As we age, some loss of cognitive function can be expected, but some may experience more severe memory loss, problem-solving skills, language loss and more to the extent that it interferes with daily living activities.
Dementia is a general term covering a range of disorders characterized by these abnormal brain changes, the most common of which is Alzheimers. I’ve added a link to Alzheimers Association website below in case you want to learn more.
When it comes to moving a person who is dealing with dementia, there are specific considerations we keep in mind to make the process as easy as possible for all involved. Moving can be stressful and emotional at the best of times, and more so when there are cognitive issues at play.
New faces, more noise, the hustle and bustle of a move can all be over-stimulating, overwhelming and confusing for someone suffering with impaired memory and understanding. For this reason, plan ahead well in advance so you can start the downsizing and organizing process with plenty of time to spare.
One thing we always do when planning a move of someone suffering with dementia is to ask about any particular habits, rituals, favorite items that are used every day etc. We’ll do our best to maintain these rituals and familiar items through the move so as to minimize any disorientation. This could be as simple as making sure a favorite armchair is in the same position in the new room.
As much as you are able, keep the person being moved involved in the process, giving them the opportunity to make decisions and participate where there is the flexibility to do so. No-one wants to feel like they’ve been ‘tricked’ into something they didn’t agree to.
Think ahead to move day and what will be least disruptive to the person being moved. Perhaps you can organize for your loved one to spend the day with someone they’re familiar with while you handle the logistics of the move. Just keep in mind that there can be a lot happening on the day itself, so make sure you and they are prepared.
Of course as a Dementia Friendly organization, as well as a certified member of the National Association of Senior & Speciality Move Managers (NASMM), Consider It Done is well-equipped to deal with the very specific needs of this kind of move, and we’re always happy to discuss your specific scenario and see how we can help.
If you or someone you know is dealing with dementia-related challenges, just know there are resources out there that can help. I’ve listed just a few below:
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Service (ADRS) with IU Health
Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
Alzheimer’s Association Helpline
Family Caregiver Alliance
I hope you found this information useful. If there are other topics you’d like me to discuss in a future newsletter, please reach out and let me know!