Moving a loved one to a dementia care facility can be an exhausting and emotionally challenging process. Your first few visits may be uncomfortable. Your loved one may be angry with you or you may feel guilty. The most important thing to do is to allow yourself some bad days. You and your loved one will need time to adjust to this new living situation. Transitions are usually easier to manage when you know what to expect and how to help a loved one feel more at home. The first step is to meet the staff at the facility and discuss the move with them. They have helped many people transition into their facilities and will often know exactly how to help you. Their support is always made available to you so do not be afraid to lean on them.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
It is vital that the family discuss all their concerns regarding the move, this may include whether it is the right decision, what backup do you have if there is a medical emergency at home, are you still able to care for your loved one at home, does your name drop to the bottom of the waiting list if you decline the room that is being offered and what is the waiting period more or less until another room will open up at the dementia care facility. It is vital to consider your own life after the move, especially if you are the primary caregiver of the person with dementia.
Set up a meeting first
Your loved one may feel more comfortable with the move if they have visited the dementia care facility beforehand. If your loved one is willing and able to be part of the selection process, involve them. Take them to the care facility to meet the staff and see where they will be living. This helps reduce any shock on the actual move in day.
Creating a comfortable environment
You can help your loved one feel more comfortable by bringing the comforts of home to the dementia care facility. Try to recreate the mood and ambiance of home with your loved one’s personal belongings such as their favourite furniture, family photographs, collectables or whatever else they may enjoy. Keeping the mood as positive as possible also helps.
Visiting on a regular basis helps with the transition and your relative will see you still love and care about them. You can monitor your loved one’s progress and be actively involved in care decisions. We put together an informative article about visiting your loved one with dementia when they don’t remember you.
Allow time for the settle-in process
Families are always anxious once their loved one has moved; it is vital to allow your loved one enough time to become comfortable within their new environment. At Livewell we usually give the new resident at least three months to settle in. Families will always look to their loved one for confirmation that they have made the correct decision, just remember that your loved one with dementia will have good days and bad days. Ask the care facility to provide regular feedback and when visiting, rather spend time at the facility than taking your loved one out for the day – it will make the goodbyes and transition easier.
About Livewell Estates
Our mission at Livewell is to provide the best service, care and match for you and your family. At Livewell, our highest commitment is to the individual. We combine specialised care with warmth and a luxurious environment, and we adhere to regularly monitored global best practices. The result is a community that encourages dignity and meaningfulness in the lives of our memory-care residents. If you would like to find out more about our Estates in Somerset West or Bryanston, get in touch with our team today.