For aging adults, fear and anxiety often surround the transition to assisted living, especially memory care. While memory care offers distinct benefits for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, older adults often worry about making friends, adjusting to their new living space, and not seeing their family as often.
After you’ve had the conversation about your loved one moving to an assisted living facility or memory care unit, there are several things you can do to ease their transition and adjustment to their new home.
The Benefits of Assisted Living and Memory Care
Assisted living communities can help improve the quality of life for many older adults. With the help of staff and caregivers, your loved one will receive personalized care and hands-on help with activities of daily living (ADLs). With assistance comes independence—your family member can live freely with the comfort that medical care and assistance are nearby if needed. Assisted living facilities also offer social events, allowing members to make new friends and get involved with the community.
Memory care offers the above benefits, as well as a few unique to those with dementia or Alzheimer’s:
- Physical safety
- Medication administration
- Improved nutrition
- Constant supervision
- Appointment coordination and transportation
Tips for Moving to Assisted Living or Memory Care
Although transitioning to an assisted living community or memory care community can be difficult, there are ways to make it easier. Depending on the community, visitors aren’t typically recommended for the first few weeks. During those weeks, encourage your loved one to get acquainted with the new community and their living space.
Tour the Community
Before moving your family member into the community, tour and visit it a few times. Getting your loved one acquainted with the space before they move in can help ease the anxiety of the unknown.
Help Them Downsize
While your loved one’s comfort is a priority in their new community, their living space will likely be smaller than their previous home. As such, they’ll need help downsizing, which can be especially difficult if they are experiencing memory issues. As you help them sort through their belongings, be patient and go slow.
When it comes time to move in, help your loved one, and consider enlisting the help of other family and friends. Use familiar decorations to make it feel like home.
Meet Neighbors and Staff
Every person that you or your loved one meets could become a close friend. The same goes for the staff and caregivers. As you help your family member move in, encourage them to get acquainted with the staff and introduce themselves to their neighbors. These new connections will encourage socialization and help them get more comfortable in their new home.
Get Involved in The Community
Any good assisted living community offers social events for your loved one to enjoy. These might include games, exercise, sing-a-longs, movies, and more.
Encourage your loved one to take advantage of these events. Social wellness is an important aspect of your loved one’s overall health, especially for residents in memory care.
Take Advantage of Fitness Opportunities
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital for aging adults. Assisted living communities provide recreational activities to engage residents and improve their physical and mental health.
Acknowledge the Difficult Parts
It’s a great idea to shine a light on the positive aspects of living in an assisted living community. However, your loved one will have concerns, and it’s completely okay to acknowledge and talk through them. This will help you and your family move through the transition process.
The Good Shepherd Community is here to help guide your loved one’s transition to assisted living or memory care. Schedule an appointment to receive a tour or visit our community.
Our memory care has limited room. Contact us today to learn about our availability!