Should an Alzheimer's patient be moved between facilities?

4 answers | Last updated: Oct 17, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Someone with Alzheimer's -- should they be moved from one nursing home to another if they are used to the nursing home they are in at the moment?

Expert Answers

Deborah Cooke is a gerontologist specializing in dementia, delirium, caregiving, and senior fitness. She is a certified dementia care provider and specialist through the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Cooke currently manages several multidisciplinary programs to enhance well-being for hospitalized seniors and other vulnerable patients at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She also serves on the board of NewYork-Presbyterian's Patient and Family Education Advisory Committee. She has 18 years of experience working with the aging and caregiver communities.

I would avoid moving an Alzheimer's patient from facility to facility. You may encounter situations that may be appropriate for this to take place, such as abuse or moving them closer to you (if it's a dramatic distance.

Moving someone causes greater confusion and the person may begin to act out. Comfort and routine are everything for the Alzheimer's patient.

I apologize for the delayed response and hope this helps. Deborah Cooke

Community Answers

Frena answered...

unless there's a major concern (neglect, abuse) it's probably better not to make a move. if things are not quite good enough, then identify clearly what they are and talk to the social worker, the administrator and the Ombudsman for Longterm Care with your concerns. usually people are willing to try to improve standards where necessary (and where family members are watching closely). a move is serious -- it's disruptive, the risk of falling is high in at least the first two weeks after a move and also, frankly., everywhere has its shortfall in standards alas.

Redbeard answered...

I had to move my father from a nursing home to an Assisted Living Facility that specialized in mental impairment and was a "locked facility", since the nursing home was not a locked facility and my father started wandering out the door.

Yes, he was confused for a while. I don't think that it was overly traumatic and I liked the new facility more as it provided more personalized care. If there is an overriding reason for the move, go ahead with it; but do consider that it will further confuse the patient.

Anngw answered...

I have moved my mother 3 times within 2 years and I think that I have finally found the appropriate place. Once you have a poor relationship with the staff you must move on. They do not want to admit that they need to change the way that they do business. There is no way to start over. They insist on psychotic medication rather than spending the appropriate one on one time. Those medications induce lethargy, dizziness, pain and pneumonia. My mother did not recognize the place she was in, her room, or the staff, so it did not matter that she moved. She did appreciate cheerfulness and kindness, and she is much happier now.