Moving in to long-term care


There is no right way to feel about the move. Some caregivers feel tired, angry, guilty, embarrassed, or even relieved. Speak with someone you feel comfortable with to help you process your emotions.

Société Alzheimer Society

For more, read our tips for settling in.

On moving day

Take care of the person with dementia. Comfort them if they feel anxious, agitated or withdrawn. When you arrive, take some time to settle in the room and visit common areas of the home.

Take care of yourself. Schedule the move over a few days. Allow plenty of time for paperwork and ideally, see if you can do it before the moving day. If you can, bring a friend along or have someone waiting for you at home when you return to help you decompress.

For peace of mind, check with staff at the long-term care home to see how things are going.

After the move

Adjusting will take time - for both of you. You’re now sharing the responsibility of care with others and they may do things differently than you.

Get through the first few weeks by following these tips:

  • Find a primary contact person to speak to when you have questions or concerns.
  • Share your knowledge of the person with staff – needs and preferences, a bit of information about the person’s life, coping strategies that worked for you while caring for the person. This will help staff care for them.
  • Maintain realistic expectations of the home and make an effort to get to know staff, management, residents, and other caregivers.
  • Bring any items that might make the person with dementia feel more comfortable. Print this checklist of what to bring on moving day.
  • Get involved – help with tasks, join the person for meals, attend activities organized for the residents.
  • Keep reassuring the person with dementia by telling them how much you care.
  • Stay up to date with the doctor and staff about the person’s condition, care, and treatment. Ask for a copy of the care plan.

The biggest benefit of having outside care is that you can now give your full attention and emotional support to the person with dementia.