The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Dilemma: How to Transition a Loved One with Dementia to Assisted Living

Alzheimer's Transition to Assisted LivingMoving a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease to an assisted living community can be a difficult transition for the entire family. But families often have no choice. Their senior loved one’s physical needs and safety require them to make a move.

What can Colorado families facing this challenge do to prepare their loved one to move to an assisted living community? 

Here are five tips you can use to make a smoother transition: 

1.  People living with Alzheimer’s disease benefit from familiar surroundings. Before moving day, work with the staff at your senior loved one’s new home to try recreate as much of their home environment as possible. It can help to decrease their anxiety and agitation. Think about what some of their favorite things from home are and try to have them in place at the assisted living community before they arrive. It might be their favorite rocker or recliner or a television they’ve watched Wheel of Fortune on for many years.

2.  Surround them with familiarFamily photos – old and new – are the best way to do that. Remember to consider that a loss of short-term might mean it is more comfortable for them to have older photos close by.

3.  Is music a source of comfort to them? Bring a small CD player and some of their favorite CDs with them. Staff and family can play it for them if they seem to be overly anxious.

4.  Is there a Memory Box on the wall outside the door to their suite or apartment? Many memory care programs use these to help residents identify their room. Be sure to fill it with memorabilia that is familiar to them at this stage of their disease.

5.  Assemble a Reminiscence board for the staff to see before your loved one moves in. Paste family photos on it along with a description of what event or memory is captured in the picture. For example, a picture of your loved one’s wedding day along with a note that tells that staff the year and location it was taken.

Finally, remember that it is normal for those living with Alzheimer’s disease to take more time to adjust to a change of environment. Be patient with them and with yourself as you both try to adjust and adapt to these changes. 

From personal care needs and case management to guardianship concerns, Seniors in Transition provides consulting services to help families turn frustrating health care problems into quality, affordable solutions.

Seniors in Transition is here to help families in the Fort Collins, CO and Loveland, CO areas. Visit our website at or call 970.204.6977, today.


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Blog Categories

  • Caregiving Issues Articles

    Caregiving Tips gives insight to common issues that caregivers are faced with. Each article offers advice and tips to handle the many challenges of caregiving.

  • Memory & Dementia Articles

    The articles in our Memory & Dementia section focus on the challenges of caring for a family member/loved one with Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia and memory loss.

  • Planning for Death Articles

    Each article offers advice and tips to handle the challenges of dealing with an aging parent or loved one who may be nearing their end of life.

  • Did You Know?

    Did You Know? provides helpful articles related to a variety of topics and news/events that concern both the aging parent and their loved ones or caregiver.

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