Searching for an Alzheimer’s facility? Do you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease? You aren’t alone. In just this year, 1.75 million people aged 65-74 are struggling with Alzheimer’s, and caregivers feel helpless to care for their loved ones. Finding an appropriate residential care setting may be what your loved one needs to thrive.

Deciding to transition your loved one to an Alzheimer’s facility isn’t easy. But you can take steps to make the transition easier for you and your loved one. Look at these seven steps to transitioning your loved one to an Alzheimer’s senior living facility like Parsons House.

1) Include Your Loved One

Living with Alzheimer’s disease is difficult. But that does not mean your loved one shouldn’t be included in the decision to move to a facility that will better help them deal with their disease. Discuss the need to transition to an Alzheimer’s facility with your loved one, involving them as much as possible during the decision-making process.

Chances are your loved one already feels helpless about what is happening to them. But allowing them to be a part of the decision-making process of transitioning to an Alzheimer’s care facility is vital to helping them feel like they still have some independence.

2) Do Plenty of Research

Chances are you have heard plenty of nightmarish stories about moving family and loved ones into a residential living facility. Sure, there are some less-than-ideal elderly care institutions out there. But not all residential living facilities are run this way.

This is why it is extremely important to do your research about which Alzheimer’s facility would best suit your loved one’s situation. Some things to look for in a good facility include:

  • A compassionate mission statement
  • A good location
  • Engaging amenities
  • A cost that works with your budget
  • Raving reviews and testimonials
  • An inviting community
  • Caring and compassionate staff

3) Attend Some Activities

Mark your calendar and plan on taking your loved one to attend some activities at the Alzheimer’s facility you have chosen. Your loved one will become more familiar with the environment, making the transition less stressful.

Plan on attending lunches, dinners, or events the facility is hosting. The facility you choose should be welcoming to the idea of allowing you and your loved one to visit beforehand. They will also have a chance to become familiar with the community.

4) Does Your Loved One Need a Transition Program?

Sometimes a loved one with Alzheimer’s needs care more immediately. The need for quick action is where a transition program to an Alzheimer’s unit comes into play. The facility you have chosen should offer a transition program in the event that your loved one needs more immediate care. The best way to find out about these programs is to talk to the facility staff to determine what kind of program they offer.

A good transition program will allow a gentle transition to the new facility without your presence. These programs are set up to make your loved one feel more comfortable and to aid them in the transition process.

5) Wait to Announce the Move

Moving to a new home can cause a lot of anxiety and distress under normal circumstances. A person with Alzheimer’s disease will struggle with it more than an average, healthy adult. Make the transition to a residential facility easier by waiting until just before the move to let them know they will move to a new home. Don’t even include them in on packing.

Waiting to tell your loved one that they are moving may seem harsh or distasteful, but in the end, it will make your loved one’s transition go much more smoothly. Causing unnecessary stress over the long term will cause more problems than benefits. Waiting until the last minute to tell your loved one about the move to their new home will help to keep your loved one calm.

6) Make the New Home Feel More Familiar

Bring some of your loved one’s items to their new home to help create a familiar environment. Try adding photos to the wall, line the shelves with their favorite knick-knacks, move in their favorite couch or recliner, and bring along their favorite blankets and pillows.

Moving to an Alzheimer’s care facility does not have to be scary, especially when you make sure your loved one has their favorite (and familiar) items surrounding them.

7) Take Care of You

You may be feeling guilty, stressed, and saddened about moving your loved one into an Alzheimer’s facility. It’s only natural to feel this way. The best thing you can do is to ensure that you also take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Be sure and take some time for yourself. There are a few things that can help.

Get Plenty of Rest

Take a weekend to unwind, binge-watch your favorite show, and take a bubble bath. Sometimes a little R&R is all you need to get through this difficult time. Practicing good sleep hygiene will also help you deal more easily with difficult emotions.

Be Sure to Engage in Healthy Self-care

Remember to take care of yourself. Sometimes when we experience difficult times, we forget to do the most basic self-care rituals, like taking a shower or brushing our teeth. If you find yourself really struggling, consider seeking counseling or a caregiver support group.

Go Out With Friends or Other Family Members

Take some time to get out of the house and spend some time with friends or other family members. Go out for lunch or engage in some fun activities. Sometimes, getting out of the house is good for the soul.

A Smooth Transition Is Key

A good Alzheimer’s facility will help create a smooth transition for you and your loved one. It should help you transition your loved one to the appropriate level of care from the very start. If you have a loved one ready to transition to an Alzheimer’s care facility, contact Parsons House to discuss what they can offer your loved one.