Jul 27, 2020 12:18:00 AM | 3 Min Read

Tips for Helping a Senior with Dementia Move

Posted By Vista Springs
Tips for Helping a Senior with Dementia Move

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia at home can be difficult, especially as the disease progresses. Families frequently turn to Memory Care Communities for assistance. Relocating an adult with dementia can be problematic and cause many seniors to feel transfer trauma. 

Understanding Transfer Trauma 

Move-related “transfer trauma” occurs whenever a person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia moves from their familiar environment. Its effects are highly personalized in terms of their severity and duration. 

For example, some individuals with dementia might experience substantial transfer trauma during a move, while others might exhibit only minor emotional discomfort. For some, the stress can last for weeks, while for others, it can last for only a few days.

It is highly important for caregivers to understand and recognize the stress of a move. If not addressed quickly, seniors can be prone to chronic anxiety, the risk of depression, and other emotional health problems.

Plan Ahead

By planning ahead and letting your loved one help choose their senior community, you can ensure the move is what your loved one wants—even if they don’t remember and can’t convey that right now. By allowing them to feel involved in the decision, you are reducing their risk of getting transfer trauma and allowing them to ease into the new environment.

Include Your Loved One As Much As Possible

By allowing your loved one to participate in day-to-day decisions and which items they want to bring to their new home, will help them feel more independent. It will also allow them to feel confident in their new environment.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Our loved ones often mimic our attitude in situations. If you seem anxious, full of fears, and doubtful, they may mimic that behavior. Try to stay positive and upbeat throughout the transition. Additionally, as you tour communities, point out all the great amenities they will enjoy.

Be Patient

Patience is key during any new lifestyle change or process. It often takes at least 4-6 weeks to smooth out many of the wrinkles your loved ones encounter in the first week following move-in. It takes time for the community to establish an ideal care plan for your elder and for your elder to adjust to their new surroundings.


Making the transition into Memory Care can be emotionally difficult, both for the one experiencing it and for the family members. Please communicate any specific concerns with our staff. We greatly appreciate any chance we have to ease this transition for you and your loved one.

Topics: Dementia & Alzheimer's, Memory Care

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