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A New Phase Of Life With Memory Care

A memory care facility can lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life for many patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Making the transition from home to memory care, however, can be fraught with anxiety and stress for families and affected loved ones. While everyone handles change differently, families can take active steps to prepare for a smooth transition and manage the intense emotions associated with the move.

Start a conversation as early as possible

Dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis can spur worrisome thoughts about the long-term outlook for patients and family members. Long-term memory care should be a topic of conversation at some point after a patient has processed the diagnosis. Discussing options before severe memory problems appear can ease the transition process and prepare everyone for the big day.

Choose a memory care facility

If possible, patients should be involved in the decision-making process of selecting the best memory care facility. Moving once is stressful enough. Families should seriously consider every aspect of a memory care facility to avoid a second transition. Some long-term assisted living facilities aren’t equipped to treat patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Visit the community

Families should schedule a tour with assisted living facilities to get a better feel of the grounds, rooms, dining area, activities area, and overall safety. Loved ones can also ask staff questions and observe or participate in community activities to get a taste of life in the facility. Visiting the facility a few times can breed familiarity and reduce the surprise factor.

Before move-in day

The days leading up to move-in day can be hectic and emotional. Patients should schedule a convenient time for the facility and family members leading up to the transition. Before the big day, loved ones should bring in a small collection of objects to make the room feel homier. Some facilities also offer transition programs for a gradual introduction into the memory care life. Finally, arm staff with any unique background on the patient to improve overall care.

Managing expectations and emotions

Individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may feel anxious, angry, or depressed before, during, and after the transition. Loved ones should consider that transition is a long-term process. Everyone needs different times to adjust, but having an open line of communication with staff members, friends, and the patient can lead to a better outcome.