Helping an elderly loved one move into a memory care community can be incredibly stressful. Family caregivers often experience feelings of guilt because they can no longer handle the full-time responsibilities of ensuring the senior’s safety and happiness, but they shouldn’t. Moving to a senior living community is almost always the best solution for elderly loved ones struggling with dementia or other cognitive issues.
While memory care living is both simple and satisfying, the actual move-in date can be difficult for both seniors and their adult children or other loved ones. Find out how to prepare for moving day and make the entire process easier below.
Leave Plenty of Time
It’s important to be patient with people who struggle with memory problems. Family caregivers should leave plenty of time to plan and prepare for the move, as trying to do everything at once in a compressed time frame will only lead to frustration and anxiety for everyone involved.
Try to involve the future memory care resident in making the decision by taking him or her along for tours and discussing the various options that will be available. For those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and similar issues, presenting a limited number of choices is the most effective way to keep them involved.
Be Prepared for Strong Emotions
Helping an elderly loved one move into a memory care community is often an emotional experience for everyone involved. It’s common for the people moving to mourn the passing of younger years and their total independence. Many people are afraid of aging, having to make new friends, depending on strangers for daily help, and figuring out how to move forward in a new environment.
Family caregivers, on the other hand, often experience feelings of self-doubt, especially if the aging parent is unhappy about the move. The adult children of aging parents who are typically responsible for facilitating the move into memory care often question whether they have acted too quickly or waited too long, and may feel guilty. These feelings are normal and will not last forever.
Help With Going Through Belongings
Many seniors moving into memory care communities have been living in the same houses for decades, and in that time, they have usually accumulated a lot of stuff. Going through these belongings can be the most difficult part of planning for a move because it usually requires giving away at least some sentimental possessions. Family caregivers can make this process easier by going through one room at a time with their loved ones, packing items to keep in labeled boxes, and finding good homes for those belongings that can’t be taken along.
Determine the Senior’s Role in the Move
When moving day rolls around, everything should already be packed up and ready to go. Make a point of checking in with seniors to find out what kind of role they would like to play in the move, itself. Some people prefer to play an active role, even if that means directing from a comfortable easy chair, while others prefer to stay occupied outside of the home. In the latter case, it’s a good idea to have arrangements already in place for helping the person keep busy such as going shopping, seeing a movie, or performing other fun activities outside the home.
Celebrate the Big Day
It’s important to keep a positive attitude about the transition into memory care. Younger family members can help seniors do that by celebrating the big day and turning it into a special occasion. Think about having special photos printed and displayed, ordering the person’s favorite meal, or even putting up a “welcome home” banner.
During the moving prep, make a point of focusing on the positive. Keeping seniors involved by bringing them on tours of different communities, helping them go through their own belongings, and discussing all of the ways that living in a memory care community will improve their lives can help. After all, there’s a lot for seniors to look forward to when they move into senior living apartments.
An Amazing Senior Living Experience
Family members and friends looking for memory care in Encinitas, CA will find everything their loved ones need to continue living happy and fulfilling lives at Summerfield of Encinitas. This beautiful memory care community offers more than just help with the tasks of daily living and services designed to keep residents engaged and occupied. Our staff is 100% committed to connecting with residents and helping them live out their potential. We’re open for move-ins, so call (760) 479-1818 to schedule a tour.