Assisted Living Facilities

When to consider care outside the home

One of the most difficult experiences for family caregivers of a person with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder is deciding when to consider placement outside the home. Caregivers should ask themselves the following questions to evaluate their situation:

  1. Is the person with memory loss becoming unsafe in their home?

  2. Is constant care required beyond my physical capability?

  3. Am I becoming impatient or irritable toward the person for whom
    I am caring?

  4. Would structured activities and increased social interaction benefit the
    person I care for?

  5. Am I neglecting my family, my job or myself in order to provide care?

  6. Would placement outside the home result in more enjoyable visits and
    outings with the person I care for?

Your answers to those questions can help you determine if placement outside the home is the best decision.


What to look for when visiting care facilities:


  1. License: Ask to see the facility’s valid California State License, issued by the State of California, Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division.

  2. Atmosphere: When you walk in do you “feel” the nurturing, loving, and supportive environment your loved one needs and deserves?

  3. Living space: Is there indoor and outdoor space? Are there safe walking paths or secured access to fresh air and outdoor activities?

  4. Visiting hours: Does the visitation policy meet your needs? Visit unannounced at different times to see the staff interact with residents.

  5. Structure: Is the facility designed and constructed with the abilities, comfort, and freedom of the resident in mind?



  1. Staff: Has the staff been screened and properly trained? Residents with memory loss present unique challenges to staff, requiring ongoing training.

  2. Administrator: Does the Administrator seem knowledgeable about dementia and the special care required?

  3. Physical contact: Is there positive physical contact between staff and residents – a warm touch, an arm around the shoulders?

  4. Humor: Do staff and residents interact joyfully and set a tone of lightheartedness?

  5. Verbal cues: How do staff redirect a resident? Do they command or encourage?



  1. Personal care: Is care (bathing, toileting, etc.) done with respect and dignity for the resident?

  2. Resident behavior: Are some residents sitting quietly or sleeping? Are some residents moving around freely? These are normal behaviors and should be allowed in a safe environment.

  3. Personal belongings: Are residents allowed to bring in furniture, bedding, and photos that are familiar to them? This helps them to feel “at home” and gives them a sense of belonging and not being lost.

  4. Level of function: Ask what happens when the person needs a higher level of care. Can the facility accommodate residents with a wide range of abilities?



  1. Home life: Can the residents participate in meaningful activities such as setting the table, washing dishes, folding the laundry, etc.?

  2. Programming: What does the structured activity program look like? Are projects interesting and success-oriented? Are activities planned with the dementia resident in mind?


Schedule a free Care Consultation.

During your Care Consult, we get to know you and your familyʼs needs. We work with you to develop a personalized Care Plan. Leave us your information, and we’ll contact you.

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Phone: 216.352.1106

Registered Charity: 47-5049335


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