For adult children, having a conversation about moving to a memory care community with their parent or parents can be extremely challenging. Often, children delay having the conversation until after a crisis because it can be intimidating and uncomfortable.
However, putting off the conversation can be risky for the wellbeing of someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Looking for a community in the Dallas area can be a lengthy process as you want to make sure you find the right fit for your loved one. If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, now is the time to begin this important conversation. Here are a few strategies to help ensure your conversation about memory care communities is empathetic and productive.
Have realistic expectations.
A single conversation is probably not going to solve the problem. Unless there is an emergency, expect that this topic is going to be ongoing over the course of several conversations. Especially so if you and your loved one have not previously discussed the possibility of moving to a memory care communities.
Do your research and visit on-site.
Before talking with your loved one, it’s important to have a base of knowledge about memory care communities. Being well-informed about the benefits and features of different communities in your area means you’ll be able to better answer their concerns and questions. Take time to do your research, and even consider scheduling an on-site visit before you begin the conversation with your loved one.
Put yourself in their position.
Before opening up the conversation, think about how you’d feel if you were in their situation. Your loved one may have lived in their home for decades, and leaving can be very emotional. Putting yourself in their shoes can help you have more empathy and compassion going into the conversation.
Your loved one living with dementia may have some fears and may even believe some myths about memory care communities that you’ll need to help them overcome. A common myth is that all residents must participate in the activities of the community every day. Another is that residents give up their privacy and independence. These myths can make your loved one resistant to any change. Thorough research of memory care facilities will give you a background of knowledge and accurate information you can share with your loved one to help alleviate fears.
Lastly, remember the losses your loved one has already experienced. Along with their health declining, they may have lost a spouse or child. They may have had to give up driving. Leaving their family home can seem like another major loss.
Keep these strategies in mind as you begin this difficult conversation with your loved one.