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Transitioning a Loved One to Memory Care

Published: Dec 29, 2022. Last Updated: Jan 6, 2023.

As your loved ones age, it can be difficult to watch them experience cognitive decline. At some point, it may become necessary to consider moving them into a memory care facility to ensure they receive the specialized care and support they need. Making this decision can be challenging, but it's important to remember that memory care can provide a safe and nurturing environment for your aging parent

In this guide, we will provide step-by-step instructions for transitioning to memory care, from researching and comparing facilities to providing ongoing support and assistance.

Research and Compare Memory Care Facilities

Not all memory care facilities are created equal, and it's crucial to find one that meets your loved one's needs and preferences. Below are the most important factors to consider when selecting a memory care facility:

Location

To begin your search, consider the location of the facility. Is it close to your home? Is it easily accessible by car or public transportation? Additionally, think about the local neighborhood and how it will affect your loved one's quality of life.

Cost

Next, consider the cost of the facility. Memory care can be expensive, so it's important to find a facility that fits within your budget. Be sure to ask about any additional fees or charges, such as fees for activities or special services.

Amenities

Does the facility have a secure outdoor space for residents to enjoy? Are there activities and programs available to keep residents engaged and active? Is the facility equipped with advanced technology to assist with cognitive impairment?

Qualifications and experience of the staff

Are the staff members trained in caring for older adults with cognitive decline? Do they have experience working with residents who have Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia?

Once you have narrowed down your options, it's important to visit and tour the potential facilities. This will give you a firsthand look at the facility and allow you to ask questions and gather more information. Talk to the staff and current residents, and ask about their experiences at the facility.

Discuss the Transition with your Loved Ones

Transitioning a loved one to memory care can be a difficult and emotional decision. It's important to involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible, and discuss the reasons for transitioning to memory care and the benefits it can provide. But how can you best make the transition smoother for them and ensure that memory care is a positive experience?

First, explain why it may be necessary to move them into a memory care facility. For example, if they are experiencing cognitive decline and are no longer able to care for themselves, a memory care facility can provide the specialized care and support they need.

Next, discuss the benefits of memory care. This can include access to trained staff who are experienced in caring for seniors with cognitive decline, as well as a range of activities and programs to keep residents engaged and active.

Be sure to address any concerns or fears your loved ones may have. For example, when they are worried about leaving their current home or about the cost of memory care. Reassure them that their well-being is the top priority and that you will do everything you can to support them during this transition.

Begin the Moving Process

Once you have made the decision to transition a loved one to memory care, it's time to begin the moving process. This can be a daunting task, but by following these steps, you can make the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Step#1 Organize and pack belongings

Take note to keep important items, such as medical records and identification documents, in a safe and accessible place. Also, be sure to keep sentimental possessions, such as family photos and heirlooms, to help them feel more at home in their new environment.

Step#2 Coordinate with the memory care facility to ensure a smooth transition

This may include scheduling a moving date and arranging for transportation. The staff at the facility should be able to assist with these details and provide any necessary support.

Step#3 Be prepared to handle any emotional needs

This is especially important when transitioning a loved one with cognitive issues. During the move, it's important that both the person and the family feel supported. Have a plan in place for how to address any emotional issues that may arise during the transition.

Step#4 Adjust to the new home

Finally, help your loved one adjust to their new environment. Help them settle in and get to know the staff and other residents. This may mean attending activities with them or visiting regularly. It can also include familiarizing yourself with topics related to memory care and Alzheimer's disease, so that you can better understand their needs.

Provide Ongoing Support and Assistance

Transitioning to memory care is just the beginning. Support and assistance should continue over time to help your loved one adjust and cope.

Make sure the memory care facility provides an individualized plan that is flexible enough to meet older adult's changing needs. Find out what activities are available, such as music therapy or art classes, and make sure there is a way for your loved one to stay engaged and involved in the community.

Additionally, make regular visits to the memory care facility to spend time with them. These visits will give you an opportunity to check in, see how they are doing, and ensure that the facility is providing adequate care. This can also help them feel more connected and reassured that they are not alone. During your visits, take the time to engage in activities and conversations , and offer emotional support and encouragement.

Lastly, be mindful that memory care requires patience and understanding. Over time, your loved one may become more reliant on the facility’s staff for help with daily activities such as bathing or eating. As difficult as this can be to watch, remember that being in a safe environment surrounded by caring professionals is the best thing you can give for your loved ones.

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About the Author

Ericka Nicolas

Writer & Researcher

Elder Guide LLC

Ericka Nicolas began her career in the banking industry where she learned the importance of being detail-oriented and well-organized, both of which she applies to her current work as a writer and proofreader. With her vast experience in writing, Ericka is able to produce well-researched and engaging content that appeals to Elderguide's target audience. She was able to provide readers with valuable insights on a variety of topics and ensures that all the information she provides is accurate and up-to-date. She takes the time to carefully study each topic given to her, which allows her to produce truly informative articles. Ericka's passion for writing and her dedication to producing quality content gave way to her goal of helping our readers navigate the complex world of senior living and make informed decisions about their future. Aside from her work at Elderguide, Ericka enjoys spending time with her newly-married husband and their dog, Yari. She loves cooking, traveling, and exploring new restaurants in her spare time.