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How to Get a Parent Into Memory Care

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A senior woman standing beside her daughter outside.

Memory support provides 24-hour care and services to improve the quality of life for older adults with cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. When a senior has difficulty with the activities of daily living(ADLs), they can benefit from the customized support available at a memory care community.

Getting your parent into memory care can be challenging when they need more care. Many seniors want to age in place, but it may not benefit their health, safety, or wellbeing. Making the transition to memory support begins by researching, discussing, and planning.

Researching Care Options

Finding a place that meets your expectations starts by setting your expectations. Researching your care options can help you decide on must-have services, activities, or care options. It’s also an opportunity to prepare yourself or your parent. After knowing more about the community, available services, and amenities, you’ll be better prepared to discuss the transition with your parent.

Schedule a tour to learn about the residence, including amenities and the community. Then, ask questions about everything. The staff will be happy to answer all your questions and have answers that satisfy your concerns. For example, if you know your parent loves tea time or can’t live with puzzles, ask if the facility supports those activities.

It’s also helpful to make a list of questions before you call the facility or schedule a visit. The more you ask, the more you’ll understand their services and how they may affect your parent’s quality of life. Some typical questions you may ask include:

  • What are daily activities like?
  • What are meals like?
  • What is your waitlist policy?
  • What medical services are available?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio?
  • What types of events are common?
  • How do you measure resident satisfaction?
  • How many community members live in the residences?
  • What training does the staff have?

Whether you’re looking into memory support for the immediate future or somewhere down the line, it’s crucial to start asking questions. Your first choice may have a waitlist. Knowing their unique guidelines, expectations, and timeline for accepting new residents is essential for getting your parent into memory care.

A son talking to his senior father about the transition into a memory care community.

Discussing the Move with Your Parent

Discussing the transition to memory care can be a challenging conversation. However, it should be a conversation, not a command. Welcoming questions and explaining the move can help your parent feel heard and respected.

If you’re nervous about what to say, you may write a script to follow or create a list of talking points. For example, you might talk about socialization opportunities, improved safety, or the activities they can join. Focus on the benefits of memory care and frame the move as “for now,” not “forever.” 

Choose the right setting, time, and company. Have the discussion where your parent feels most comfortable and when they’re most alert. For example, an older adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s is more likely to respond to a morning discussion.

Consider inviting others, such as immediate family members or close friends. Another option is enlisting the help of your parent’s primary doctor. Hearing multiple trusted voices expressing their support can help your parent see why the move to memory care is beneficial. 

However, you know your parent best. If a crowd is overwhelming, limit the group to a few or one-on-one.

Discuss at your parent’s pace. You may not hit every talking point or explain every amenity available. Give your parent time to ask questions and avoid exhausting them. They may become agitated or say no to the move. Be prepared for resistance, but remember why the transition is best for your parent.

Moving Into Memory Care

After researching a community and choosing a residence, the final step is moving into memory care. Moving can be stressful for anyone, so developing a moving day plan is essential. Being prepared can help make the process easier for everyone.

Your moving day plan should start before the actual day. In addition to moving furniture and precious items, you’ll also need to introduce the idea to your parent.

If the move involves downsizing, you may need to begin packing and sorting. First, determine what you need to donate, sell, store, or move into your parent’s new residence. When there’s a lot to sort through, ask for help! It might be a chance to stroll down memory lane with family members.

Ask if the memory care residence offers moving assistance or if there’s a service they recommend. They’ve done this before, and they want the move to be successful. Whether you receive advice or direct support, having experts on your side can help you and your parent. 

Also, check if the residence has a unique way of welcoming new community members. Your parent might be moving away, but your support still matters. You might be able to join a fun welcoming event or help make your parent feel more at home.

Ask Us About Memory Support

Serenity South Senior Living in Enterprise, Elba and Troy is a welcoming community designed for your loved one’s safety, comfort, and wellbeing. When it’s time to move your parent into memory care, contact us. We’re ready to share how we can make your parent feel at home. Schedule a visit today!

Written by Deborah Shane

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