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Relocating a Family Member Living with Dementia: A Relative’s Guide


Elderly man sat with home carer in the garden drinking tea

Caring for a family member living with dementia is an emotional, demanding, and often complex journey. As a relative you are familiar with the unique challenges that each day brings, from managing behaviour changes to looking after their safety and wellbeing. 

Sometimes, however, the need to relocate a loved one with dementia arises, and this transition introduces a new set of challenges and decisions. It’s often a key point where we find our clients turn to us here at Access Care for help. 


Who is this guide for?

This guide has been created for relatives who are thinking about or in the process of relocating a family member with dementia.  This includes those considering a private carer to help support their loved one at home, or maybe relocating to a new location that has less hazards and is more dementia friendly.  This guide is also useful for those making enquiries about alternatives to residential care, offering insights and practical advice to smoothen the path ahead.


Staying at home with support

Most people living with Dementia would prefer to stay in the comfort of their own home. Familiar surroundings are comforting and there is often a support network of friends and family locally. 

With full-time Dementia Live-in care support, you are provided with 24-hour live-in care focused on your individual needs. 

Our bespoke Live-in care service ensure your relative is able to enjoy a high quality of life. Also tailoring the service can help your relative feel like they are maintaining control and choice to live as independently as possible.

This approach involves selecting a dedicated live-in caregiver, often referred to as a home carer or private carer, who live-in and care for individuals living with dementia. This might include personal care such as bathing, showering, dressing, and undressing and general support with your personal appearance. It can also include support with domestic duties, mobility and medication, through to preparing and cooking meals and even pet care. 

For our Clients with Dementia, we look for Live-in Carers who ideally have advanced experience of caring for clients with Dementia.


Moving into a new location

If you are considering moving a relative into a new location (not a residential facility) for reasons such as moving them closer to you, in part of your own home or staying with other relatives, then live-in care for dementia could be the perfect support option for you. It can help share and support you with the new care responsibilities. 

  • Live-in care for dementia is a compassionate and personalised solution that brings professional care right to the familiar surroundings of their new location. 

  • At the heart of this service is the commitment to maintaining a sense of continuity and security, crucial for those navigating cognitive decline. 

  • The live-in caregiver becomes an integral part of the household, delivering not only assistance with daily activities but also fostering emotional well-being through companionship.

With live-in dementia care, the live-in caregiver plays a pivotal role in supporting the transition to the new location and caring for the unique needs of the individual. From assisting with personal hygiene and medication management to creating a stimulating routine and helping them feel safe in the new environment. The live-in caregiver is dedicated to enhancing the overall quality of life for the person under their care and helping them feel settled in their surroundings. 

For families seeking a comprehensive and private caregiving approach, live-in care stands as a very valuable option that prioritises both the practical and emotional aspects of dementia care.


Moving to a Residential Care Home

You may decide that instead of live-in care in your relatives own home, that residential or sheltered living may be the best option for them.  

A residential care home for a relative with dementia offers a structured and supportive environment, shared with others and designed specifically for individuals living with cognitive decline. 

In this setting, professional caregivers, well-versed in dementia care, provide 24-hour assistance, ensuring a secure and nurturing atmosphere. The advantages of a residential care home lie in the specialised care it offers, with trained staff adept at managing the unique challenges associated with dementia. 

The communal living setup fosters a sense of community among residents, potentially alleviating feelings of isolation. Additionally, these care homes typically provide various stimulating activities tailored to the cognitive abilities of the residents, promoting engagement and social interaction.

In a residential care home, individuals with dementia benefit from a routine-driven approach that enhances predictability and minimises confusion. Moreover, the environment is often designed with safety features to prevent accidents, and trained staff can respond promptly to emergencies. 

Families seeking a comprehensive and professionally managed solution for dementia care may find residential care homes to be a suitable option. While the approach may differ from the more private at-home care, and the relocation process being potentially more disruptive - the specialised nature of residential care homes and support teams on hand can contribute significantly to the overall well-being and quality of life for individuals navigating the complexities of dementia.


Understanding Dementia and its Unique Challenges

Understanding dementia is the first step in recognising the hurdles it presents, both for those diagnosed and their caregivers. 

Dementia is not a specific disease but an umbrella term encompassing a range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, cognitive function, and the ability to perform everyday activities. 

Living with dementia is a journey marked by challenges that profoundly impact daily life. 

Dementia is a progressive condition that affects cognitive function, memory, and the ability to perform everyday tasks. With this in mind, live-in care agencies like Access Care are acutely aware of the intricacies involved in providing support for individuals with dementia. 

Our experience has shown that the disease often brings a host of challenges, such as communication barriers, difficulty with familiar tasks, and changes in behaviour. Recognising these challenges is essential in delivering the compassionate and specialised care needed to ensure the comfort and security of your loved ones, be that from a home carer or a residential care worker.


Types of Dementia and it’s impact

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, characterised by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, leading to the gradual deterioration of nerve cells. 

Other forms include vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia, each with distinct features and underlying causes.

As dementia progresses, individuals often experience memory loss, difficulties in problem-solving, and changes in communication skills. Behavioural changes may also manifest, including mood swings, agitation, and a withdrawal from social activities. The impact of dementia extends beyond the individual, affecting their relationships and the dynamics within their immediate community.


Acknowledging there is no cure

Understanding dementia involves acknowledging that it is a progressive condition with no known cure. The rate of progression varies among individuals, and early diagnosis is crucial for effective management. While dementia predominantly affects older adults, it is not a normal part of ageing, and younger individuals can also be diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

For relatives and particularly those that span the roles of relative and live-in carers, witnessing a loved one navigate the complexities of dementia can be challenging. It requires adapting to evolving needs, providing consistent support, and fostering an environment that promotes both safety and emotional well-being. 

Educating oneself about dementia is a vital step in this journey, enabling family members to comprehend the changes their loved ones are experiencing and respond with empathy and patience. 


Leading a meaningful life

Despite the substantial challenges posed by dementia, individuals living with the condition can continue to lead meaningful lives with the right support and understanding. It is a collective effort involving caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the broader community to create an inclusive and compassionate environment that respects the dignity and humanity of those affected by dementia. 

In this complex landscape, knowledge and empathy become powerful tools in fostering a supportive atmosphere for individuals and their families navigating the intricate terrain of living with dementia.

Living with dementia is an ongoing struggle with cognitive decline and related challenges. For caregivers, every aspect of daily life is affected, and providing care for someone with dementia often becomes a full-time responsibility. The decision to relocate a loved one living with dementia is often riddled with guilt, anxiety, and a profound sense of responsibility, but it needn’t be - these days there are lots of options, such as 24 hour live in care, and there will be one that is the right fit for you and your relative.



Recognising the Need for Relocation

Deciding to relocate a family member living with dementia is a critical and complex decision. There are several signs that could indicate that a move to a new living arrangement may be necessary:

  • Increased care needs: As dementia progresses, your loved one may require more assistance with daily activities. If their current living situation doesn't support their care needs (such as too many stairs, the location not suitable etc.), relocation may be the best option. 

  • Concerns about their safety: Dementia can cause confusion and forgetfulness, leading to hazardous situations. If you find your loved one in unsafe conditions often, it may be time to consider relocation.

  • Caregiver burnout: The responsibility of caring for someone with dementia can be overwhelming. If you as the caregiver feel unable to cope, it's a strong indicator that a new living arrangement needs to be explored. Be it hiring a private carer to give 24 hour live in care, or moving your relative to a residential facility, there will be an option to suit everyone.

  • Social isolation: Your loved one's mental and social wellbeing is as important as their physical health. If they are increasingly isolated and don't have proper social engagement in their current setting, moving them to a more social environment could be beneficial.


Preparing for the Big Move

Relocating a loved one with dementia is not a decision that can be made lightly or executed quickly. It involves careful planning and coordination. The first step is acknowledging that you may need to begin the search for appropriate live-in care support or living situation.


Research and Selection

When researching potential dementia care support or living arrangements (such as home care), consider:

  • The care they require: Determine the level of care needed and choose a location or facility that can meet those needs. Some may require specialised dementia care, while others may need 24-hour live in care.

  • Location: The proximity to family is important for visits and maintaining social connections. Consider whether a familiar environment or a new community is the best choice for their overall comfort and happiness.

  • Community resources: Look into the availability and reputation of local care agencies, support services and programs that can enrich their daily life and provide you with additional support (from a private carer for example).



Involving Your Loved One in the Decision

Communication is key when relocating a family member with dementia. While they may not be able to fully understand or participate in the decision-making process, involving them to the best of their ability can help ease the transition.

  • Discuss the move: Start the conversation early to give them time to process the change. Use simple language (for example, the term live in carer is much more easily understood than a term like ‘domiciliary care services’) and repeat the information as necessary.

  • Visit potential living spaces: Whenever possible, visit the new living space with your loved one. This can help them familiarise themselves with the new environment and reduce anxiety about the unknown.

  • Discuss Potential Care Options: Find out what is available - Google search for  “live-in care agencies near me” and discuss potential options with your loved one, suggestions such as sheltered accommodation, nursing homes or a live-in carer for in-home care are all potentials.

  • Maintain routines: As much as possible, maintain familiar routines and involve your loved one in familiar activities to provide comfort and security during the transition.


Addressing Legal and Financial Considerations

Several legal and financial matters need to be addressed before the relocation:

  • Powers of attorney: Ensure that legal documents, such as a durable power of attorney, healthcare proxy, and living will, are in place to allow you to make decisions on their behalf if they are no longer able to.

  • Finances: Managing your loved one's financial matters, including paying for their care, whether that be live in care from a private carer or residential care, can be complex. Seek the advice of financial advisors to understand the best options for their situation.

  • Medical records: Obtain their medical records and identify a primary care doctor in their new location to ensure continuity of care.


Managing the Transition

The relocation day itself can be overwhelming. Make the transition as smooth as possible by taking the following steps:

  • Prepare a familiar space: Set up their new living area with familiar objects, such as photos and personal items, to create a comforting environment that feels as close to their old home as possible.

  • Introduce caregivers and staff: Make sure your loved one meets the private carers (be it home carers or otherwise) and staff who will be looking after them. Building these relationships early can help establish trust and reduce anxiety.

  • Create a personalised care plan: Work with the chosen care facility or local carer agency to develop a personalised care plan that takes into account their individual needs and preferences. Ideally they should aim to have one or two main home carers so your relative is able to build a trusting relationship with them.


Establishing a Routine and Support System

A consistent routine is essential for someone with dementia. Establishing regular visitation times is helpful if the relative is going to a residential facility, or drawing up a schedule with their home carer if they are receiving in home dementia care. 

  • Visits and support from family: Encourage family members to visit regularly, especially in the initial period after the move, to provide comfort and support.

  • Communication with the care team: Keep lines of communication open with the care team at the home or live in carers if in their own home, to address any adjustments that may need to be made to the care plan.


Addressing Emotional and Behavioural Changes

The transition may lead to emotional and behavioural changes in your loved one. Be prepared to address these changes with patience and understanding.

  • Reassure and comfort: Be present during periods of anxiety or confusion and provide reassurance and comfort.

  • Behaviour management: Work with the live in caregiver or dementia care facility to manage any new or exacerbated behavioural symptoms. Consistent approaches can help in their adjustment.

  • Observation: Keep an eye on their emotional state and communicate with other loved ones, private carers etc. about any signs of depression or distress.


Supporting Your Family Member in Their New Environment

Managing the day-to-day care of someone living with dementia can be demanding, but ensuring their comfort and quality of life post-relocation is your ultimate goal.



Providing Ongoing Care and Assistance

Caring for someone with dementia requires patience and adaptability. Maintain a careful balance between supporting their independence and ensuring their safety. 

Hiring a live-in caregiver is a popular choice in this instance, as it ensures the person with dementia maintains some independence while also providing 24 hour live-in care to give you peace of mind.

  • Help with personal care: A home carer can assist with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and grooming, giving them as much control as they can handle.

  • Meal preparation: Another task a private carer can take on is to plan and prepare nutritious meals that account for any dietary restrictions.

  • Medication management: Monitor and manage their medications in accordance with their care plan this is something else that a live-in carer can take ownership of.


Nurturing Social Connections and Engagement

Social engagement is crucial for someone living with dementia, but this can be challenging after a relocation.

  • Participate in group activities: Encourage your loved one to participate in group activities and social outings that are put on especially for the elderly and dementia sufferers. Live-in carers can help with the transportation to and from these groups.

  • Regular communication: Maintain regular communication with your loved one through phone calls, video chats, and visits when possible.

  • Maintain friendships: Help them maintain friendships with previous neighbours or other residents to provide a sense of community.


Adaptation and Addressing Challenges

The journey doesn't end with the move. Be prepared to address new challenges as they arise and to adapt your approach to your loved one's evolving needs.

  • Changes in communication: As language and communication skills decline, find new ways to connect through physical touch, music, and other sensory experiences.

  • Safety concerns: Continue to assess and address any safety concerns that may arise in their new living environment.

  • Engage in ongoing learning: Stay informed about new treatments, care strategies, and community resources to enhance your caregiving abilities.



Self-Care for Caregivers

Your own wellbeing is just as important as the care you provide to your loved one that you are providing care for. Ensuring that you are taking care of yourself will ultimately benefit both you and the person you’re caring for.


The Importance of Self-Care

Caregiver burnout is common and can have serious repercussions on your health and ability to provide care. Prioritise your own physical, emotional, and mental health.

  • Make time for yourself: Schedule regular breaks to rest and recharge, even if it's just for a few minutes each day.

  • Engage in activities you enjoy: Take up hobbies, exercise, or relax with a book. Finding joy outside of caregiving can be rejuvenating.

  • Get adequate support: Reach out to support groups, therapists, and respite care services to help you navigate the challenges of caregiving.


Seeking Support and Resources

You don't have to navigate the world of dementia care alone. There are numerous resources available to support you in your role as a caregiver.

  • Community resources: Look for local agencies and organisations that offer support, education, and respite care for family live-in caregivers.

  • Online support networks: Join online forums and social media groups to connect with other relatives who have taken on the role as in home dementia carers who understand your experience.

  • Professional support: Consider hiring a professional live-in caregiver even if for short term respite care, or enlisting the help of family members to share the caregiving responsibilities.


Managing Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Stress management is a critical part of a caregiver's role. By recognizing the signs of burnout and stress, you can take steps to address them before they become overwhelming.

  • Physical activity: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood. Find an activity you enjoy, whether it's walking, yoga, or dancing.

  • Mindfulness practices: Techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can help you stay present and manage stress in the moment.

  • Recognize the signs of burnout: If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of burnout, such as irritability, fatigue, or withdrawal, take the time to address your needs.

Conclusion: 


The Reassurance of the Relocation Journey

Relocating a family member living with dementia is a significant event that requires careful planning, patience, and support. 

While the journey is filled with challenges, it also presents opportunities for growth and learning. As a relative and caregiver, your dedication and compassion are invaluable to your loved one's quality of life. 

Remember that you are not alone in this journey, and support is available to help you every step of the way. By supporting your loved one through the relocation process, you are providing them with the best possible care and ensuring their comfort and safety in a new chapter of their life.


If you have a relative or loved one that you feel would benefit from having the support of a live-in caregiver, please call us on 01264 319399 or email hello@access-care.co.uk.  As a client of ours, one of our home carers will provide you with round-the-clock assistance tailored to meet your individual needs. 


Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive and friendly 24-hour live-in care, allowing you to feel supported and empowered every step of the way.



3件のコメント


ゲスト
2月07日

Great information, thank you for sharing!

いいね!

ゲスト
2月06日

Really informative, thank you for sharing, something I will save for when we need to eventually relocate my grandmother.

いいね!

ゲスト
2月05日

Really great information, makes me feel a lot more relaxed in moving my relative!

いいね!
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