Six Tips for Helping a Loved One with Dementia Move to a New Home

By ALYSSA WINBERG

Helping an elderly loved one move to a new home can be hard in itself, but helping your loved one with dementia move can be quite an emotionally straining experience. Nevertheless, we must be strong and do what we can to help make the transition as easy and efficient as possible. Here are six tips for making the transition go smoothly.

Involve Them in The Process as Much as Possible

When deciding where is best for your loved one to move, ask them what they want. Is it best for them to buy a new home and have a caretaker? Would it make more sense to move to a senior living community but still have their own home? Would it be safest for them to live in a senior center and have built-in care?

Your elder may not be the one to make the final decision on where to move, but she can certainly decide which belongings to take with her. Let her feel in control and involved. Let her feel independent while also feeling like she’s not alone in the process.

Try to create the impression that she is in control, and you are there to assist her. You know her personality, so use your intuition to involve her as much as possible in the decisions.

If buying a new home is the right choice for her situation, contact a Seniors Real Estate Specialists® in your area.

Be Prepared for Emotions

Try to put yourself in their shoes. Imagine having dementia in the midst of a huge life transition. What a scary thought. It’s important to be patient and understanding during their hard times. If your loved one expresses fear or anger, try to validate their feelings. If it’s a parent, understand it may be hard, and don’t argue or disagree with them. Be the bigger person and acknowledge that this is difficult, but the move is for their well-being and safety.

It’s OK if you are emotional as well, but try to be strong for your loved one. Emotions during such a big change are natural and normal.

Move During Mid-Morning or Mid-Afternoon

As far as senior communities go, early morning tends to be the busiest time of the day. Choosing mid-morning or mid-afternoon will be less hectic for everyone involved in the move. Planning for a calm entrance is a good idea. Coordinating when exactly to make the move will make things more organized and eliminate some of the stress.

Make the Surroundings Feel Like Home

Whether they are moving to a new house or into a room at a facility, place familiar and special items around to make it feel more like home. Seeing her items around will help make the adjustment a bit easier. A few pictures and personal items can make a huge difference. Give her new home your magic touch, and she will be appreciative.

Visit Your Elder for Meals the First Few Days

Whether she is living in a new home by herself or with a caretaker or she is living in a seniors’ facility, it will mean a lot to her if you stop by the first few days or weeks in her new home. It will also give you peace of mind to see how she is adjusting. Phone calls are great, but nothing can replace human interaction from someone she loves. This will make the new adjustment easier for her. Make the time, and you will never regret it.

Stay Positive for Your Senior

Your loved one may have minor or severe dementia, but chances are she can still read your emotions and feel the vibes you send off. Try to keep a positive energy throughout the experience, even though the whole thing may be very hard on you as well.

Try to keep smiling, and stay calm on the outside, regardless of how you feel on the inside. Provide constant reassurance that this is a positive transition and that it will be great for your loved one. Positivity is contagious.

Helping a loved one with dementia move to a new home can be a hard and emotional experience. Mentally prepare yourself for the day, involve them in the process, and do what you can to be there for them. MSN

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