6 Tips for Moving Someone with Dementia

By Mary Clipp, MBA-HC, Business Development Specialist, Independence Village of Greenwood | | 10.14.22

As the effects of Alzheimer’s or dementia become more severe, you may begin to consider transitioning your loved one to a memory care community with programs specifically designed to meet their evolving needs. There are many ways that you can make the moving process easier for your loved one as they adjust to a new routine and space.

1. Do Your Research

When researching and touring communities, ask a lot of questions about the services offered.

Questions about the quality of care, dedication of the staff and more will help you get to know the community better. Knowing your mom or dad is being cared for by a highly equipped, compassionate team of professionals will make you feel confident in choosing a memory care community.

2. Lean on Others for Support

As a child of someone in need of memory care, you just want to do what’s best for your parent. Being the decision maker can be a tough job but remember: You are not alone.

Health care providers can be a great resource to help guide you through the process and explain the move to your loved one. Trust their knowledge and expertise and lean on care providers whenever you’re feeling unsure.

3. Personalize Their Space

Moving offers a great opportunity to reduce clutter and downsize your loved one’s space. Because many people with memory loss experience decision-making impairments, it may be best to not include your loved one in the planning and moving process.

Does your parent have a favorite collection of trinkets? Maybe they’ve always had the same family picture hanging up in their home? Be intentional with items you choose to pack and pay special attention to those that are significant to your loved one and will help them feel at home.

4. Move During Your Loved One’s Best Time of Day

If possible, schedule your family member’s move to coincide with their best time of day. If you’ve noticed that your loved one struggles most around sundown, plan to arrive at the memory care community earlier in the day. This will allow your loved one time to settle into their new space while they’re at their best.

5. Share Your Loved One’s Story

Memory care community staff are the experts in caring for people with memory impairments, but you are the expert on who your loved one is. Help the staff to get to know your family member by sharing their passions, likes and dislikes, hobbies, favorite stories, and more.

6. Schedule Visits

Keep in mind that it will take some time for your loved one to adjust to his or her new surroundings and making regular visits can help to ease them into the transition. However, there is a balance of how often you should visit to allow your mom or dad the opportunity to adjust on their own. Trust the community’s care staff and their advice for the best days or times to visit.

About the Author:

Mary Clipp, MBA-HC, is the Business Development Specialist at Independence Village of Greenwood and sister community, Independence Village of Avon. Prior to joining Independence Village, she spent eight years with WGU Indiana creating partnerships with hospitals and health care facilities throughout the state. In her current role, Mary fosters professional partnerships within the senior living industry to educate on what Independence Village offers and supports families in their move to the community.