Avoid Transfer Trauma: Top Tips for Helping a Loved One With Dementia Move Into a Care Community

Avoid Transfer Trauma: Top Tips for Helping a Loved One With Dementia Move Into a Care Community

A person helping their loved one move into Heather Glen Senior Living.

August 8, 2022

At Heather Glen Senior Living, we understand that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia at home can be incredibly challenging—and oftentimes, it can become more difficult as the disease progresses. When the time comes, it’s never easy to make the decision to move your loved one into a full-time care community, let alone prepare for moving day—which is why it’s crucial to know what steps to take once you’ve found the perfect place for them to call home

Choosing a top-rated memory care community like Heather Glen will allow your loved one with memory loss to truly feel at home while excelling and thriving in a comfortable environment—but it’s important to avoid transfer trauma (the stress that a person with dementia may experience when changing living environments) during the moving process. Continue reading for a few simple tips on how to make the transition of moving your loved one into a care community a smooth, streamlined and stress-free process. 

Set attainable goals

If your loved one doesn’t need to be moved into a care community right away, it’s best to move at a slow pace and not rush the process to make everyone involved feel as comfortable as possible. At Heather Glen Senior Living, we work with you every step of the way to provide the best plan of action for your loved one—and we understand the importance of taking your time during this transition. Once you’ve decided on an ideal move-in date, you can start planning out realistic goals to help this process feel less sudden and overwhelming for both you and your loved one. There are several important parts of moving a senior to memory care that can happen ahead of moving day—such as focusing on managing emotions, maintaining effective communication with your loved one and finding small ways to make new surroundings feel like home. 

Provide comfort and reassurance

Moving to a new location can be an emotionally turbulent experience for anyone—but it can be especially overwhelming for a loved one with dementia. During this process, it’s important to avoid unwanted anticipation and anxiety by comforting your loved one in any way possible. Complaints or dissatisfaction may be expressed, and your loved one may appear depressed, anxious or withdrawn. This is when your loved one needs your support and comfort, so it’s important to never dismiss a negative comment or attempt to reason it away and provide lots of reassurance—whether it’s through facial expressions, gestures or comments to show that you care and that they’ll be okay. In addition, the process of taking down pictures and boxing up beloved items only adds to stress and disorientation—so to minimize panic and outbursts, it’s best to pack for your loved one while they’re away or preoccupied with other tasks. 

Incorporate familiarity

Additionally, it’s a good idea to make sure your loved one doesn’t feel like they’re in a completely foreign environment once they’re moved into their community. The memory care community you choose will become your loved one’s new home, which is why it’s important to create a homey feeling from the start by incorporating familiar decorations and valued personal items into the space to make the transition less abrupt—and more adaptable. At Heather Glen, each memory care neighborhood offers ten private studios with private baths for you to decorate however you desire—and our therapy garden, group events and common areas ensure your family member will receive the utmost care and feel maximum comfort at all times. 

Be kind to yourself

While this process may be difficult for your loved one—there’s no doubt that it can become challenging for you as well. As hard as it may seem at the moment, it’s important to know that this will not always be so hard. Your loved one will get used to their new memory care community and will eventually love being there—especially at Heather Glen with our engaging programming, friendly residents, innovative services and personalized care. Above all, remember that you made the right choice for your particular situation and are helping to give your loved one the high-quality care and lifestyle they deserve at Heather Glen.

Choose a trusted community

The process of moving a senior to memory care is often full of unknowns, but it doesn’t have to be—and that’s proven true when you choose Heather Glen. With the tips listed above combined with our strong emphasis on supporting our residents and their families through this time—as well as the importance we place on frequent family visits and social interactions—your loved one will be able to feel at home in no time. 

At Heather Glen Senior Living, we place the happiness, comfort and advancement of our residents at the forefront of our mission—and our extensive expertise in caring for seniors with dementia provides them with the best care while providing you with the utmost peace of mind. If you’re interested in learning more about our top-rated memory care community and how we can help make your loved one truly feel at home, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (610) 841-4478 or fill out our online form today. Our team is here to help in any way we can, and we’re here to make the transition into our state-of-the-art community as easy as possible for not only your loved one—but for you as well. 

Ask Kim & Jessica