Transition Thursday: Tips for Moving Seniors with Cognitive Disorders

Illustration of three trees depicting leaves and loss of memory

In his article “Tips for Moving Seniors with Cognitive Disorders,” author Chris Semen discusses the issues facing seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s when they have to move locations:

“Transitioning seniors experiencing cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, will experience even greater stress than those without an illness. This is because removing a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s from a familiar place can cause feelings of disorientation and confusion.”

Chris suggests that caregivers can make the transitioning process easier for their loved one and for themselves by following these tips:

Reinstate a sense of control.

People often experience stress when they feel things are out of control. Caregivers can lessen the stress of transitioning by reinstating a sense of order and control to the events their loved ones find stressful. Offering choices helps the senior maintain his/her sense of self in the midst of chaos. It’s important to understand that when we remove someone’s ability to make decisions on his or her own behalf, we also remove an essential practice that would otherwise help a senior maintain a sense of control over unfamiliar situations.

Give seniors a voice.

With cognitive issues present, it becomes difficult for older adults to voice their fears and opinions. Caregivers can give their loved one a voice by offering a few simple options with outcomes that are always acceptable. For example, asking something as simple as, “Would you like to explore three assisted living communities or just two?” presents an outcome favorable to both parties, while allowing the older adult to make his/her voice heard. When caregivers present options for discussion, their loved one develops a sense of being important to the relocation process.

Read more tips at


DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582