When it comes to helping your parent move into a memory care community, it is a process that comes with many different unknowns. In fact, many people may find it challenging, stressful, and even destabilizing. At this time, it is crucial that you are there to ensure that it proceeds as smoothly as possible and that your parents have the support that they need.
Here are a series of steps that you can consider before, during, and after helping your parent transition into a memory care community.
Before the Move
Preparation for a smooth transition starts far before the actual moving day. The preparation during this period is important to ensure that emotions are well managed and that channels of effective communication have been prepared. On top of this, it is also important to establish and search for ways that can help to make their new accommodations feel more like home.
The important step to prepare an individual that is coping with dementia is to ensure that all their family and loved ones constantly and consistently remind their parent that they are moving in a compassionate way. It is important that once the decision is made, there shouldn’t be conflicting opinions or thoughts that can easily overwhelm them.
Another tip is to start packing early. Make sure to have clear communication on what to keep, give away, or throw away. While memorabilia and decorative items are not necessities, they can help to personalize their new living space and make the new apartment feel like home. If necessary, it can also be helpful to arrange for a storage unit to keep any bulky items that are valuable but will no longer be in use. Most senior living communities will offer complimentary transportation services or at the very least, have a network of trusted and reliable moving companies that they have worked with before.
During Moving Day
As far as possible, try to shoulder the key responsibilities so that your parent does not have to cope with the pressures of moving. Moving day will be a really important turning point for their lives, and it is also important to reiterate your connection with your parent.
When unboxing begins, it can be helpful to encourage your loved ones to participate by choosing where they want certain things to go or if they are interested in visiting any amenities, activities, and programs. By taking part in a memory care activity on moving day itself, it can help to facilitate integration as well as give you the opportunity to witness what their new routine will be like.
During this process, it is likely that they will have questions and concerns, especially when it is time for you to leave. During this time, it is important that you remain empathetic and patient in answering. If they are not expressing any thoughts, it can also be helpful to ask them about how they are currently feeling.
After the Move
Make sure to continue staying in contact with your parent and visiting where possible. Regular contact and communication in multiple forms can help to ease the transition and ensure that they are aware of your support. The first few months may be hard, especially if they are requesting to come home, disoriented, or even outright hostile. At this time, try your best to not rush the process. It can also be helpful to maintain communication channels with the community team members to understand how they are helping to ease the transition.
If you have any questions about our senior living community or how we can help during the moving process, contact us today.