Moving to Memory Care Within Your Senior Living Community
If you or a loved one is in a Continuing Care Retirement Community or a senior community with both independent and assisted living services, you may be able to “age-in-place” even as your need for services increases.
For instance, if you have been living independently in a one-bedroom apartment in a senior community and, due to age, illness or injury, you suddenly need personal assistance with tasks like medication management, housework and cooking, or maybe even dressing yourself and personal hygiene, assisted living staff may simply be able to add this to the services you already receive.
In some cases, however, especially if seniors need specialized Memory Care, receiving additional care could involve a move. How can you keep this situation stress-free?
Making the Choice to Move to Memory Care
The Memory Care community within senior housing will include many services Alzheimer’s sufferers need:
- Enhanced security
- Round-the-clock monitoring
- Specialized medical attention
- Staff who are trained in knowing how to best care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients with compassion and respect
If a loved one is suffering from dementia, taking them out of their comfortable, familiar surroundings can be jarring and cause setbacks, depression, even violence. If you have the luxury of moving within a community, at least aspects of the facility will still be familiar to the Alzheimer’s patient. You can work with the staff members of the community to ease the transition further.
Three Ways to Ease the Transition to Memory Care
1. Focus on the familiar – This is even easier if the transition to Memory Care is within the same community, but all senior communities, by necessity, have some of the same design features.
Point out common features: trails, landscaping, staff with similar duties, (“This is Sarah. She will remind you to take your medicine, the same way Jane does.”) food menus, and community gathering places.
2. Make several visits before moving day – Give the Alzheimer’s patient a sense of comfort and familiarity by visiting the Memory Care community as frequently as necessary, for as long as necessary, before the move. Perhaps you can talk to the staff to provide some of the care required in the old apartment while making the transition. Encourage the senior to get involved in activities and meet the other residents in Memory Care.
3. Decorate the room in the same way – Many senior communities permit residents to decorate their own rooms. Instead of using the move as a reason to buy all new linens, curtains or artwork, transition as much as you can from the old space into the new. Set up the room in the same way as much as possible. And don’t forget the photos of loved ones to hang on the walls and mementos to personalize the space.
Moving Forward in Memory Care
Moving to a senior community is a big decision, and moving to a place that offers enhanced services is yet another big step. Be open in discussions with staff about your feelings and expectations and they should work with you and your loved one to keep the transition as smooth as possible.
SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (866) 342-4297 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.