Transitions of any kind can be emotional, no matter your age. However, when you add a complicating factor like memory loss, a transition can be especially worrisome. If you are planning on transitioning a loved one to dementia care in Greenville, South Carolina, you can make the move a bit easier by planning ahead, working with community members, and keeping communication strong.
Start the Conversation
Preparing your loved one for the transition to their new dementia care community begins long before a single bag is packed. Depending on the stage of dementia your loved one is experiencing, you can involve them with the choice to move to dementia care, and empower them to be involved.
If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you can involve them in the decision to move. Consider making an appointment with their neurologist, or other physicians, to talk about safety concerns and future planning. Keeping the older adult in the loop with any future plans to move can help decrease transfer trauma, which is a phrase used to describe the stress of moving into a new environment.
During your time speaking with the doctor and your loved one, be sure you allow your loved one to talk candidly about how they are feeling. They may feel angry or sad, or they could feel a sense of relief that they will have the help they need to live with a higher quality of life. If there are unresolved issues or feelings, consider working with a therapist who has experience working with situations similar to yours.
For someone living with mid-to-late-stage dementia, remaining involved with the planning and moving process will not be beneficial. Instead, you can keep their environment calm and relaxed, even while you are packing and preparing for the move.
Tips for Moving to Dementia Care in Greenville, SC
Now that you’ve chosen your dementia care community, it is time to plan your move. Although the transition may be stressful, you can significantly decrease negative mental health behaviors by following a few of our tips:
- Communicate with your loved one’s other physicians about the upcoming move. Give them information about the facility, including its address and phone number. Because at least 95 percent of Alzheimer’s disease patients also live with at least one other chronic medical condition, communication between physicians and specialists is key. Don’t let your loved one’s care become fragmented. Keep everyone aware of the change.
- Bring your loved one to the memory care community a few times before the move. Enjoy a meal in the dining room, and attend an activity in order to make the community feel more familiar. This is also a great way to introduce the staff members to your loved one.
- Coordinate with the community to share medical and personal histories prior to move-in. Exceptional dementia care communities use the histories of residents to prepare individualized interventions. You can share your loved one’s histories during an assessment with the community prior to move-in.
- Prepare the apartment before your loved one moves in. Your loved one should not be a part of the move itself. Instead, you should bring in furniture, hang photos, and make the apartment seem like home before bringing your loved one into their new home.
- Bring familiar items, including photographs. Your loved one will want the comforts of home in their new apartment, so be sure to bring along their favorites: e.g., a quilt for the bed, a chair, books, framed photos on the walls, etc.
- Add a few extra touches, like a festive wreath on the door that is beautiful but also a great cueing reminder for where their apartment is, or a fresh bouquet of their favorite kind of flowers on the table.
- Get to know the staff members. Dementia care team members are specially trained in memory loss and appropriate interventions. They also spend the most time with your loved one during the day. Communicating with them is crucial, especially during the first few months of the transition.
- Inform family members and friends of your loved one’s move, but encourage them to wait a few weeks before visiting. Too many visitors can sometimes create more chaos during an already busy time.
- Choose to leave any valuable jewelry or items in a secure location, instead of at the community. Seniors with dementia can misplace items easily, and without noticing in a timely manner that the items are gone.
- Stay engaged with the community. Come to family activities, and to visit on weekends. Enjoy dinner in the dining room when you can. Your loved one will find comfort in your visits, and you will begin to make their new community a part of your extended family.
Learn more about what to pack and consider when moving to senior living by watching Senior Living LIVE.
How The Gardens at Eastside Can Help
The Gardens at Eastside is ready to make your loved one’s transition as seamless as possible. Our team will work with you and your loved one prior to the move in order to learn more about their likes and dislikes, as well as their medical history. We will coordinate with your loved one’s doctor to assure we have everything we need to care for your loved one from the moment they walk through our doors.
Learn more about our dementia care community by scheduling a tour.