Factors to Consider When Should Someone with Dementia Move Into a Care Home

When it comes to dementia, there's a lot of confusion about when is the right time to move someone out of their home. And we get asked this question all the time at House Call MD.

Factors to Consider When People with Dementia Moves Out of Their Home

So today we're going to discuss some of the factors that you should take into consideration when it comes time for you to make this decision. So let's begin. 


1. Safety

Number one is safety. Sometimes you have to take into consideration how safe is this individual at home? Now, by safety, that does not mean that someone is going to come in.

It's mostly the safety of the individual to themselves or the household. As an example, one of our previous patients was living with the daughter, and she'd started to have more and more difficulty with regards to mom's forgetfulness. And it was progressing to a point where one time her mom turned on the stove and caught a piece of cloth on fire, and part of the kitchen was on fire. Luckily, they were able to control it. It didn't get too out of control, but there was some damage.

So at that point, they were wondering if this is the right time to move on. And surprisingly, it was a question because in their mind, well, it was an incident. I don't know, maybe it was an accident. And because of their love for their mom, the family was justifying what she was doing and not recognizing the true danger. 

So when we say number one is safety, you have to take a look at how safe are they in that environment?

Could they put something on fire? 

Could they accidentally take a bottle of bleach and drink it or anything that might be a danger to their health? 

When it gets to that point where the risk is actual, this is already a time where you should be making the decision to move. 

2. Behaviors 

Next is behaviors. Sometimes in dementia, as many of us know, patients can have behaviors that become out of control.

These behaviors can start out with hallucinations, whether visual or auditory, where they're seeing things that are not there or hearing things that are not there. 

And it can escalate into anger throwing, but eventually it can reach physical aggression. And most people notice the physical aggression that happens during periods of change. That might be either bath time, changing soil diapers, whatever the case might be, that's usually the time people are noticing. 

It is not always each person is an individual, but when they start to show increasing signs of anger, behaviors that are more difficult to control, this might be a time to make the consideration for a move.

Of course, there are ways to try to mitigate and control behaviors to a degree where a facility would do the same. And it all depends on the family's ability to continue to care for that individual. 


3. Wandering

Number three is wandering. Now, wandering can sometimes be put together with danger to self, but we separate it because it's sometimes challenging to see if they are really at risk or not. So this is a period of time where someone can go outside the door and forget why they're outside or they go for their walk and they have a difficulty coming back.

So you start noticing small little signs of change where sometimes you just play it off. But you see a pattern developing. When you start seeing a pattern of this forgetfulness to develop. This is the time to take that consideration because oftentimes it can lead to a point where they actually leave the home and maybe walk off and forget where they're going get lost.

We always hear these stories of people being found blocks away, completely lost and have not been known.

Their whereabouts are not known for days. 

4. Burden of Care 

Next is the burden of care. Sometimes the burden of care for the one that's providing the care can get really significant. It can be very overwhelming to care for someone with dementia with all of their needs. And there are many facilities out there who do an amazing job taking care of our loved ones.

So if the caregiver is having burnout, there is something called rested care where you can do a short term period of placement versus just a transition complete. It's really dependent on the individual, but caregiver burden is a significant problem. 


5. Increasing Level of Care

Next is increasing the level of care. When the dementia gets to a more advanced level, the individual may lose the ability to completely care for himself. Besides just not being able to conclude, maybe they start needing help with feeding, maybe they start needing help with soiled diapers, that can continue us and they're incontinent and the burden can get very overwhelming quickly.

You may not have the resources to be able to care for them at home anymore, which is a time where placing them in a memory care may be of benefit. This by no means is a comprehensive measure of all the things that may be taken into consideration. It goes on an individual basis, on a case by case basis. You have to make your decision with the facility, with the family and caregivers involved, and with the physician. This can also be a very confusing matter for many people.

Let HouseCall MD Help You with Your Decisions and Transitions


And that's why HouseCall MD is here to help you with your decisions and transitions. Please call us anytime you have any trouble and just need some advice. We'll be here to help you make those decisions. We can be contacted at 626-765-4321.