At the best of times, moving can be chaotic and stressful. You have to be an organizational wizard to keep everything on track and on time. Moving to a new home for a senior with dementia is even more difficult. It takes more time and involves thoughtfulness and tact.
Below are some tips to help make the move easier.
- If possible, have your loved one visit their new home before moving. It’s always best if they have at least some say so on where they are going to live. Meet the people who live there and those who work there. Look around and point out things that your family member may like or find interesting. Make sure that it is comfortable and has a homey atmosphere. No one wants to feel that they are being shipped off to an institution.
- Bring along as many of your loved one’s favorite things as you can. If they have always used a certain quilt on their bed, make sure that their bed still has their favorite quilt. The same goes for books, pictures and other items that are important to them. Try to make their new home look familiar to them. This is extremely important with dementia patients as they can easily become disoriented.
- Visit frequently, especially in the first few months. Your loved one doesn’t want to feel that they have been left somewhere alone with strangers. They need familiar people around them at this time and a sense of security. As they become used to their new home you can visit less frequently but first make sure they have others to spend time with and talk to.
Moving a senior family member with dementia is difficult on the whole family. Many family members feel guilty, even when they’re aware that they can no longer care for their aging parent. Find the best new home you possibly can for them and work with their caregivers to make them as happy as they can be.