A Detailed Roadmap for Transitioning Your Parent with Dementia to Assisted Living

When dementia knocks on the door, it can turn the lives of those affected and their families upside down. The idea of relocating a parent to an assisted living facility can be challenging. Let’s jump right in and navigate this path together.


Recognizing the Need for Assisted Living

Often, the hardest step is acknowledging the need for professional help. In these cases, the old adage that “knowledge is power” rings true. Recognizing dementia’s signs and understanding when home care is no longer sufficient are crucial first steps in this journey.

Signs Your Parent May Need Assisted Living

From severe memory loss to difficulty performing daily tasks, numerous telltale signs indicate a higher level of care may be necessary. These may include:

  1. Worsening memory problems, such as forgetting names, places, or recent events.
  2. Difficulty with tasks they used to handle easily, like paying bills or preparing meals.
  3. Increased agitation, confusion, or disorientation.
  4. Neglected personal hygiene or a significant change in appearance.

Understanding When Home Care is Not Enough

Despite your best efforts to provide care, there may come a time when your parent’s needs surpass your capabilities. The following points indicate that home care might no longer be the best option:

  • Your parent’s safety is at risk due to falls or wandering.
  • Their medical needs are becoming complex and demanding.
  • Your health or personal life is suffering due to the care burden.
  • They’re socially isolated and could benefit from a community setting.

Exploring Assisted Living Options

With a variety of options out there, how do you choose the right one? You need to explore different facilities, compare their services, and consider your parent’s unique needs and preferences.

What to Look for in an Assisted Living Facility

When visiting facilities, consider these points:

  1. A supportive and caring staff
  2. Comprehensive medical care
  3. A variety of social activities
  4. Cleanliness and maintenance of the facility
  5. Feedback from current residents and their families

Considering Your Parent’s Preferences

Despite their cognitive decline, it’s crucial to respect your parent’s desires and involve them in decision-making as much as possible. Consider their preferences regarding location, lifestyle, and the type of care provided.

Preparing for the Move

Proper preparation can ease the transition for both you and your parent. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty of planning the move.

Setting Expectations

Emotionally prepare your parent by explaining the reasons behind the move. Use simple, reassuring language and avoid overwhelming them with details.

Creating a Familiar Environment

Recreating the feel of their home in their new room can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort. Bring their favorite furniture, pictures, and other personal items.

The Move Itself

While the day of the move can be emotional and stressful, careful planning can help make it go smoothly.

Having a Game Plan

Outline the day’s schedule, including when to wake up, when to leave, and when to arrive at the facility. Enlist the help of friends or relatives to make the move more manageable.

Maintaining a Calm Demeanor

Even if you’re stressed, try to remain calm and upbeat for your parent’s sake. Your positive attitude can help them feel more comfortable with the transition.

Adjusting to the New Environment

Post-move, it’s important to help your parent acclimate to their new environment. Support them during this phase and reassure them of your love and constant presence.

Frequent Visits

Visit your parent often to provide emotional support and ease feelings of abandonment or loneliness.

Encouraging Participation in Activities

Most assisted living facilities offer social activities. Encourage your parent to participate to foster a sense of community and purpose.

Taking Care of Yourself

While you’re focused on your parent, don’t forget to look after yourself too. It’s not selfish—it’s necessary. You can’t pour from an empty cup, after all.

Managing Guilt and Stress

Feeling guilt or stress is normal, but remember that you’re doing what’s best for your parent. Seek support from friends, family, or professional counselors to help manage these emotions.

Balancing Life

Juggling your personal life and your role as a caregiver can be tough. Try to find a balance that allows time for self-care and relaxation.


Moving a parent with dementia to assisted living can be a challenging journey. But with the right preparation and support, you can navigate this path and ensure your parent receives the care they need. Always remember that this decision is made out of love and in the best interest of your parent.

Belamour Care Residential Living has journeyed alongside many families through the complex process of moving a parent with dementia to assisted living, providing support every step of the way.

Belamour Care Residential Living is more than an assisted living facility—it is a community that provides a loving, supportive, and engaging environment for their residents. Their dedicated staff is committed to delivering the highest level of care, tailored to the unique needs of individuals with dementia.

If one is at the crossroads of considering assisted living for a parent with dementia, an invitation is extended to learn more about Belamour Care Residential Living. By calling 360-608-9087, individuals can discuss their parent’s needs, have any questions answered, and discover how Belamour Care Residential Living can make this difficult transition smoother and more manageable for both the individual and their loved one.

Nobody should feel alone on this journey. By reaching out to Belamour Care Residential Living, one can find a place where care is turned into a community.