Ease of Transition
Easing the Transition to Residential Memory Care
Change is difficult, so it’s natural that one can have difficulty transitioning to a Memory Care community. While there are many benefits of Memory Care, there’s no getting around the fact that the move involves changes that people don’t always like.
The Challenges of Moving to Residential Memory Care
Some of the difficult aspects can include:
- Feelings of abandonment.
- Frustration surrounding a perceived loss of independence.
- Having to adjust to a new routine. For example, people who like to eat a late dinner may not appreciate living in a community where dinner service ends at 7 p.m.
- Resentment about having to live with those who are more disabled or frail than themselves.
- The need to significantly downsize, often from an independent home to a shared residence.
Of course, many people have no trouble at all adjusting to memory care and take to it from day one. Often, residents adapt quickly and come to recognize that aspects of memory care that first bothered them are actually beneficial.
For instance, residents find it to be a great relief to downsize and not worry about housekeeping and upkeep. For individuals who moved not altogether willingly, their feelings of abandonment and betrayal often turn into feelings of gratitude based on the recognition that their family members or friends were acting out of love when they arranged the move.
Seniors will best adjust to their new home with some encouragement and support from family members during the first days and weeks at their new residence.
Here are some tips about how to help your parent or memory impaired loved one adjust to a move to:
Allow your loved one to be independent.
While the tips we outlined above can help your loved one’s transition, don’t become too protective or feel as though you need to be with them all the time during the transition, as this can be counterproductive. Visiting often during the first days after the move does help make sure your loved one doesn’t feel abandoned, but refrain from taking this too far, as excessive “handholding” could prevent your parent or senior loved one from successfully adapting to their new home.
Bring personal items from their home into their new living space.
Make sure your loved one has input about keepsakes to bring to the new home.
Coax your loved one to participate in activities.
Even older adults can have a “too-cool-for-school” attitude and be dismissive of community activities. But your parent is likely to adjust well if she or he gets involved with activities and makes some friends in the community. Haven Care homes have a wide variety of activities, so while not all of them will necessarily be appealing to your loved one, there’s bound to be some that do.
Encourage your loved one to help out in the homes.
When residents feel useful and as though they have a purpose, it can improve their outlook and help immensely with the transition.
Take your parent to visit the home before the move.
Take your loved one to visit before the move. Attend meals and events that allow your loved one to become familiar with the layout, residents and staff of the home. This will make the home and everyone who lives and works there seem less foreign when your loved one eventually does move-in.