How to prepare to care for someone with memory impairment
a pile of boxes and things in the back of a minivan on moving day

In recognition of November being National Family Caregivers Month, The Brentwood Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center wanted to share some advice for families who are about to become live-in caregivers to loved ones who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Family Caregivers provide many aspects of emotions, finances, nursing, and homemaking to allow for their loved ones to stay in their own homes comfortably. National Family Caregivers Month allows us to recognize those that put hard work into supporting their loved ones throughout difficult times.  One of the most important things to remember when bringing a loved one into your home is to develop family roles.

Many times, there are multiple people in the same house acting as caregivers for a loved one. This brings forth a lot of change for families. Whether it be meal times changing, all hands pitching in or children having to sacrifice time with parents, everyone in the house needs to learn the roles they are going to play.

So, your loved one has been diagnosed with serious memory impairment and everyone has decided it’s time for them to move in with you…

Prepare Ahead

Before your family member moves in with you, it is important to sit down with the people you currently live with to discuss the changes that will be coming. When families are prepared for the changes, the transition can go more smoothly. If rooms need to be changed, sleeping arrangements are going to be different, or furniture needs to be moved around, it is important to do this before the person moves in to make for a smoother moving process.

Be Realistic

Families need to remember that many times when two households are combining, not everything will fit. By being realistic about the space in your home and where everyone will stay, you will ease the tension of all those around you whose lives are changing. Ask your loved one which items from their home are most important for them to keep and let them know how much can fit in the space. In addition, realize that this is a hard move for your loved one as well, so try not to make them leave everything behind; they will feel more welcomed and appreciated.

Respect Privacy

Everyone needs their privacy, including those with serious memory impairment. Living quarters may get a bit tighter, so it is important to have spaces in the home where people can go to unwind. Letting family members be alone for some time is important to keep everyone stress free.

Set Responsibilities

It is important to set family roles so that everyone knows their part and what they are responsible for doing. Someone may be the driver to doctor’s appointments whereas another makes their meals and another could be responsible for their medication. It is important that everyone in the household is on the same page to keep things running smoothly and make sure their loved one is getting the proper care necessary.

 

Alzheimer’s and Dementia are extremely life-changing diseases for both those diagnosed and their loved ones. Those who take on the care giving responsibilities will be taking on a lot in the future, but the patients will benefit from their love and support. Thank you to all the wonderful caregivers out there, we appreciate all that you do!


 

Brentwood LogoShoshanna Katzler of the Brentwood Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. The Brentwood Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center fuses the latest medical advances and technology with a comprehensive team approach that focuses on the entire individual – taking into account the overall emotional and physical well-being of every patient. The Brentwood is under the auspices of Marquis Health Services – a three-generation family-owned healthcare management firm that has distinguished itself by revolutionizing Subacute Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Facilities throughout the Northeast. Marquis Health Services has a proven track record of infusing facilities with new vitality, while leveraging the facility’s intrinsic strength and impact and establishing deep-seated relationships in the local community and with area hospitals.

Written by Guest Author
The Caregiver Space accepts contributions from experts for The Caregiver's Toolbox and provides a platform for all caregivers in Caregiver Stories. Please read our author guidelines for more information and use our contact form to submit guest articles.

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