We fully understand that making the decision to move your husband/wife to a memory care community is not an easy one. As a caregiver, you may feel you are doing everything possible to provide for your loved one at home. However, there often comes a time when both of you would benefit from a move to dementia care.
Signs It May Be Time for Memory Care
Your loved one with dementia isn’t safe at home. The main reason to consider a move to memory care is when there are simply not enough resources to safely care for your spouse at home.
You’re getting burned out. “Burned out” is an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of difficult situations for care partners. You may become physically exhausted because of your loved one’s needs and your own health may be suffering. Or…you may just be emotionally worn out, socially isolated, and basically feel “out-of-touch.” Guilt also contributes to burnout. If you’re locked in a cycle of feeling stressed out, angry, or poorly equipped to care for your loved one, and then feeling guilty for having those thoughts, it’s definitely time to consider dementia care.
Your loved one with dementia is bored. When your loved one is constantly following you around, asking what you are going to do, they need more stimulation. At The Classic, we have numerous activities specifically planned for people with dementia and your loved one can be with others who are in a similar situation. Ultimately, it’s about your loved one having meaning and purpose in his/her day. You shouldn’t feel badly if you aren’t meeting their needs any longer. Caregivers can be so burdened that the person with dementia at home is getting very little or no stimulation and their decline may be even faster.
Tips to Make Your Spouse’s Move to Memory Care Easier
1. People with dementia who do not want to move permanently can sometimes make the transition more easily if you tell the individual the move is temporary and for a practical purpose. For example, you might say he/she needs to be out of the house while it is being painted, or…that they have go somewhere where some aspect of their health can be properly taken care of for a while.
2. Typically, families will make arrangements, select and decorate the new room or apartment in our memory care community. You can work with our staff so that everyone is on the same page of the script. Once your loved one is engaged in our community, they often accept things as a permanent situation.
3. Keep your tone joyful. As hard as that sounds, try to bury whatever guilt feelings you may have. It may be difficult to use “loving lies,” but keep in mind that telling your loved one the truth can be unnecessarily hurtful.
4. Once your spouse has moved in, make your first visit short and sweet. Keep the conversation really positive. He/she will likely ask you repeatedly when they are going home. Avoid telling them that they are living here now, rather divert them by talking about the potential of new friends, fun activities, or food.
5. Stay in touch with our staff. If our staff indicates that your loved one is agitated after your visit, you may want to give him/her more time to adjust before resuming regular visits. At The Classic, we are here to help your loved one’s transition to Memory Care. Ultimately, the decision about moving to dementia care should be a team decision by involving the person with dementia, your family, and your doctors.