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How to Move a Parent with Dementia to Assisted Living

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Father with dementia ready to move into a senior living community, son and daughter boxed father's things

Transitioning your parent from living at home to a senior living community can be a challenging process, especially if they struggle with cognitive impairments like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

What’s important to remember, though, is that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Our team here at Tylers Mill Senior Living is ready to assist you and your family however you need, especially if you need help providing the care your loved one needs.

Because dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can affect your loved one’s sense of security and safety, let’s look at some strategies you could use to help ease the transition process.

If you’re interested in the care and support Tylers Mill Senior Living can provide for your loved one, please get in touch with us to learn more about our services and lifestyle options. Better yet, schedule a visit through our lovely community and see how our residents enjoy an enriching and comfortable quality of life today.

Before the Move

The first thing you should do is determine if it is the right time to transition your parent into a senior living community. 

Everybody is different, and some parents might have reservations about moving out of their homes and joining a community. However, if you notice these issues affecting their quality of life, then it might be time to consider transitioning them into a community like ours:

  • Problems managing medication
  • Frequent falls or accidents
  • Wandering
  • Getting lost during conversations
  • Personal hygiene concerns
  • Issues keeping up with housekeeping duties

Once you speak to your parent and other family members about joining a senior living community, there are a couple of things you can keep in mind to help ease the transition.

Ask Friends & Family for Help

One of the best ways to make the transition process happen as smoothly as possible is to ask family and friends to help. Having familiar faces around can ]keep your loved one from feeling stressed or confused during moving day.

Constantly Remind Your Parent of the Moving Date

It’s important to ensure your parent is not surprised by moving into a new community, as it can cause a lot of unneeded stress and anxiety. Try to remind them about the moving day as much as you can so they are as mentally prepared as possible.

Address Parent’s Questions & Concerns

Your parent will likely have several questions and concerns regarding the transition, and it’s your responsibility to ensure they have all the information they need to feel comfortable about their new lifestyle.

If you don’t have an answer to one of your parent’s questions, you can always ask our caregiving team!

Personalize Their Living Space

Bringing some personal items to your parent’s new living space before moving can also help ease the transition process and prevent confusion and anxiety. Moving a few items to their new home can also lessen how much you might need to move during the move-in date.

During the Move

Moving days are always stressful and tiring, especially for a loved one who struggles with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. During the day of the move, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to help lessen the strain the process can have on your loved one.

Have Your Family Stick to a Consistent Script

As we mentioned, your parent will undoubtedly have a number of questions during the move-in, so try to maintain consistency as much as possible. Make sure your family members all have similar answers so your parent isn’t confused about where they might be going or why.

Spread the Move Over a Couple of Days

Sometimes, spreading the move over a couple of days might be more manageable. This can help reduce the pressure moving can have on your family and keep your parent happy and content.

Pack When Your Parent is Asleep or Busy

If you plan on stretching the move over a couple of days, you could pack some of your parent’s items while they’re asleep or busy to help reduce any confusion they might feel. Many people with dementia and Alzheimer’s hold a lot of value in their belongings, so packing them up and moving them away while they’re present could result in anxiety or possibly anger.

After the Move

Now that your parent is settling into their new community, it’s crucial to maintain a connection with them to ensure the transition process happens smoothly. Because this might be a big change for them, it can take days or even weeks before they settle into a routine that works for them.

You can help this process by:

Encouraging Positivity

It’s always important to remember that while your parent’s needs are changing, keeping the process light, fun, and positive can help encourage an easier transition. Though moving can be stressful for everyone involved, positivity is essential to a successful transition.

son visits his father in the assisted living community, and checks on him regularly

Checking In Regularly

Especially during the earliest days of the transition, it’s important to have familiar faces around your parent to help keep them relaxed and comfortable. Make an effort to visit regularly, but always ensure it fits in their daily schedule so you don’t disturb their routine.

Taking Part in Programs & Activities

Positive reinforcement is a great way to help your parent settle into their community. Although they might feel apprehensive about participating in programs and activities during their first few days, being an active participant can also help encourage their involvement.

See How We Can Help Today

Remember, you don’t have to do this all on your own. Maintaining a sense of positivity and routine during a transition like this can be a stressful experience for your entire family. Still, we can help by offering strategies and support thanks to our fantastic caregiving team in our memory support and assisted living lifestyles.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to make your parent’s transition into our community as smooth as possible, please don’t hesitate to call us today.

Written by Ryan Donahue, Regional Vice President

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