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Transitioning Your Loved One with Alzheimer’s to Memory Care

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Memory care provides older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive impairments a safe, supportive environment to live in. The services provided by this lifestyle help seniors thrive, assisting them with their daily needs. How can you make this process easier if your loved one is transitioning into a memory care community? 

Continue reading to learn more about memory care, including tips on transitioning your loved one into their new community. 

What Is Memory Care? 

Memory care is a lifestyle for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another cognitive impairment affecting their ability to live alone. The care involved in this lifestyle helps residents live as independently as possible, with the knowledge they always have someone near to support them when needed. The design of these communities is ideal for older adults living with dementia. 

Besides daily care, memory care communities offer several services and amenities, including: 

  • Professional care
  • Prepared meals & snacks
  • Housekeeping & laundry services
  • Specially designed activities
  • Regular physician visits
  • Medication management
  • 24/7 available support staff

When Is It Time to Consider Memory Care? 

Alzheimer’s worsens with time, progressing over several years. What may seem like simple forgetfulness may become legitimate memory loss. Your loved one likely won’t notice these changes at first, but you may identify several symptoms over the years. 

If your loved one’s cognitive function worsens, visiting your doctor can help determine if they need more supportive care. 

Memory care may be an option if your loved one experiences certain changes, including: 

  • Lacking personal hygiene
  • Wandering away from home
  • Having trouble with their daily routine
  • Forgetting about medications or doctor’s appointments
  • Struggling with depression or isolation
  • Having difficulty with mood, personality, or behavior changes
  • Struggling with severe memory loss

How to Transition Your Loved One into a Memory Care Community 

There are several ways you can help your loved one transition into a memory care community smoothly. This process can begin before the move happens. 

Find the Right Living Arrangements

One of the first steps in moving your loved one into a memory care community is considering their living arrangements. There are some questions to ask yourself regarding this: 

  • Does your loved one have a private room? 
  • Does your loved one have a furnished, well-set-up room, making it safe & easy to navigate? 
  • Are the hallways in the community wide & spacious? 
  • Are there opportunities for social connections & events in the community? 

The right living situation can make all the difference when moving your loved one into memory care. You can always look at floorplans for the rooms or book a tour to visit the community before making a final decision. 

Think About the Changes to Your Loved One’s Routine

Routine can be important for your loved one when they live with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Your loved one will receive a customized care plan when they move into their memory care community. Consider the changes they may experience compared to their current lifestyle. 

Ensure you speak with your loved one and other family members about their comfort level in the move. Explain the situation to your loved one as best as possible so they can understand these changes to the best of their abilities. 

If you’re worried about your loved one’s daily routine, speak with a representative of your chosen community! They can address your questions and concerns, helping you feel more at ease. 

Try & Move Everything in as Little Moves as Possible

Moving is stressful for anyone, especially if someone has dementia. Your loved one may not understand why this move is happening and why their things aren’t available to them. 

Try and prepare everything before moving. A successful transition to memory care will happen in as few days as possible. 

Keep Your Loved One Involved

Having no agency in a decision directly involving you can be frustrating, so keep this in mind when moving your loved one into memory care. It may seem like your loved one may struggle to make decisions for themselves, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in the moving process. Giving your loved one choices can help them feel connected to the move. 

Keep your loved one involved in the moving process to the best of their abilities, and they may start to feel more excited about their new home. 

Stay Gentle & Patient During the Move Itself

See what time of day your loved one feels most alert and comfortable and try to plan their move for this time. If necessary, you can always have someone take your loved one out for the day while you and others complete the move. 

Be gentle and patient if your loved one is present for this process. Moving is stressful, but don’t get agitated if your loved one is confused, anxious, or stressed. Stay reassuring and help them feel as comfortable as possible. 

Memory Care Can Benefit Your Loved One

Transitioning to memory care may seem stressful and difficult, but the benefits are worth it for your loved one. They can receive daily care and enjoy what their community offers. Memory care is a big decision, but you can always reach out to a community representative to learn more about how they care for your loved one’s needs. 

Contact your local memory care community if you’re interested or have any questions. 

Ryan Donahue

Written by Ryan Donahue, Regional Vice President

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