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Best Ways to Ease the Move to Memory Care

Senior man looking at flowers with nurse

Moving to memory care is a big change for your loved one, and it can feel like a whirlwind for the family members planning the move. Taking some time to get organized can help you be prepared for next steps. In addition to the logistics of moving, the emotional aspects of leaving the familiarity of home can be challenging for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

12 Tips for Moving a Loved One to Memory Care

We put together a list of tips to help you plan a smooth transition to memory care for your parents.

  1. Share information at the right time. The decision-making involved in choosing a memory care community can be overwhelming for a person with dementia. Sharing details about the move months in advance could lead to unnecessary worry or confusion. That’s why it’s often best to handle the details of moving for your loved one and communicate about the plan within a few days or weeks of the move.
  2. Keep it simple. If your mom or dad doesn’t fully understand what’s happening, you may have to explain where and why they’re moving, sometimes repeatedly. It’s helpful to stick to a simple message and ask other family members to do the same, such as “you’re moving to a new home where you’ll be safe.” 
  3. Pack for your loved one. For someone with dementia, the process of packing up their belongings can be confusing and disorienting. Taking care of the steps involved in packing can relieve some of the stress of moving. 
  4. Make a plan for moving day. Although you may not have a lot of furniture and boxes to move, consider enlisting the help of a few friends or family members on moving day. That way, you can focus on navigating the new space and helping your parents settle in.
  5. Acknowledge your loved one’s feelings. Moving to a new place can be confusing for someone with dementia, and they may feel sad, upset or worried about the changes. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and let them know you’re there to help. 
  6. Meet caregivers and staff. As you spend time in the community, you’ll meet nurses, dining staff, activities coordinators and other team members. Make a point to introduce yourself and get to know the team members who will be assisting your mom or dad.
  7. Share your loved one’s story. Sharing key details about your parent’s life story can help team members find ways to connect with them. Talk with team members about your loved one’s interests, personal preferences, background and where they used to live and work, as well as a bit about their personality before having memory loss.
  8. Maintain a calm presence. Staying calm throughout the moving process can help everyone move forward with greater confidence.
  9. Help them feel at home. Adding personal touches can help your mom or dad settle into their new residence. Consider bringing some special items from home, such as family photos, familiar personal items and favorite artwork or decorations.
  10. Visit often. Regular visits from family and friends can help your loved one feel comfortable in their new home, especially in the first few weeks and months after moving.
  11. Get to know the neighbors. Encourage your parents to interact with other residents and enjoy the social aspects of living in a memory care community
  12. Participate in community activities. Enrichment activities for people with dementia can help create a sense of belonging. It’s a great way to encourage your loved one to continue exploring their interests and finding joy and purpose every day. Ask for an activities calendar so you can stop by and join in an activity with your loved one.

We’re Here to Help Ease the Transition to Memory Care

At Village Shalom, we’re passionate about helping people with dementia enjoy life in a safe and supportive environment. Our memory care community features private suites within a household model of care where residents have access to beautifully appointed community spaces and secure outdoor courtyards. Your mom or dad will have plenty of opportunities to spark their interests with 40+ hours of dementia-friendly programming per week. Contact us to schedule a tour or to learn more about our innovative memory care community in Overland Park, KS.