Transitioning Your Loved One With Dementia To Assisted Living
Assisted living, particularly memory care, can provide crucial attention and medical help that your aging loved one might desperately need. Unfortunately, a senior with dementia might resist the idea of moving to assisted living. Their insistence that they don’t need help isn’t simple denial–because of their dementia, they honestly believe nothing is wrong. This misconception can make a successful transition difficult.
Thankfully, you have a few potential solutions to this problem. Helping your loved one transition from home to an assisted living community will still be a difficult process, but with care and patience, you can help them understand that this is truly the best choice. Help your family member receive the help they need in a safe environment with these steps to a successful transition.
MAKE PLANS EARLY
If you can, talk with your loved one about dementia care as early as possible. Make especially sure to do this if they’ve recently been diagnosed with dementia or if it runs in your family.
This particular step is important for two main reasons. First, it will allow your loved one to at least partially comprehend why they need to make the transition when the time ultimately comes. Second, it encourages your loved one to actively participate in securing their future care. During this process, encourage them to research assisted living with you and compare your findings. Keep them involved in the process as much as you can.
RESEARCH MEMORY CARE PROGRAMS
For a loved one with dementia, memory care will be a critical part of their everyday routine. Before you commit, meet with the staff and ask detailed questions about the memory care they offer. How much personalized attention will your loved one get? The more professional and helpful their program is, the better.
VISIT THE FACILITY TOGETHER
A dementia patient will thrive in a setting that feels like home. If your loved one is able to visit the facility with you before moving, take them along and lead them on a tour. The more familiar the setting feels to them, the smoother the ultimate transition will be.
BRING THEIR FAVORITE BELONGINGS FROM HOME
Of course, you can’t move all your loved one’s furniture or belongings, but most assisted living facilities allow you to bring many favorite items or even some furniture from home. Help your loved one choose what they’d like to bring along. The more familiar their setting, the more likely they are to be content and happy in their new environment.
ENCOURAGE A SMOOTH TRANSITION
Your best efforts can contribute a good deal to easing the transition into assisted living. The most important thing to remember is that while the choice may be difficult for both of you, it’s the best decision for your loved one’s physical and mental health. Dementia care is demanding, but professionals at an assisted living facility are prepared to help. Take advantage of the skills they have to offer.