When it comes to moving mom to a memory care home, it can be difficult for both you and her. She might not be the same mom that you’ve been used to for all of these years. Furthermore, you might not be the same person that she recognizes either from day to day. But moving her is the right decision. And here are some ways to cope with and reduce the stress and anxiety of moving mom out of her normal environment.
When is the Stress or Anxiety Hitting You the Hardest?
Moving mom to memory care is a big decision. It is normal and it is okay to feel uncomfortable. This is not something you have ever prepared to do.
Listen to your body, it always knows what it needs. And that’s true, even if you’re not sure yourself. And learn to recognize when your body is physically changing. Changes like butterflies, the feeling of your heart beating out of your chest, shortness of breath, or even when you feel as though you have a lump in your throat. It doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack. And it isn’t a stomach problem.
Do your symptoms happen first thing in the morning? Or perhaps you feel the symptoms in the middle of the day. And the evening, at night just before bed is common for a lot of people. Plus it may be what keeps you up at night. In fact, you may wake up in the middle of the night with a headache or stomach ache. But there are some ways to get rid of your stress or anxiety symptoms right away. Even if you are unable to do much, say you’re at work, you can find ways to settle your symptoms. And then when you have more time you can use other techniques for relaxation.
These are all signs of stress, especially at night when you’re trying to fall asleep. Don’t let them scare you, listen to them, talk to them. Now that you’ve noticed them, you can control them, let them just pass by, don’t react. Treat it as though you’ve just seen a firetruck drive past your house, you don’t react, you just let it drive past your home.
Deep breathing, meditation, or even simple yoga can relax you out of your stressful situation. If your symptoms happen in bed, simply lay one hand on your stomach just above the navel, the other on your chest. Breathe in slowly until your stomach rises, hold that breath for 3 to 5 seconds, and exhale slowly. Another relaxing exercise is to tense up your shoulders, then feel the sensation as you relax your muscles.
Continuing the tensing and relaxing down your body from your shoulders, forearms, hands, abdomen, buttocks, legs, and finishing at your feet. Learning simple yoga can teach you techniques you can use throughout the day, even without the yoga poses, to reduce stress.
Meditating in a quiet space can give you an opportunity to release your stress and anxiety, let your mind go clear, and think about positive vibes. Listening to some light music or a sound box while meditating can help calm nerves too.
Moving Mom and Accepting That Mom is Being Taken Care of, and is Okay
Some of the biggest fears after moving mom into a memory care home, are the unknown. Is mom okay? Are they feeding her? Is she getting all of the correct medications and on time? What if she falls, will they find her in time? What if she forgets how to get dressed, and goes to dinner naked, will they punish her? These questions will run through your mind day in and day out. Ways around this are not asking the what-if questions, it’s asking the “Why am I scared?” and “What is the probability of that happening?” questions. Even thinking to yourself, “Is this thought helpful to me or mom?”
If you need time to worry, set aside a 30 minute period of when you do all of your worryings. No matter what it is, this is your time to worry about everything under the sun. After that time, it is a worry-free zone, you aren’t allowed to worry about anything until your anxiety time the next day. If you find yourself worrying, take a notebook for and write down the things that have come to your mind. When it comes time the next day to worry about it, some of them may have resolved themselves, or you can resolve them at that time as you go through your notes.
Moving Mom- Make Sure You Avoid Stress Triggers
Steering away from things that can aggravate anxiety symptoms. Products such as caffeine, smoking, sugar, poor diet, OTC cold medications, and alcohol. The top three being alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. If you find yourself reaching for the cookies, candy, and soda, try to look for an alternative snack or drink choices. Instead, choose a glass of water with some fat-free yogurt. Instead of going for a smoke break, take a lap around the block or the outside of the building you work in.
During times like these, a lot of people turn to alcohol. Having a glass of wine or a beer every once in a while is fine. But excess drinking can cause more than just depression and anxiety. It can do damage to your liver and other organs. When you feel that you need a drink, fill a glass up with water, and sip on that. Add some fruit to the water to make it feel like a special drink. Spas often infuse strawberries, blueberries, lemon, lime, or even cucumber into the water they serve. Do this every night that you want to get yourself a drink.
If none of these tips work, you can always consult your doctor to see what other alternatives are out there to help with anxiety and depression. But wait until after you’ve moved mom to a memory care home.
At Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care, we understand that moving mom ( or Dad- or your spouse- or someone else 🙂 is stressful. we are here to help walk you and your family through this process. we want you to be comfortable knowing that our staff always goes the extra mile to help. And we know what we are doing. In fact, did you know our staff has 5 times more training in memory care?
Caring for someone with dementia is not easy. It can weigh heavily on your heart. Allowing someone else to take over the daily care routine will allow you to be the spouse, daughter, son, or grandchild again.
Come for a tour at Sycamore Creek Ranch! See how we can help!