Having a relative with Alzheimer’s is heart-breaking. It can be difficult to see someone struggle to remember simple faces and places they love, and it can become increasingly more difficult to take care of that person unless you are able to watch them at all times. For people who cannot do this, there are facilities that can ensure your loved one is always safe and cared for. One of the worries people have placing a loved one with Alzheimer’s into care is how to make the transition easier. We have some ways to make this happen.
1- Involve Your Loved One
One vital thing to do to make the transition easier is to involve your loved one in all discussions. This will give them a sense of control that they would not feel if you make all the decisions for them. Give them choices of locations, if at all possible, so that they can decide where they go live. If your loved one is not well enough to make this decision, then the next best thing is to not tell them about the move too much in advance. This will only stress your loved one without adding any benefits to the transition.
2- Bring Items from Home
Another great way to make the transition into care is to bring as many familiar items from home as possible. If the care center allows you to bring their bed, then do so. If not, bring the pillows and sheets so that your loved one will feel right at home. Try to stage the room in a familiar way, as well, keeping ornaments and trinkets on the same tables where they were at home. This may seem like a simple thing, but providing your loved one with these small comforts can make a huge difference in how they adjust. You should also consider bringing things that smell of home, like the same cleaning supplies or scented plug ins your loved one is used to. Anything they have a strong connection with, even if it seems silly to you, needs to accompany them to the care facility.
3- Communication is Key
Staying in touch with your loved one is vital. They will be disoriented at first, and will need the stabilizing influence of a loved one. Let them call you as much as they need to and be sure to reach out to them yourself. Communication will allow them to have an anchor that they can depend on. Once the person is more stable and more used to their surroundings, call times can be established so that there is a set time to add routine to their lives. The care facility will be sure to help with this. We recommend that for the first couple of days, you go in person to the facility to ensure that they are doing well and that they are getting used to their new surroundings.
It is difficult to part from a loved one even if the care facility is minutes away from your home. You will worry about them and even feel guilty about not caring for them yourself, but you have to understand that all of those feelings are normal. You have done the best possible thing for your loved one. By taking into consideration these three tips, the transition into Alzheimer’s care facilities can be much easier. Do everything possible to involve them into the process and be sure to bring as many familiar things to the facility as possible. By doing this and staying in constant touch with your loved one, the transition will be a very successful one.