How to Make a Loved One’s Memory Care Apartment Feel Like Home

memory care

When it’s time for your loved one to transition into a memory care community, it can be an emotional time for your family. Moving to a new place can feel uncertain at first, but it’s important to remember that your chosen memory care community is the ideal location for your loved one to receive the care and support they need. 

Familiarity is essential to dementia care, especially during the middle to late stages; it can also help ease this transition for your loved one by promoting a sense of security. By making their new living space feel as familiar and comfortable as possible, you’ll be able to create a home-like environment and make this change feel less scary and overwhelming. 

Peaceful Pines Senior Living features exceptional memory care communities throughout South Dakota that tailor personalized care plans to each individual and family we serve. Here are some tips for making your loved one’s memory care apartment feel more like home. 

Select Familiar Items

Start by choosing meaningful possessions that your loved one cherishes. These could be family photos, favorite books, cherished artworks, or a beloved blanket. Personalized decorations, such as wall hangings or quilts made by family members, can also provide a sense of familiarity and connection.

Tip: Make sure these items are durable and safe for the environment they’ll be placed in. Glass frames or fragile ornaments may not be suitable.

Create a Comfortable and Safe Environment

Consider the comfort and safety of your loved one when arranging the furniture and ensure ample lighting in every part of the room to prevent falls. When arranging the furniture, ensure everything has been set up in a way that promotes easy accessibility and movement. For example, having a cluttered furniture layout can make it difficult for your loved one to navigate around their living space. 

Tip: If your loved one uses mobility aids, consider their ease of use when arranging the space. For example, ensure there’s enough room for a walker or wheelchair to move freely.

Incorporate Sensory Elements

Sensory stimulation, like comforting scents, calming sounds, and tactile objects, can trigger memories and comfort those living with dementia. In fact, sensory stimulation is often used as a form of therapy in dementia care. 

Consider using diffusers with familiar smells, such as a favorite perfume or lavender. Music or recorded sounds, like the chirping of birds or a familiar voice, can also be soothing. Additionally, tactile objects like a soft blanket or a knitted sweater can provide sensory stimulation and comfort.

Tip: Always ensure sensory objects are safe and non-disruptive to others in the community. For example, any music or recorded sounds should be kept at a low volume that only your loved one can hear within their space.

Ensure Accessibility and Ease of Navigation

Clear pathways and decluttered spaces can help prevent accidents and promote independence. In addition, labels and signs can help your loved one navigate their space more comfortably as well.

Tip: Regularly review the room setup to ensure it continues to meet the resident’s changing needs and abilities.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overcrowding the space: While it’s important to include familiar items, be mindful not to overcrowd the space. This can create confusion and increase the risk of accidents.
  • Choosing inappropriate or unsafe items: Not all familiar items may be suitable for memory care communities. Items that are fragile, have sharp edges, or small parts that could be swallowed should be avoided.
  • Ignoring personal taste or habits: Consider your loved one’s personal preferences and lifestyle habits when setting up the space.
  • Neglecting accessibility needs: Consider your loved one’s mobility and cognitive abilities when arranging the space. High shelves or heavy doors may present challenges.

Creating a home-like environment in a memory care apartment is a process that requires thoughtfulness, understanding, and ongoing adjustment. However, the comfort and familiarity it provides your loved one is well worth the effort and will ease this transition. 

Remember, each person is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. Always keep your loved one’s needs, preferences, and safety at the forefront of your decisions. By doing so, you’ll create a space where they feel at home, easing their transition and enhancing their quality of life.We invite you to contact our Peaceful Pines team to learn more about our memory care communities in South Dakota.

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