After receiving a dementia diagnosis, the road ahead can be challenging for you and your family. If your family has decided that a dementia care community is the best option for your loved one, everyone, including your loved one, may be experiencing a variety of emotions – concern, anxiety, confusion, etc.
These feelings are understandable, as this is a significant decision. Fortunately, The Woodlands at Canterfield’s memory care services can serve as a roadmap for your family’s journey, providing a clear path of support, care and compassion every step of the way.
As your family prepares to move a loved one to a dementia care community, here are some strategies for alleviating stress and creating a smooth transition.
Start & Maintain the Conversation
Before the move comes the memory care conversation. In some cases, you may need to frequently remind your loved one that they are moving. Establishing a script or a concise, comforting response that multiple family members can use may be helpful during this time.
If your loved one suffers from disorientation or confusion, this can help them stay on track and understand what’s happening. Keep it simple and straightforward, but reassuring and comforting. For example, rather than simply saying, “You’re moving,” use a phrase like, “We’re helping you move to your new home.”
Packing and Moving
The process of boxing up belongings can be confusing, as many people living with dementia rely on established layouts and spaces for a sense of normalcy and comfort. If you think the moving process could be overly stressful for your loved one, wait until they’re asleep or at an appointment to start the packing process.
As you go through items and belongings, look for opportunities to connect with your loved one. For example, going through old photographs and spending time with family and friends can be therapeutic. In fact, reminiscence therapy can support self-esteem, cognitive function and improve communication in those living with dementia.
Personalize Your Loved One’s New Space
Dementia care communities provide secure and supportive living spaces where your loved one can live comfortably and safely. For instance, The Woodlands at Canterfield’s memory care community utilizes a neighborhood-style environment with private and semi-private suites. Not only does this promote engagement, but it combines luxurious resort-style living with the comforts of home to add elegance to a nurturing and caring environment.
Create a welcoming space for your loved one by incorporating their favorite belongings, decor and other personal items. It’s beneficial to do this before your loved one arrives, so that when they walk into their new home, they can feel at ease with familiar sights and smells.
Be sure to start small with furniture and decor at first. Too much clutter can cause confusion, so prioritize the belongings that mean the most to your loved one or provide the most comfort.
Before, during and after moving day, introduce yourself and connect with the dementia care team at the community. Ask questions and communicate regularly to stay informed and an active part of your loved one’s care and support system.
Remaining a constant in your loved one’s life is the key to ensuring they feel supported and loved during this next chapter. Schedule regular visits and discover what opportunities, events and activities the community offers that you can participate in and attend with your loved one.
If you live at a distance, create a schedule for regular phone or Zoom calls with the care team and your loved one (if possible). Staying in touch with the community will allow you to keep track of their progress or note any challenges they might be facing. It can also give you an up-to-date idea of how the progression of dementia is affecting them during conversations.
Whether you are deciding if a move is right for your loved one, are anticipating a move or are struggling during the transition, a dementia specialist can provide guidance and support. The Woodland at Canterfield is here to help with any challenges related to caring for a loved one living with dementia.
Visit our website to learn more about our brand-new memory care community in West Dundee, Illinois.