Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that can seriously affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. And at the later stages of the disease, an Alzheimer’s patient will require more care than what is available at home.
Mild memory loss is typically the first sign of this disease. As a caregiver, deciding whether a loved one with Alzheimer’s should go to a memory care facility can be difficult.
That said, transitioning an Alzheimer’s patient to memory care can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth transition.
Why Memory Care
Around 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimer’s disease in 2020. It affects language, memory, and thought, where people with Alzheimer’s suffer memory loss and the ability to have conversations and respond to the environment.
Because there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatment and management are crucial for:
- Maintaining brain health
- Behavioral symptoms
- Slowing or delaying the disease
Memory care at senior living communities provides personalized care, 24/7 staff support, and meaningful activities to ensure residents have physically, socially, and emotionally engaging lives.
Services in memory care can include the following:
- Residential setting
- Fully furnished apartments
- Wellness programs
- Cognitive stimulation and support
- Meaningful activities
- Strengthening activities for walking and balance
- Medication management & assistance
- Non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce medication reliance
Tips on Transitioning Alzheimer’s Patient to Memory Care
The transition period can be difficult for everyone, especially an Alzheimer’s patient. Even though every situation is unique, these tips can provide some guidance on how to transition an Alzheimer’s patient to memory care:
- Address Their Concerns
A loved one with Alzheimer’s may feel confused, sad, or apprehensive. Address their fears, questions, or concerns with understanding and be sensitive to their emotions.
If they are still able to communicate, involve them in the conversation. Assure your loved one that the memory care community is a safe place where they will be cared for while doing the things they love.
- Visit the Memory Care Facility
Take a tour of the memory care facility and visit a few times before moving so your loved one can get familiar with the new environment, staff, and amenities.
- Pack for Them
To avoid stressing and overwhelming your loved one, pack their belongings. Take care of donating or selling unwanted items and arrange to have their belongings in their new place of residence.
Having their most valued possessions, such as photos or a favorite piece of furniture, will create familiarity and feelings of home, comfort, and safety.
- Don’t Rush the Move
Take the day off on moving day and have someone with you for support. Schedule the move at a time that your loved one is most comfortable.
Speak to staff in advance to share information about your loved one’s needs and preferences and maybe even coping strategies. Avoid rushing the process. Allow your loved one time to settle.
- Visit Often
Despite all your efforts to make the transition easy, there can still be challenges. Speak to the memory support staff about your loved one’s progress and what you can do to help.
Your loved one may complain and ask to go home. It’s natural to feel anger, frustration, or sadness in the first few weeks when adjusting. Reassure them how much you care.
Visit often and try to understand some of their concerns. When they become agitated, redirect them to something positive and partake in activities with them.
Sometimes visits can trigger negative emotions. In this case, you can ask the staff for advice on how often to visit. Visits and calls from other family members or friends can help in these instances, keep them connected, and not feel forgotten.
Memory Care for Alzheimer’s
We know that Alzheimer’s disease worsens over time. And although there is no cure, you can live well in a safe and comfortable environment such as memory care.
If you’re looking to transition a loved one with Alzheimer’s to memory care, regardless of age or cognitive state, contact us or schedule a visit. The Fox Trail Senior Living team offers personalized experiences for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.