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Helping Your Loved One with Dementia Adjust to Change

Navigating through dementia can be difficult for the family members of the person diagnosed. Many family members have to learn a whole new way of communicating effectively with their senior. This can be challenging, especially when a senior living with dementia moves to a different living community. There are many different reasons families choose to move their loved ones, but many choose to do so in order to give their senior as much support and high-quality care as they need. A change in lifestyle can be a hardship for any senior, but especially those who suffer dementia. If your loved one has just moved, or is anticipating a move, here are some helpful tips to ease the transition:

Keep your senior’s new surroundings as familiar as possible. It’s difficult to adapt to any change, but when dementia patients are taken out of their normal routine, adapting to life changes can be an incredibly hard challenge. Taking some of their favorite mementos and belongings with them to their new home. Familiar pictures, bed covers, clothing, or furniture can do a lot to soothe feelings of anxiousness and confusion.

Get to know the staff at the new facility. Being able to meet the staff who will be caring for your loved one will help you get a better sense of the support and care that’s being offered. It’s also important for the staff to get to know your loved one. Don’t hesitate to tell the staff a few things about your senior, so they are able to establishing a connection. Reviewing your senior’s medication list, expectations, and needs with the new staff and health care team is significant in any type of transition, whether it’s from a retirement community to assisted living, or vice versa.

Help your senior establish a new routine. It’s helpful to give your senior time to get used to their new daily schedule. Make sure you senior has all the information they need to get involved with their new community. Taking them home with you every few days, may slow down their transition. It will be difficult for the whole family, but give your senior time to adjust to their routine before taking them out.

Encourage participation in activities and events hosted by their new facility. Many communities offer activities for their residents to get involved and socialize with others. Sometimes these activities are hosted on the campus grounds, while other times residents will have the opportunity to go on trips and outings like seeing a play or going out to lunch. Make sure to ask for the activity information during your senior’s move in and encourage them to try something new. This will help foster feelings of belonging in their new community.

What’s helped your senior transition into a new community?