Have you recently moved a loved one into a memory care community? Is your loved one having a hard time adapting to this new environment? First off, remind yourself that all adjustments take time. Think about the last time you moved or took on a new job. Surely you can relate to how hard that was for you. I’m sure you felt an array of emotions. Remember that your loved one with dementia may feel sad, angry, irritable, depressed, anxious, or tearful feelings during the transition. All these feelings are normal.
If your loved one continues to have a hard time transitioning even after a good amount of time you could help with the adjustment process by requesting a care conference. During a care conference you can help educate staff on your loved one’s lives, habits, preferences, routines, and emotions. With this gained knowledge about your loved one, staff can better assist with the transition process. Another way to help with the transition process is to visit regularly. Visiting can help lessen your loved one’s anxiety since they will have some awareness of your continued presence. Only you can decide how much time you should spend visiting. However, if you are visiting due to loneliness and grief it may be better to spend less time there. Maybe you have recently cut back on visiting because you have run out of ideas to do with your loved one. If this is the case read below to get some fresh, new ideas that will help you during your visit which in return will help your loved one transition to memory care.
11 Ideas for Memory Care Visits
1.) Help locate the essentials like the bathroom, closet, television, etc.
2.) Help decorate the door and room to help identify.
3.) Tell when you will visit next and write it down.
4.) Write a letter mentioning highlights from last visit to read between visits.
5.) Look at items with personal meaning that may trigger the past memories.
6.) Sing old, familiar songs.
7.) Exercise (Walk outside).
8.) Read the bulletin.
9.) Talk to other residents.
10.) Eat a meal together/Bring a treat to eat together.
11.) Bring a pet, children, friends, family (1-2 at a time, not a group).
This is just a starting place on how to help your loved one transition to memory care. Remember that your loved one is unique and therefore what may work for one may not necessarily work for your loved one. It’s all trial and error. If you would like more ideas and assistance on how to help your loved one transition to memory care please contact Denver Senior Care consultants today.