Aging comes with a lot of great experiences and life memories, unfortunately, with aging, there is also a risk of difficult conditions, diseases, and diagnoses, including dementia. If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, their memory will gradually decline, oftentimes becoming too much for family and caregivers to handle. When this happens, the next step is to transition your loved one to a healthcare facility, such as Lakeside Manor that is equipped to deal with this level of care. As a family member, accepting the decision to transition your loved one to a dementia care facility can affect your emotions, but as difficult as the decision is, you understand the importance. Unfortunately, this transition may be extremely difficult for your elderly loved one, so here are a few tips to help ease the transition for your elderly loved one.
Before Moving Day
The first and one of the most important things to do is to find a facility that is equipped for an understanding of dementia residents. When researching facilities, be sure to review the available amenities, the type of security available, available treatments, and activities offered. Keep in mind that by the time your loved one needs 24-hour care; they are generally unable to recognize the fact that they have a problem. So, it’s best to avoid telling them that they are moving because of their medical condition.
The transition will be extremely challenging for everyone, so remember to stay positive and avoid continually telling your loved one that they are moving; this may lead to anger and only make the process more difficult. When moving day arrives, it’s best to not include your loved ones in the packing or decision-making of what to take with them. Make sure to pack as many personal items as the facility will allow and schedule moving time to coincide with the best time of the day. For instance, if they are the most alert in the early morning, moving during this time will make it easier for them to get comfortable and settle in.
One of the most difficult parts of this process will be allowing your loved ones to adjust to their new surroundings. It’s common for family members to want to stay with their loved ones every minute of every day, but it’s best to give them some time to adjust to the transition on their own. Allow them some time to make new friends, get acquainted with the treatment team and staff, and get involved in activity programs. Music is believed to be a calming source for those with dementia, so be sure your loved one has access to music, such as a radio or if they have a television in their room, find a channel that offers music and program it as a “favorite” channel. If you hover over them, especially during the first few days, they may continually ask to go home with you, which will make it more difficult for you to leave and for them to adapt. After about one week, visit for short periods at a time and once they have adjusted to their new community, you can start to make regular visits and take them out for outings.
Remember, when you are positive, your loved one will have the same feelings, so it is extremely important that you stay positive and maintain an upbeat attitude. If you appear anxious and are continually questioning the transition, they will likely feel this way as well, so be sure to point out the amenities and positive aspects of the community. Be understanding, but positive. For instance, your loved one may be surrounded by new friends, but there will be times when they feel alone and miss the home they lived in for years, so it’s important to visit often and remind them that they aren’t alone.