April 21, 2023 - Memory Care
How to Move a Parent with Dementia to Assisted Living?
Watching your parents progress from losing their keys, forgetting their address, and getting lost in their own city due to dementia can be difficult. As their symptoms progress, independent living may not be possible as their need for supportive care grows.
Along with the typical range of emotions that comes with making the change, those with dementia may be further stressed by the transition. Moving your parent with dementia into an assisted living community needs to be handled delicately to help them feel secure.
When’s the Best Time to Move Your Parent with Dementia?
There’s no perfect time to move your parent into assisted living; every family is different. Some want to begin the process early so that parents can participate, and others may manage caregiving on their own until the parent’s needs exceed the level of care they can provide.
Moving your parent can be disruptive and increase their confusion because of the lack of familiarity. Transfer trauma, the stress a dementia patient can experience when moving into a new environment, can be a temporary effect. However, if their safety is at risk, a move to assisted living should be a priority.
Choose a Community Specializing in Memory Care
Memory care is designed for seniors with dementia with specially trained staff who offer higher degrees of care. Peregrine Senior Living’s memory care goes beyond fulfilling basic needs and personalizes your parent’s care to keep them fulfilled and mentally stimulated.
Dementia patients typically struggle most with short-term memory. By engaging with their long-term and most enduring memories, your parent can reminisce about their favorite moments through music, photographs, art, and more.
Removing yourself from the caregiver role and reconnecting with your parent as their child can reinforce your connection and help you enjoy your time together.
Visit the Communities Before Moving
Depending on where your parent is in their diagnosis, they may be unable to participate meaningfully in the transition. If they’re having good days or are in the early stages of dementia, visiting their new community a few times can help them gain a sense of familiarity, find points of comfort, and let them get to know the staff and other residents.
A move to assisted living comes with feelings of mourning, loneliness, and adjustments, but by exposing your parent to their new community early, you can help ease the transition.
Bring Their Favorite Things
Moving your parent to assisted living often includes considerable downsizing. There’s a balance between bringing their favorite things and causing hazardous clutter. Bring familiar pieces that comfort your loved one, like the blanket they use daily, the armchair they always sit in, or their record or music player.
Playing their favorite music during the move can help ease stress in your parent. You can also use comforting, familiar scents to make the space feel like home or play a classic movie on the television as you set up their new room.
You may need to make these decisions without your parent. If you ask them which items they want to bring, it can cause stress and agitation in your loved one. Talk to the staff at your assisted living community for guidance if you need clarification on what to bring.
Take Advantage of Support Networks
The staff at Peregrine Senior Living can help support and educate you throughout the process. As the team gets to know you and your parent, we can help them settle in and learn how to support them best.
Every senior’s adjustment period will be different, and it’s normal for your loved one to go through a mourning stage. Choosing Peregrine Senior Living’s memory care gives you access to an expert team who will make the moving process as minimally disruptive as possible for your parent with dementia.
Learn More About Memory Care
Even if you’re still comfortably caring for your loved one with dementia, contact our team for resources on beginning the transition to assisted living early. In the beginning stages of dementia, your parent can learn about the process alongside you and become comfortable with the future transition to Peregrine Senior Living’s memory care communities.