According to the Alzheimer’s Association more than 16 million people provided unpaid care to a loved one with some form of dementia in 2019. Although this caregiving is unquestionably a labor of love, it can lead to burnout and negatively impact lifelong relationships.
If caregiver burnout sounds all too familiar to you, and you’re not sure what to do next, we’re here for you. Maybe you’ve already started looking into assisted living or dementia care options for your loved one but don’t know what the right next step is. If it’s time to seriously consider transitioning a loved one to dementia care in Spartanburg, these five tips are for you.
1. Talk to Your Loved One
This may seem like an obvious first step, but for many people, the initial conversation is one of the most difficult parts of the transition to dementia care. Some worry that their loved one may resist the idea of moving to a dementia care community. Depending on the progression of the dementia, some may feel uncertain that their loved one will fully understand the discussion.
These fears are normal. However, it is critical to include your loved one in the conversation about their transition to dementia care. Your loved one should be able to share their opinions and feel some agency in this big decision. It is a good idea to talk to the rest of your family and get their thoughts before talking to your loved one, but then try to talk to them one on one or with just one other person so that they don’t feel like you are ganging up on them.
2. Ask Many Questions
You may have already done plenty of research and feel totally confident about moving your loved one into dementia care in Spartanburg. If so, congrats — you’re ahead of the curve! But it is likely that at this stage, you still have some questions and concerns. The best dementia care communities will not only be able to answer your questions, but will also be genuinely pleased to do so.
You probably have your own personal list of things to ask about, but here are some general questions to ask any prospective dementia care community:
- How will you ensure that my loved one is not only safe, but also happy?
- What is the dining experience like?
- What do the staff do to encourage residents’ independence and happiness?
- How often can family and other loved ones visit the community, and how else can they stay involved?
- What level of supervision and safety do you provide, and how often?
3. Plan Ahead
When you’ve decided to transition your loved one to dementia care, it’s time to start planning for their eventual move. Some early actions to take include cleaning and decluttering their house and deciding what furniture and other items to take to their new home. You can also contact the dementia care community and ask if your loved one can attend some events before their move to start getting used to the place and the people. Most will be glad to accommodate you.
At this stage, it is important to stay positive and avoid making your loved one feel as though their “normal life” is over or they “need more help.” To assist with this, work with your loved one to establish a schedule for their first couple of weeks at the community so that they have specific things to look forward to. Pick some times to visit and make sure they plan to participate in some group activities.
4. Follow Up
Even after move-in day has come and gone, the transition is not necessarily complete. The first few weeks or months after your loved one’s move are critical, and you play a big role in making them a success.
In addition to visiting your loved one in their new home, take some time to get familiar with the dementia care community’s staff. Make sure they know what they need to know about your loved one, and get to know them, too — you may end up thinking of them as extensions of your own family! And although staying positive is important, it is also important to give your loved one space to vent when they need to. Offer a compassionate ear when they are feeling anxious or missing their old home, and try to avoid telling them they’re wrong or overreacting.
5. Get Help from Experts
Transitioning a loved one to dementia care in Spartanburg is difficult for most families. We at Eden Terrace of Spartanburg want to make sure you know you’re not alone. Our caring, experienced staff provide expert dementia care designed especially for those with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. With 30 years of experience in cognitive care and support, we are the leading providers of innovative and modern dementia care. Give us a call or stop by anytime. We would be happy to talk you through this transition, answer any questions, or show you and your loved one around our beautiful community.