Transitioning Loved Ones to Dementia Care Facilities

Father and daughter bondingThere are lots to consider when you’re preparing to transition a loved one to a dementia care facility. The team at Cotter House Worthington wants to provide tips for each part of the process to ease the process.

Knowing When It’s Time to Transition

The sometimes slow progression of cognitive decline can make it hard to know when to move a senior loved one to a dementia care facility. Here are some common signs to consider.

  1. Diagnosis: A recent diagnosis is your cue to start considering healthcare options. An earlier transition to memory care will benefit everyone, especially your loved one because they will have a chance to give their input.
  2. Physical decline: Poor hygiene, bumps, bruises and falls may indicate an increased cognitive decline. Weight loss is also common as seniors begin to forget to eat meals. And since memory loss affects a person’s internal clock, your loved one may appear lethargic because they can’t maintain a sleep schedule.
  3. Lack of socialization: People with memory loss often forget names, faces and interactions. They’ll likely avoid social situations and withdraw from family and friends.
  4. Caregiver burnout: Consider your mental and physical health as well. Caregiving becomes a full-time job, and you’ll face increased stress, weariness and anxiety.

Moving A Loved One to Dementia Care

Do your research: Talk to your loved one about their expectations and what kind of services they need before you begin your search. Dementia care facilities offer different medical services, activity programs, amenities and treatment options.

Visit the facility before the move: It’s important to introduce your loved one to their memory care facility before they make a move. Participate in activities and tour the facility to help familiarize seniors with their environment.

Pick a good time: Timing is everything during the moving process. Schedule the move during the part of the day when your senior is at their best. Maintain their normal routine during moving day to limit the feeling of disruption.

Lean on the staff: The managers and counselors are there to support you and your loved one during this challenging time. They can explain processes to your senior and clear up any confusion.

Adjusting to New Surroundings

It will take time for your loved one to get used to their new surroundings, even if you’ve prepared them for the transition.

Here are some things to remember after a move:

  • Talk to the staff about introductory programs and ways to ease the transition to dementia care.
  • Schedule regular visits to help your loved one, but don’t take them for outings until they’ve adjusted to their surroundings.
  • Work on building connections between the staff and your loved one.
  • Listen to your loved one’s feedback and give them time to express their emotions.
  • Don’t be ashamed. Allow yourself time to adjust to the new living situation and cope with your feelings too.

Our dedicated team is available to support your loved one during their transition. Schedule a virtual tour of Cotter House Worthington, the premier Alzheimer’s and dementia care community in the Columbus area.