrives, work with the staff at the assisted living community to create an environment that will look familiar. Bring some of their favorite things from home. It might be their favorite chair, a quilt or blanket they love and favorite family pictures. Keep in mind that memory loss may make it easier for them to identify older photos than current ones.
- Meaningful Activity: Having meaningful activities for your senior loved one to enjoy can help to reduce stress and anxiety in the earliest days of the transition. One idea is to create activity boxes that relate to their past hobbies and occupation. Creating an accountant box, for example, that contains a calculator, ledger, pencils and other familiar tools.
- Adjunct Therapies: The healing powers of music and art have been well-documented. It might be a small CD player you keep in their apartment or simple craft projects you can enjoy together on visits.
- Work with Staff: Prior to the move, share some of your senior loved one’s favorite pastimes with the memory care staff. Review the life enrichment activity calendar and identify opportunities for your aging family member to participate in.
Making the Decision to Move to Memory Care Assisted Living
If you are struggling to find an assisted living community, we invite you to call or visit the Five Star Senior Living community closest to you.