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Alzheimer's and Dementa Caregiving, Dementia Caregiver Stories

Out-of-Home Care

Residential care is a big step. It's not right for every family, but can be the right option for many

Things to know

Your Loved One may need more care than can be provided at home, or may enjoy a residential program.

Often, a crisis necessitates moving, forcing families to move quickly and choose from limited options.

Planning ahead can help families have the best options available.


Some people will stay home until the end.


Some people will move to residential care towards the very end.

Others move earlier - because they can be more social or safer, or because it is the right option for their family.


Doing your homework pays off; identify what criteria matter to you, including financing options, and evaluate facilities before you need them..


Sometimes its helpful to revisit your assumption about what's best, including that home is always better, in order to choose the best option for your Loved One. It possible they'd be happier in residential care.


How you can do it

Learn more about how other caregivers have navigated out-of-home caregiving


We are building a guide to help you navigate out-of-home care. Have ideas on what you would find helpful? Let us know!



How they did it



Age: Early 40s

Loved One: Mom, Mid-70s

Diagnosis: Alzheimer's

Years Since Diagnosis: 2 months

My father was really struggling. My husband said to me-- and I knew it, I just couldn’t say it -- “you are at this point.” So I started raising it with my sisters. My sisters were devastated. Then I started to say something to my father.  My father did not want to hear it. Then in October he had an incident and a decision had to be made. That was that. 


We looked at a number of places. We knew that we wanted her to stay close by. There were some options that were just so terrible. There are very few really good options. They cost an arm and a leg. But, we realized this was the decision and so we said “ok.” We ended up picking up one that is super close.



Age: Early 40s

Loved One: Mom, Late 60s

Diagnosis: Alzheimer's

Years Since Diagnosis: 3

We are only three and a half weeks into Memory Care. It's a nice place but I am still learning how to navigate it. My mom was complaining about foot pain. I am her POA, so the facility calls me and asks if they can give her Tylenol. I said “yes! You can give her Tylenol if she is complaining about pain or a headache. I assume you aren’t going to give her too much.” I talked to them the next day and I said “how’s the pain?” and they said “she was complaining about it so we got an x-ray.” 


I said “wait. What are you talking about? Couldn’t you have given it a day before she gets an xray?”



Age: Mid-30s

Loved One: Dad, Late 60s

Diagnosis: Dementia

Years Since Diagnosis: 1

Figuring out housing for my dad was challenging. When he was in the hospital, he was deemed to be a risk to himself and we were told he couldn't be alone. My mom’s sister lived with him for two weeks. Then he ended up in the hospital again. We were in over our head. We couldn’t afford a professional and we had exhausted our family resources, so that left us with memory care. The social workers put me in contact with people who could help me with that. The hardest part was figuring out the budget. 


He essentially went willingly. He had limited ability to understand his  situation. He felt like he was going into  a rehab facility. I chose not to disagree with his understanding.

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