Residential care for seniors

Deciding to move a loved one into residential care for seniors, especially when dealing with dementia, can be overwhelming for both you and your loved one.

The key lies in managing this transition with compassion, understanding, and a well-thought-out plan.

Switching to residential care for seniors with dementia requires a blend of preparation, patience, and compassion.

By understanding and anticipating your loved one’s needs, you can help mitigate the stress of the move and support them in settling into a happy and fulfilling new chapter of their life. Join us as we walk through each step designed to help you and your loved one during this significant change.

Preparing for the Move

Preparing for the transition involves more than physical arrangements; it’s about ensuring emotional readiness for you and your loved one. Creating a checklist of needs and preferences can serve as a solid foundation for this next chapter.

Planning Ahead

Transitioning to residential care begins long before moving day. It’s about involving your loved one in every decision to the extent their condition allows.

Use this time to sort personal items. Items with sentimental value, like photos or a beloved quilt, should make the move, too, providing comfort and a sense of familiarity.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Don’t overlook the importance of handling legal and financial aspects well in advance. This includes setting up or reviewing existing power of attorney arrangements and ensuring you meet all financial obligations.

Making the Transition Smoother

Transitioning to a new living environment, especially for individuals with dementia, often comes with its share of challenges and emotions. Understanding what to expect and employing strategies to ease this transition can impact the comfort and well-being of your loved one.

Expect Emotional Reactions

Having dementia is stressful. It’s scary not to know where you are. It’s unnerving to be unable to recognize what or who is in front of you. Knowing you can’t keep up with loved ones’ conversations may feel embarrassing.

So, of course, it’s natural for seniors with dementia to experience a range of emotions during their move to dementia care. Feelings of confusion, anger, sadness, or even fear are not uncommon.

These reactions are part of the process. Pay attention and recognize them so you can respond with empathy and patience. Stay calm, provide reassurance, and remind them they are safe and surrounded by caring people.

Familiarity Breeds Comfort

Before the move, arrange your loved one’s room to mirror their previous living arrangement. Bring favourite furniture, photos, and personal items to help stimulate memories and foster a sense of belonging.

Simple things like their favourite blanket or a well-loved piece of art can provide immense comfort amid unfamiliar surroundings.

The Importance of Routine

Routines offer a crucial sense of stability and security for individuals with dementia.

Work with the senior care team to establish a daily routine that mirrors their previous schedule as closely as possible. Regular meal times, activities, and bedtime can reduce anxiety and help your loved one adjust to their new environment.

Leveraging Social Opportunities

Residential care facilities have plenty of activities tailored for people with dementia.

If your loved one brightens up when listening to music, make sure they attend musical events. If they are happier surrounded by people, make sure they spend plenty of time in the common area with other residents.

Encourage your loved one to participate in activities and events to engage their interests and abilities. These interactions can boost mood, improve cognitive function, and foster a sense of community.

Preparing for Setbacks

There may be days when your loved one feels disoriented or desires to go “home.”

During these moments, show extra compassion and reassurance. Remind them of the reasons for the move and highlight the positive aspects of their new home.

Caregivers know how to de-escalate, distract, and redirect. Trust in their expertise to help your loved one through any setbacks.

Communicating With Caregivers

Caregivers may take some time to adjust to as-needed medications, special diets, or preferred activities. Be patient and communicate with them about your loved one’s habits, likes, and dislikes to help provide personalized care.

This knowledge enables caregivers to offer personalized care and engage in meaningful interactions, making your loved one feel understood and valued. They’ll get to know your loved one, but you can help nurture that relationship by being proactive.

Supporting Your Loved One After the Move

After settling your loved one into their new home, the focus shifts to nurturing their emotional well-being and ensuring their comfort in this new stage of life. Stay involved, visit regularly, and communicate with your loved one and the care team.

Establishing Visitation Patterns

After the move, regular visits can help your loved one adjust. They also offer opportunities to engage with the care team and discuss any necessary adjustments to care plans. Seeing familiar faces helps maintain a connection with their previous life, aiding their adjustment to the new environment.

Adjusting to New Routines

The transition isn’t just a physical move. It’s about adapting to a new lifestyle. Patience is key as your loved one settles into new routines and care settings.

Taking Care of Yourself

Remember, this transition is also challenging for you. Seeking support through counselling or caregiver support groups can provide relief and valuable advice. Taking care of your well-being helps you be there for your loved one.

Residential Care for Seniors

Transitioning a loved one with dementia into residential care is a big step. However, careful planning and support can lead to a better quality of life for them.

Retirement Concepts may be a great fit if you’re looking for compassionate, comprehensive residential care for seniors across Canada. We offer a network of care facilities designed to meet the complex care needs of seniors with dementia. We invite you to request an appointment today to discover how we can support your family through this transition.

Request an appointment with us at Retirement Concepts and take the next step toward peace of mind for you and your loved one.