Long-term care

When a person with dementia needs full time support, moving to long-term care may be the next step for you and your family.

When is it time to move to long-term care?

As you consider your caregiving options, try to be flexible. Keep in mind the needs of the person you're caring for, but balance them with your own well being. You shouldn’t have to do it all alone. Use our caregiver stress assessment checklist to see how stress may be affecting your life.

If you decide to continue caregiving at home, find out about support services available near you. In-home respite services, a home-care worker or visiting nurse may offer some relief. At the same time, consider hiring support for everyday chores such as housekeeping, laundry and home maintenance.

If you decide to arrange for care in a long-term care home, visit the other pages in this section for advice on finding the right long-term care home, preparing for the move, and adjusting to long-term care.

Moving someone you’ve been caring for can bring about all kinds of emotion – like guilt, sadness, relief, or even second thoughts. It doesn’t mean that your role as a caregiver is any less important. You may find that you have a different focus, like staying connected to the person or even advocating for quality dementia care.

Reach out to your friends, family, doctor, or even a caregiver support group if you need any help with making the decision to move.

Need more information?

Contact your local Alzheimer Resource Centre or call the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033. We are available to help you through the process and to find services available in your area.


  1. Moving to long-term care series, by the Alzheimer Society of Canada:
  2. Printable checklists:
  3. Transition to long-term care, an e-learning module by the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County
  4. All about me, a fillable booklet to help caregivers get to know you better
  5. Dementia education tele-workshop: Transition to long-term care

Last Updated: 07/04/2019