Dementia is a progressive cognitive disorder that can make multiple aspects of daily life more difficult. In many cases, an illness or injury is the catalyst for families to decide their loved one needs additional support, companionship, and medical monitoring.
As your loved one’s condition declines, you may decide to move them into your home, where you can look after them and help with their daily needs. But because a change in surroundings can be so distressing for someone with dementia, you have many considerations to make beforehand.
Taking Dementia Patients out of Their Environment
Relocating can be challenging for anyone, but especially for people with cognitive and memory problems. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia might make your loved one unable to recognize that it is no longer safe for them to live independently.
When talking to your loved one about the upcoming move, be honest and provide as much information as possible. Trying to force or trick them might make them agitated and suspicious, and they may not adjust as well as someone who has had a role in the decision-making process.
Relocation Stress Syndrome and Dementia
Depending on their ability to participate, giving your loved one some choices and control over their situation can make moving easier. Still, do your best to gauge their mood – too much responsibility can be stressful. If your loved one becomes noticeably anxious, angry, or confused when you bring up the topic of moving, back off and save the conversation for another day.
Empowering your loved one to make necessary decisions is a way to respect their dignity. Involving other trusted family members, friends, religious leaders, or medical caregivers can help the discussion go more smoothly. In some cases, you may even find it reduces your loved one’s stress to tell them that their doctor has recommended the move.
Tips for Moving Someone With Dementia
Since moving can be so stressful, it’s a best practice to move a person with dementia when they are alert and aware. It is often more comforting to arrange your loved one’s possessions for them and have everything in its place before introducing them to the new space. You may want to take the person on a day trip or outing while other family members complete the move.
It can be disorienting for someone with memory issues to find themselves in different surroundings. Familiar objects such as a favorite easy chair, souvenirs, or photos can encourage your loved one to settle down more quickly in their new environment. Labeling different areas or things within each room can help them become familiar with the layout of your home.
Compassionate Dementia Home Care in LA and Beyond
Moving someone with dementia into your home will require changing your lifestyle and daily routines to accommodate their needs. For example, you must be available to take your loved one to medical checkups, which may mean coordinating your work schedule with your employer. You must also anticipate what your parent or grandparent might require as their condition progresses, such as helping them bathe and eat. If you are not comfortable providing this level of care, you need to find someone who can.
At Legacy Homecare LA, we provide premium in-home care for dementia clients. Dementia can take various forms, and our Care Companions have extensive training on each type. As your loved one’s illness progresses, our knowledgeable Los Angeles caregivers will seamlessly adapt to their changing needs, providing additional support as necessary. When you reach out to ask about compassionate care for your family, our team is happy to answer any questions you have.