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Caregiver Corner
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Should My Family Member With Dementia Live at Home?

A common struggle many families experience during the caregiving journey occurs when considering if and/or when to move a loved one to residential care. The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong answer that applies to everyone. Each person and family is different and there are many factors to consider. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a new free class to help families understand the pros and cons of placing a loved one in a residential facility and if that choice is made, what to be aware of and expect.

Making the Move to Residential Care: Choices, Challenges and Considerations is not an endorsement for moving nor is it to dissuade families from making the move. The purpose of this program is to give families options and considerations for moving and exploring other services.

Making the decision to move your loved one/relative:

  • Often begins long before the actual move
  • Entails considering many options that may benefit the person with memory loss and the caregiver
  • Is not an easy decision 
  • Is full of emotions

If everyone had a choice, most, if not all people, would prefer to stay and live in their home indefinitely. However, this is not always possible or wise for people with Alzheimer’s disease; on the other hand, while living at home may not be the perfect solution, it may be the best solution.

Some of the advantages to keeping a loved one at home include a familiar environment, more control over the standard of care and care routines, the ability to provide one-on-one care and lower cost in some cases. However, caregiving at home can be exhausting and take a toll on the caregiver’s health. There could also be a lack of social interaction, stimulation and safety considerations such as wandering or behavioral issues. Many of these issues are especially problematic if the individual is living alone.

To learn more about what to consider when thinking about moving a loved one to a residential facility, or to speak to your local Alzheimer’s Association about attending this class, call us at 1.800.272.3900 or visit and click on “education.”

Moving a Loved One: What to Consider

Is the person with memory loss or the caregiver safe at home? Are there issues with wandering or aggression?

  • Are family members able to provide the necessary level of care and supervision?
  • Is caregiver stress causing the caregiver physical problems, depression, sleep deprivation or a reduction of quality of care?
  • Is the person with memory loss getting enough mental and physical stimulation?
  • What community supports and services do you have access to?
  • What personal and other financial resources are available?

Next Article: On A Personal Note


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.