5 Tips for Moving a Senior with Memory Loss

Posted at Jul 13, 2016 |

5 Tips for Moving a Senior with Memory Loss

Moving a senior loved one who has memory loss to an assisted living community is one of the best ways to keep them safely engaged with life. Senior living communities like The Brook Retirement in northern Michigan know how to provide the support they need while still encouraging the older adult to maintain their independence.

But the transition can sometimes be a little bumpy. Moving from a familiar home to a new environment can take a little extra planning when a senior has memory loss.

Making a Smooth Transition to Assisted Living

Here are a five ways you can help ease the transition:

  1. Work with Caregivers: Before moving day arrives, help the community’s caregivers learn a little more about your loved one. Document their hobbies, interests, family members, and past career to share with the staff at the senior living community.
  2. Re-Create their Home Environment: People with memory loss benefit from being in familiar surroundings. Plan to create an environment at their new senior living community that looks like home. It might be by bringing their favorite loveseat or chair with them, hanging framed family photos in their new apartment and by bringing their favorite linens. Whatever looks and feels familiar to them may help ease moving anxieties.
  3. Reminiscence Board: Another tool used in dementia care programs and senior living communities is to put together what is called a Reminiscence Board. It can be as easy as printing out family photos and gluing them on to foam board you purchase at the craft store. Label each photo with the name of the family member and how they are related. This provides caregivers at the community with a great resource to starting conversations when they are getting to know your loved one.
  4. Structured Days: Working with the staff at the assisted living community to create meaningful activities for your aging loved one can help to reduce anxiety in the early days after this transition. Review the community’s life enrichment activity calendar and look for programs you think your family member would enjoy. Doing so helps the caregivers quickly get to know your senior loved one’s hobbies and interests.
  5. Encourage Visitors: Our final tip is to encourage familiar faces to visit during this time of transition. While it is important not to get in the way of your loved one making new friends and participating in life enrichment activities at the community, you also don’t want them to feel abandoned.

You can view a sample Activity Calendar for The Brook Retirement Communities to get a better understanding of what vibrant senior living is truly like in northern Michigan!

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