How to Ease a Loved One’s Transition to Memory Care in Tennessee

Posted on December 15, 2023

You know that transitioning your parent or loved one into a memory care community is best for them, but you still have doubts. You may be asking yourself questions like, “Will my mother understand what is happening?” or “How will my father react to moving into a new environment?” You may even feel sad about the upcoming transition.

These mixed emotions and concerns are normal to experience. It’s essential to acknowledge your feelings, as well as those of your loved one, and talk openly and honestly.

Our team at The Pavilion Senior Living understands how challenging the decision and process of moving your parent or family member into a memory care community can be. We proudly offer memory care services in Lebanon, Carthage, and Smyrna, Tennessee, and we are sharing some tips to help ease the transition.

Educate Yourself about Memory Care

Before making any decisions, it is crucial to understand what memory care entails. Research different memory care communities in Tennessee, their services, caregiver and team member expertise, and the level of care provided. This knowledge will help you make an informed decision and choose the right community for your loved one.

What Are the Benefits of Memory Care?

Specialized Care and Expertise

Memory care communities are equipped with professionals who are trained in understanding and managing the specific needs of residents with cognitive impairments. This level of expertise ensures that residents receive the best care possible.

Memory care team members are skilled in adapting to the unique challenges that dementia presents, from managing behaviors to providing activities and routines that stimulate memory and cognitive function.

Safety and Security

Safety is one of the most significant concerns for families of individuals with cognitive impairments. Memory care communities in Tennessee are designed with the safety and security of residents in mind. They have secure entrances and exits to prevent wandering, which is a common symptom of dementia.

Additionally, residents are monitored to ensure they are not exposed to unsafe situations, providing peace of mind for families who may worry about their loved one’s well-being.

Individualized Care Plans

Each resident in a memory care community receives an individualized care plan tailored to their unique needs and preferences. This personalized approach ensures that the care provided is not one-size-fits-all.

From medication management to daily activities, residents are treated with respect and dignity, taking into consideration their history, interests, and current abilities.

Maintaining Independence

Memory care communities are designed to support residents in maintaining as much independence as possible. While cognitive impairments may limit certain aspects of daily life, memory care caregivers are trained to encourage and assist residents in performing activities of daily living to the best of their abilities. This fosters a sense of accomplishment and self-worth, which can significantly improve residents’ quality of life.

Social Engagement and Companionship

Isolation is a common issue for individuals with cognitive impairments and their caregivers. Memory care communities provide a social environment where residents can engage with peers and neighbors. Social activities and communal dining encourage interaction and companionship, which is vital for emotional well-being.

Involve Your Loved One

Include your loved one in the decision-making process as much as possible. Discuss the options and reasons for memory care and try to address their concerns. They may be apprehensive about the move, so taking their feelings into account is crucial.

Maintain Routine and Familiarity

As much as possible, try to keep a routine that your family member is familiar with throughout the transition process. This can include mealtimes, sleep and waking hours, activities, and visits from family and friends. Consistency provides a sense of stability and benefits individuals living with dementia.

Reduce the Surprise Factor

Feeling comfortable in a new environment or with new circumstances can drastically ease the situation. It is the unknown that typically causes anxiety. To help ease your loved one’s move into memory care, reduce the surprise factor as much as possible.

Take a tour of the community with your family member. Attend events and participate in activities held at the community before move-in day. By doing so, you are familiarizing your loved one and yourself with the new environment.

Additionally, talk about your loved one’s new home, but refrain from making comments that may cause anxiety. Simply talk about what you enjoyed about your tour or the new friends you met at a community activity. Speak of it as “home.” This will make it feel more like home when the move happens.

Make it Feel Like Home

Just like referring to your family member’s new memory care community in Tennessee as home will help it feel as such, there are other ways to cultivate this feeling. Bring sentimental items, such as family photographs, to decorate their apartment. Speak with team members in the community and ask what restrictions are in place in reference to furniture. If your loved one has a favorite chair or something similar, and if the community allows it, bring it with you on moving day.

Filling your loved one’s new space with familiar items will help them feel more comfortable and at home in their new surroundings.

Keep Your Family Member Out of the Moving Chaos

Moving is stressful for anyone, but this process may cause unnecessary anxiety for your loved one. Keep them out of the chaos of packing and moving as much as possible. If possible, take advantage of respite care services at your family member’s new community. Not only will this help them get familiar with their new home, but it will also grant you time to handle the packing and moving duties without causing your loved one additional stress.

Provide as Much Information as Possible

Get to know the caregivers and other team members at the community well before moving day. We encourage you to share as much information about your loved one with them as possible, such as their personal and medical history, likes and dislikes, and other key elements of their personality.

This will help to form quality relationships between your loved one and the caregivers before the transition, easing anxiety and helping everyone to feel more comfortable.

Create a Support System

Reach out to other family members or support groups and organizations that specialize in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. These groups can offer advice, share experiences, and provide emotional support during the transition.

Visit Often

Make an effort to visit your loved one regularly. Frequent visits can help maintain your relationship with your family member and provide emotional support. It also reassures your loved one that you have not abandoned them in their new community.

Be Patient

Understanding that your loved one may experience periods of confusion, frustration, or agitation is vital. Patience and empathy go a long way in helping them adjust to their new environment.

Finding Memory Care in Tennessee

The Pavilion Senior Living offers compassionate, person-centered care delivered by specially trained caregivers. Within a safe, secure environment, our memory care communities in Lebanon, Carthage, and Smyrna provide activities that encourage engagement, connection, and social wellness.

Our memory care services include:

  • Specialized programming
  • A secure living environment
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • Caring and supportive team members
  • Medication management

Throughout the process of transitioning a loved one into memory care, it is important to remember that you are making the right decision for their safety and well-being.

To learn more about the memory care and senior living services we offer throughout Tennessee, visit our website or contact a member of The Pavilion Senior Living team.

Updated: December 2023

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