Avoiding Transfer Trauma is Paramount for Memory Care Seniors Health & Well-Being

Stability is essential for a person with dementia and Alzheimer’s; the team at Poet’s Walk Memory Care Communities work on the frontlines of this concern every day. A major environment change for someone suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can be responsible for drastic changes to their health and mood. This is known as Transfer Trauma. It is the result of feelings of unfamiliarity and disorientation after a move. The team members at Poet’s Walk San Antonio are trained to make a new memory care resident feel welcome and at home as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Transfer Trauma can include sadness, anger, anxiety and irritability. But not all symptoms of this affliction are mental; seniors experiencing Transfer Trauma can also undergo severe weight loss, rapid heartbeat and be at an increased risk for falling. The correct balance of supervision and freedom is paramount to maintaining both their sense of safety and dignity. Through one-on-one attention with healthcare professionals and caregivers as well as extensive conversations with family members about a senior’s life, passions and history, seniors moving to a Poet’s Walk Memory Care Community settle in to their new home quickly. Thanks to the activities and programming Poet’s Walk has developed specifically for memory care residents, the effects of Transfer Trauma is drastically lessened.

“Welcoming seniors to their new home is not just some cliché,” Wendy Jo Martin, Executive Director at Poet’s Walk San Antonio, said. “Transfer Trauma is a real problem, with real negative effects, and so learning about our resident’s personalities and routines, we can best create a place they feel truly at home.”

Seniors with inconsistencies in where they live can cause severe stress on their mind. It is crucial that the establishment of a routine in their day is created as this allows for a sense of normalcy and comfort. When settling in to a new space it’s important they display memorabilia and family photos on the walls and shelves of their room, reinforcing their sense of belonging. Giving seniors a sense of independence, like the chance to decorate, can decrease effects associated with Transfer Trauma. Their ability to make a cup of coffee, watch their favorite movie or host their family in the dining room can make them feel more comfortable. It’s when these privileges are all pulled away all at once that additional trauma is inflicted. Patience is another key in introducing seniors to an unfamiliar environment. It is important to understand that it could take them up to thirty days or more to become completely settled. The process of adjustment is different for everyone.

Transfer Trauma is a risk of moving seniors to a new space, but it is not an obligatory experience. With a combination of the right conditions, people and effort, seniors can have an uplifting, positive transition, whether it be from a house to an apartment or from an apartment to a memory care community. Integrating the activities that motivated them through their days in their past living arrangement can make what seems like a scary unknown become more familiar, and then they can begin to establish new memories and experiences in their new home.


About Spring Hills Senior Communities & Memory Care Communities:

All Spring Hills Senior Communities and Poet’s Walk Memory Care Communities offer a distinctive and innovative approach to assisted living, memory care and Home Care Services as led by Alexander Markowits, President/CEO. Signature Touches is the company’s approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients. Personal choice is top priority, which is exemplified by recreational programs led by professionals in one of the company’s Spring Hills communities located in NJ, VA, OH and FL, in the company’s Poet’s Walks communities located in TX, NV, VA, FL and soon-to-be MD, or in their own home. For more information about their commitment to senior living, including information on Spring Hills Home Care Services, visit www.spring-hills.com or  www.poetswalk-spring-hills.com.