Transitioning to memory care can be a demanding and emotional time. The effects of dementia or Alzheimer’s can become too much for one caregiver or family member to handle, and it may be time to start looking at a new situation that’s less stressful for everyone. At the Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living, we want to help you and your loved one navigate these waters, so you and your family have a smooth journey.
Here are three tips to get you started.
Finding the best community for your loved one is imperative. Before you start packing, have a conversation with your loved one about what they require and what they want. If possible, go on tours of communities and talk with staff members. Ask as many questions as you can and keep track of their answers. Once you have decided on a community together, visit a few more times. Maybe they will enjoy attending an activity or event before their big move. This will give your loved one a sense of comfort and familiarity and will ease the transition.
There is a fine balance between having personal items and furniture in the apartment and having too much of it there. Be sure you and your loved one are aware of what furniture comes with the memory care apartment, if any, and plan accordingly. Maybe you want to keep a huge dresser, so it will be better to get a smaller bed. Or maybe there isn’t much closet space, so a new, bigger dresser is a good idea. Whatever furniture you decide on, be sure that it will fit in the room.
With the smaller items, such as knickknacks and mementos, there might be more challenges. When it comes to memory loss, decision-making becomes much more difficult. If you’re not sure which objects are most important to your loved one, observe them interacting with their space to see which items they would like to display in their new apartment. Of course, if there are a lot of smaller items, you can always arrange them in a different way, such as making shadowboxes. (It’s easier to keep clean too since you only need to dust one picture frame.)
3. Stay the Course
Once the decision is made, your loved one might start to feel like they don’t want to move after all. Change is scary, and if Alzheimer’s or dementia has taken hold, it could be that they need to be convinced and reminded over again that their move to a memory care community is a good thing and something they were looking forward to previously.
You want to make your loved one feel as comfortable as possible. Putting off the move can seem like a good idea at the time. However, if they need memory care, you’re not doing them any favors this way. If they need to move to a supervised, specialized community, living by themselves could be dangerous.
At the Mission at Agua Fria, we believe everyone should live with dignity in a safe and caring environment. Contact us today so we can tell you about our memory care programs and community that can benefit you and your family members.