When a loved one's memory declines, at some point, they may need to be in a specialized environment where they will be safe even as their memory continues to fail.
There has been extensive research over the past decades about the proper living situation for someone with memory issues resulting from dementia or Alzheimer's. You can do things that will make your loved one's transition into memory care an easier process.
Important Tip #1: Choose the Right Facility
One of the most important things you can do is choose the right facility. You want to place our loved one into a facility specializing in memory care, not just a regular home for elderly individuals. You need to research the staff and the set-up and make sure that it feels right for your loved one. Take your time finding the right facility and visiting places.
Important Tip #2: Introduce Your Loved One to the Facility
You don't just want to drop your loved one off at a place they have never been before. If possible, visit the facility multiple times before you move your loved one in. Go and visit and have lunch a few times.
If they have activities that they host for their residents, bring your loved one along to participate in the activities. Your loved one's memory may not be perfect, but visiting and allowing them to get comfortable with the environment and the other residents will make the transition easier.
Important Tip #3: Familiarize the Staff with Your Loved One
Your loved one is going to be spending their time with the staff at the memory home. It can be helpful for the staff to get to know your loved one.
Share information such as their hobbies, passions, and pastimes with the staff. Let the staff know what they like and what they don't like. This will help the staff connect with your loved one and even match your loved one with the staff they think your loved one will connect with.
Important Tip #4: Handle the Move
When someone has memory care issues, letting them know about the move in advance can be negative. It can cause anxiety and negative behavior. Instead, only give a small amount of notice about the change.
Don't ask your loved one to handle the moving process. Figure out what your loved one needs to bring with them, and have someone set up their room, so when they arrive at the memory care facility, their favorite clothing is in the closet, and their blanket and pillows are on the bed. Don't bring too many things; bring the things that your loved one seems to use and cherish the most.
When it comes to moving your loved one into a memory care facility, take the time to choose the right facility, introduce your loved one to the facility, help the staff get to know your loved one, and take care of the stress of the move on your own.
If you have additional questions, reach out to a local memory care facility.