How can I encourage someone with dementia to move to an assisted-living community?

3 answers | Last updated: Nov 14, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

How can I encourage someone with dementia to move to an assisted-living community?

Expert Answers

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's. A Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging fellow, she writes extensively about health and caregiving; four of her family members have had dementia.

You can't force someone to make this big change unless you have guardianship or other legal authority to do so. But here are some ways you can encourage someone with dementia to move to assisted living:

  • Explain how you've exhausted the options that would make independent living (with support) or living with a family member viable.
  • List the safety risks to continuing in the present situation.
  • Stress that your ultimate goal is that your family member is safe and well cared for.
  • Invite the person to evaluate care options with you, if the dementia is still in an early stage. (If he or she is resistant, you will need to make the assessments and choose a facility on your own.)
  • Enlist other family members or trusted sources (clergy, a physician) to back you up and make the suggestion to the person.
  • Be empathetic. It's a stressful transition to make. Let the person know that you appreciate that, and that you will be there to help.
  • Be upbeat. Your mood sets the tone.

Community Answers

Rdyblood answered...

Logical reasons do not help, because they no longer have the ability to reason logically.

A fellow caregiver answered...

RDYblood is correct. We have not been able to convince my MIL to move. She is in mid stage and reasoning is out the window.