Growing old is inevitable. The unfortunate truth is that many elderlies will experience some form of illness or condition which weakens their body or mind, such as dementia. In 2019, about 3% of adults in the U.S. aged 70 to 74 had dementia.
What comes with this are major life decisions that you need to ponder, one of which is the practical option of moving a parent with dementia to assisted living.
Multiple factors play a role here—your line of work, the people living in your home, expenses, and others. If you’re unable to stay at home more often, it may be time to consider transferring your parent to an assisted living facility. It’s a tough decision, but it may be the best way to ensure their safety.
Here are some tips to help you in your decision to move your parent with dementia to assisted living.
If your parent is in the early stages of dementia, it may be smart that you initiate talks about moving into an assisted facility. The longer you prolong the thought, the harder it will be to determine the next course of action since your parent may not be able to comprehend the situation if their dementia gets worse.
Having conversations about the move early can smoothen the process and ease preparation. It will provide you with more time to research and prepare the necessary items when moving day comes.
Part of the research process involves finding a suitable living community that can handle dementia patients. You don’t want to choose just any place. Knowing that the facility specializes in taking care of dementia patients will put your mind at ease and ensure that your parent is in good hands.
However, what makes a suitable facility? You can look at their capacity, resources, caretakers, and services. These are just some factors that determine how credible a facility is and if they suit your parent’s needs.
Moving to a new home will require you to visit the place. You need to know the location, people, and amenities to ensure that the area fits your lifestyle. The same can be said when moving your parent to an assisted living facility—you need to explore what the community offers and how safe it is.
Depending on your parent’s level of dementia, you can opt to bring them along. This will allow them to get familiar with the location and help you decide if it’s the right place to move in.
One of the essential steps in familiarizing yourself with the facility is getting to know the people working there. You don’t want to leave your parent under the care of someone you don’t know. Talking to the caregivers gives you an idea of how they are as a person, how they work, and their methods for taking care of patients.
This process revolves around establishing a relationship between them and your family, which can also be beneficial long-term. You will have people you can trust in the community, and you know whom to contact if your parent needs something. Both sides form a team to provide your parent with a comfortable environment.
Time matters on moving day. You don’t want your parent to move into their new home when the caretakers are busy or when the weather is bad. You want this process to be easy for your parent, so coordinate with the caregivers on the best time to move.
Additionally, you want to schedule a time when your parent feels more comfortable. You don’t want them to wake up too early or leave too late since they may already be tired. The best time is around late morning or early afternoon.
Moving into a new place can trigger some anxiety because of the uncertainties that come with it. You may think your parent will require a lot of things, but it’s their personal belongings that are the most important. You not being at the place can easily cause them stress, so providing something familiar can help them relax.
Depending on your parent’s level of dementia, having too many items can also be detrimental. Their memory loss can easily confuse and cause them stress, so the priority is to give them what they need.
Moving your parent to a dementia care facility is never easy, but your priority is their safety and health. If you or your family cannot look after them, moving them may be the best choice.