How to Move a Parent with Dementia to Assisted Living
If your parent has dementia and you are unable to care for them, moving them to assisted living is the best way to ensure they are well taken care of. Unfortunately, this transition can result in stress, anxiety, loneliness, and challenges adjusting to the new environment for your loved one. To help you make the transition smooth for you and your loved one, here are a few tips on how to move your parent with dementia to senior living.
1. Initiate the Conversation Early
Moving to assisted living shouldn’t come as a surprise to your parent. Begin the conversation early to help them understand that the move is in their best interests. While there may be numerous reasons for moving your parent to senior living, keep the conversation simple. Ask them how they feel about the transition, and try to allay their fears by providing reassurance. If possible, seek an advisor to talk to your loved one and prepare them for the move.
2. Choose the Ideal Assisted Living Community
Getting the right community for your loved one with dementia is essential in ensuring they get the best care and treatment. Consider a senior living community that will cater to a person with dementia. The community should have adequate resources, the right capacity, and provide the necessary support your loved one needs. Take your time looking around and settle on the best assisted living community to avoid having to move your parent twice.
3. Visit the Community With Your Parent Before Moving
Visit the community or institution a few times with your parent to help them familiarize themselves with their new surroundings and community. Visiting also helps your parent find familiar faces and surroundings they can recognize when they finally move into the community. If you can, schedule your pre-move visits when most caregivers and residents are present and attend events and activities within the community. The pre-visits create a familiarity that eventually makes the transition easier.
Making your parent’s new home as familiar as possible helps reduce anxiety and stress that may come with transitioning to assisted living. Ensure the new environment or space feels like home by personalizing it with items your parent is familiar with. When packing, include your parent’s possessions like a photo album, personal care items, and a throw blanket they can easily recognize. If your parent has a pet, be sure to ask whether they can bring them along. Fortunately, most senior living communities recognize the need for companionship from animals and allow them on the premises.
5. Schedule the Moving on the Parent’s Best Time of the Day
Timing is crucial when moving your parent with dementia to assisted living, as people with dementia usually have good and bad times. Scheduling the move around the best time of the day is necessary as your parent will be calmer. Morning is ideal, especially if your parent has Sundowner’s Syndrome. What’s more, your loved one will be energetic after the previous night’s rest. The timing will allow your parent to settle and still have time to rest at her new place.
6. Talk to Caregivers and Community Staff
Develop a relationship with caregivers and community staff as your parent will spend most of their time with them. Speak to the community staff and find out who will assist your loved one, and what you can expect from them. Make time to introduce your loved one to their caregiver. Doing so will facilitate bonding and allow your loved one to connect with caregivers and feel free to talk to them and be around them.
Getting your parent with dementia into assisted living is a monumental step that requires proper planning and execution. With the above tips, you can ease the transition and ensure your loved one gets the care they deserve. Park Central provides senior living in the Texas panhandle for people with dementia to help improve their quality of life. Contact us to learn more about our services.