It is never easy to finally come to the conclusion that caring for your elderly loved one on your own is no longer a good idea. However, when your loved one is suffering with dementia, the idea of sending them to a nursing home can be even more heart wrenching. People who suffer with dementia can start to experience even more emotional and memory disruption by being in an unfamiliar place with a different routine, not to mention when they are no longer around familiar faces. To make sure the transition into the nursing home goes as smoothly as possible under the circumstances, there are a few things you should do in advance.

1. Take your family member to the nursing home for a few visits. - Before you just show up at the new place that your family member will call home, stop in for a few visits. Most nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a ton of activities for residents to get involved in and they will not mind if you bring along a future resident to join in. Take your family member to the facility for a tour and even have lunch a few times in the cafeteria. It will be much less stressful for your elderly family member with dementia to transition into a place where they have actually spent some time. 

2. Make their new home as familiar as possible. - As soon as a room is available and you are in the process of getting everything worked out for your loved one to move in, go without them and make their room as familiar as possible. Hang family photos on the wall and even bring in a few familiar furniture pieces from home, whether it is a favorite recliner or a small table where they normally have breakfast in the morning. 

3. Make arrangements to have someone stop by every day. - The worst thing you can do when making the transition into nursing home care is to just drop off your family member and not return for several days. The first few weeks of the transition will be unsettling for your loved one with dementia, which can bring about more bouts of confusion. Make sure you make arrangements for a friendly face to stop in for a visit every day. If you don't have the time personally, rope in the help of extended family, friends, and neighbors who can pay your family member a quick visit.