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August 21, 2019

Making the Transition to Memory Care

What happens next?

By Summer Matchett, MSW

Caregivers making the transition to memory care often experience many challenges. It can be exciting and scary to have new care partners for your loved one. Yet, what happens next? We know many caregivers who have gone through this transition. So, we’ve shared some helpful tips below.

Making the Decision

If you’re considering a memory care facility, your mind is probably juggling a million questions. You may be wondering how often you should visit or if your relationship will change. Keep in mind, there are no right answers. This transition looks different for everyone so be kind to yourself.

The decision to move a loved one from home to a memory care facility is often faced with difficulty. Since it is a change surrounded by all sorts of emotions, it can be hard to come to a conclusion. Friends and family may tell caregivers that moving their loved one will provide a relief from stress. Although, this isn’t entirely true. The reality is that caregiving continues in a different way after placement and the stress doesn’t disappear completely.

There are unique stressors for taking care of a person at home versus taking care of a person in facility.  Caring for someone at home can be extremely difficult because the majority of the responsibility tends to fall on the main caregiver.  On the other hand, moving someone into a facility spreads that responsibility among many people. This can be a positive improvement, especially for the caregiver’s health. Yet, it can also be very difficult losing full control and adjusting to a new normal.

Caregivers may worry that their loved one will be isolated, mistreated or not get the appropriate attention. They may also question whether their loved one will miss them or be lonely. If you feel this way, you are not alone. Consider attending one of our Support Groups! It’s a wonderful way to connect with caregivers who can relate and understand.

Making the Transition to Memory Care

It’s no easy feat to surrender trust to other care partners. However, it could be crucial to your well-being. If you are struggling, speak with the facility management and staff about your concerns. We encourage caregivers to seek time for themselves. Utilize the time apart as a chance to rejuvenate. This may allow caregivers the opportunity to emotionally prepare for their next visit. Although the time apart may seem odd at first, it can be a gift.

Take time to assess your unique situation. Most importantly, do whats best for YOU and your loved one. We want you to know it is OK to allow someone to share the care with you. You are already doing more than enough! If you need support along the way, consider using one of our services. They are available to you regardless of where your loved one lives. We are always here to help you throughout you and your family’s journey.

Click HERE to learn more about Alzheimer’s Project services.

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