The confusion a person with Alzheimer’s disease experiences can be exacerbated when they move from a home they’ve grown to know and love to an assisted living environment. This change can be devastating if not done properly. Our experience has taught us there are ways to ease this transition – and to make their new living space comfortable, safe, and beautiful.
Points to consider:
- Make the space as similar to their current home as possible. A recognizable, predictable setting can make a huge difference in how quickly one adjusts to their new environment. When feasible, it is optimum to arrange the bed for familiar entry and waking visuals.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify! A cluttered room is overwhelming and can cause confusion.
- Surround the senior with items that hold significance. Research has shown that reminiscing can improve the mood and maintain memory of a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. Family photos, heirlooms, and favorite paintings can provide useful cues that help connect them to their past as their disease progresses.
- Familiar pleasing textures and fabrics, such as soft pillows and chenille blankets create comfort.
- Keeping the space well lit with lamps and natural sunlight will enhance dimming vision.
- Allow large, clear pathways between furniture items to ease use of walkers and wheelchairs.
- Items that orient the senior in terms of day, time, and place (such as calendars and clocks) can diminish confusion.
Now that you’ve made the difficult decision to move your loved one to assisted living, it is important to focus on creating a cozy, familiar home environment.