It can be very difficult to accept that your mother or father’s dementia has reached a stage where they need professional care. But once you come to grips with the fact that it’s time to move your parent into an assisted living facility, you naturally want the process to be as smooth as possible. Most of all, you want them to live in a place that will keep them as safe, comfortable, healthy and dignified as possible.
If you have never gone through this before, finding the right facility and moving in your parent can seem confusing, especially if you only have limited time to do it. Here are four tips for helping your parent enter this new stage of life.
Begin the discussion as soon as possible
Despite being diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, your parent could still be in the early stages. They might still be able to live at home and help make decisions about their future. Letting them have at least some control over the plans can make the eventual moving day less surprising and upsetting. It also gives both of you more time to pick out a suitable facility.
Visit ahead of time
If there is time, bringing your parent to visit the facility a few times before move-in day can help the transition. It will help the place feel more familiar and less alien to your parent.
Move during their best time of day
Dementia’s symptoms can be more or less severe depending on the time of day. Many patients do best from late morning to early afternoon. They tend to be calmer and in more control then. This could be the ideal time to make the move.
Bring along some favorite items
Space will be limited in your parent’s new bedroom, but there should be space for at least a few things to help them feel more at home. A favorite chair, framed art, a CD player and other things can help with the transition.
Along with helping your parent with the transition’s emotional and psychological implications, there is figuring out how to pay for it. Working with an elder law attorney can help you understand your options.