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Preparing for a Loved One’s Move to a Memory Care Community

Transitioning someone you love to a memory care community is an emotional experience. You might feel uncertain about the journey ahead, and your loved one might be confused or agitated regarding this change. 

“Even if you planned ahead with the person for a move, making this transition can be a stressful experience. You may feel guilty and wonder if you are doing the right thing… Keep in mind, that regardless of where the care takes place, the decision is about making sure the person receives the care they need (alz.org).”

At Bella Groves, we partner with individuals and families to provide the highest level of dementia care and education. From helpful resources and personalized consulting to our residential memory care community in San Antonio, we are here for you through every step of your journey with dementia.

As you prepare for a loved one’s move to memory care, here are some things to consider.

Conversations Around the Need for Memory Care

Regardless of cognitive ability, moving is a significant change. For those living with more advanced dementia who may no longer be able to make decisions on their own, discussing the need for memory care will take patience and empathy. 

Avoid telling Mom or Dad they need more help. If you try to convince them they have to move because they are unsafe, this may only increase their confusion. For instance, saying something like, “Your house is no longer safe for you, so you’re moving to a new home,” might make them wonder what happened to their home. Why isn’t it safe?

One way to make the change feel less overwhelming for a person living with dementia is to use the phrase “for right now.” This can make the move seem less permanent and, therefore, less frightening. 

Familiarize Your Loved One with the Community

Before the move, take the time to introduce your parent or loved one to their new environment. Show them pictures of the community, share information, and discuss the programs and activities they can expect. 

If possible, visit the community regularly beforehand and spend time gradually familiarizing them with the space, team members, and residents.

Packing & Downsizing

Moving can especially be turbulent and disorienting for a person living with dementia who has become used to the routine and familiarity of their home. Taking down photos and packing away treasured belongings may cause added stress. To minimize confusing or upsetting moments, try to find times to pack when your parent is at an appointment, sleeping, or visiting with friends and family. 

Personalize Your Loved One’s New Space

Aside from the moving process, the way you decorate your loved one’s new living space in their memory care community can make all the difference. 

Ask team members if you can start to incorporate some of your loved one’s items and belongings into their new living space before move-in day, if possible. This can ensure that when your loved one arrives on their first day in their new community, they’ll be greeted by the homey touches that provide a sense of familiarity and comfort. 

Connect with Community Team Members

Once your loved one moves into their memory care community, the team members will play a vital role in your loved one’s care and quality of life. They’ll also serve as a support system for you and your family. That being said, make a point to introduce yourself to team members and get to know them beyond their names and titles. You will also want to ask how the community will communicate and stay connected with you. Some questions to bring up may include:

  • “How will you help my Mom settle into the community after move-in day?”
  • “What opportunities do I have to come and visit her?”
  • “Do you have a specific update process? Should I expect daily or weekly communications?”

At Bella Groves, we do more than simply “take care” of residents. We are building a community of kindness, support, vitality, and unconditional joy. Every member of our Bella Groves team has a personal connection to dementia and a passion for helping individuals and families navigate this chapter of their lives. 

We help families impacted by dementia find unconditional joy. Please reach out to us for more tips and support as you prepare to move a loved one to a memory care community in San Antonio. We would be honored to help you.

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