Dementia is such an awful disease and almost every family I know has a loved one that is affected. Our family lost my husband’s mom this year to dementia.
Each week we are moving clients who can no longer to live independently due to dementia. We like for everything to go smoothly and for the client to transition into a home they feel comfortable in. Here are some tips we have found to make the move easier:
- Use their favorite items from their home in the new apartment. They are familiar, making them feel at home and able to easily find what they need.
- Take attention to detail to set up a very similar environment in the new home, including furniture placement and the location of the things they will be looking for.
- Wait to pack boxes and change the environment until the last minute because seeing boxes will just confuse them.
- Have a family member or friend take the client out for the day so that they do not see all of the work that goes into their transition and bring them back when it is complete so they can just walk into a new home where they recognize their belongings.
- Label new spaces in the home so that they know where to find things because they will not remember if we just tell them.
- Make lists of daily processes, like what they need to do to get ready for the day or what they need to do to get ready, and post them in the apartment.
- Make notes on the door to remind them of things they need to do or take with them before leaving.
- Set up a calendar where they can keep track of what day it is (crossing off days as they are complete) and what they have scheduled for the day.
- Walk the client through the new apartment, orienting them to the new space, and have a loved one spend time with them in the new apartment for the first couple of days to help them get acquainted with their new space.