Can I move my Dad who has dementia from his present assisted living facility to another without disrupting him?


My father is presently in an assisted living , that in my opinion has declined in care & cleanliness of the memory care unit.The other day there was a strong smell of urine ... I have repeatedly brought several different issues to the director's attention. The issue gets resolved, then, another problem arises. I'm concerened if I remove him from his familiar surrounding's he will experience confusion and this may progress the disease. I Need some solid advice. .thank you

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This is true. Research the new place online, visit and ask questions. What I liked about the place I chose to move my cousin is that it's a family owned facility who started Long term care when their mother got dementia and it was their calling to help others. The new place had a low turnover rate with the staff. And it was relatively small. Some places are very crowded and loud.

A large room is not a huge factor, however, if he shares a room, it's good to have enough room to get a wheelchair around in it. That was a problem at my cousin's first AL. The room was very tight and did not accommodate a wheelchair very well.

It's a lot to consider. That's for sure.
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Patti, moves are often hard on those with dementia. Sometimes there is a decline that sometime they will reestablish their baseline from before the move and sometimes not. The primary concern should be your parent, if they have settled in, comfort, care being received, not the size of the room. Sometimes smaller rooms are better for them, space for fewer things, less stuff, less confusion. Jeanne makes a good point that there is high turnover in elder care facilities. They will not run smoothly every day. No place runs smoothly every day regardless of the type of business.

Have you checked ratings of the current place and the one you are thinking of moving him to? I believe you find those on the Medicare website.
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pattiannm , move without disruption? Probably not. Ultimately for the better anyway? Entirely possible. Is your dad happy where he is? Has he made friends? Does he like the aides?

Dementia progresses no matter what. Is there often increased confusion with a major change? Yes. Does that make the disease progress faster? I'm not sure there is evidence of that.

Realize that no care center runs perfectly every day. If there is a strong smell of urine one day that is different than a frequent or constant smell of urine. All centers have a fair amount of turnover of staff, so there can be "newbie" learning curves from time to time. Check the prospective new place out thoroughly, visiting at different times on different shifts, eating a meal there, etc. to try to judge where it will really be an improvement.
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My mom's private pay memory care is considered assisted living and as a result her LTC only pays 60% of her benefit amount
She has been there for 8 months and despite the disruption it will cause I'm looking to move her
The place is too large and overwhelming and with private aides 12 hours a day - ridiculously expensive
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Moving to where? He is not in assisted living if he is in a memory care unit. If he is on Medicaid, you have to work with his case worker. If you are his Guardian, you have to ask the court for the move. You need to be his POA at the very least.
If he is happy there, I would leave him where he is.
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My experience moving my mom from one AL to another was very much like what Sunnygirl experienced with her cousin. I felt like my mom was not getting good care at the first AL, and after speaking to staff a couple of times, I started looking for a new facility. My main concern was that mom spent most of her time in her apartment, and the staff didn't make an effort to get her to activities. Like you, I worried about how the move would affect mom. She was confused for about one day. Within a week she had forgotten ever living at the first facility. My only regret is that I didn't move her sooner. I think it helped that I chose an apartment at the new facility that had the same orientation as the old one. As a bonus, the new facility has a memory care wing which my mom moved to in February after almost three years in the new AL. Getting better care far outweighs a brief period of confusion.
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I have often read that moving someone with dementia to another facility is risky, but, all I can tell you is my experience. I had to move my cousin from regular AL to Memory Care AL, due to her increased needs. I also had a few issues with the AL she was in, but, that's for another day. We had a very good experience with our move.

I told her that we were going to a place that she was familiar with. It's the town she was born in, but hadn't been there in years. At that time, she had good memories of the town and it so happened they have a Memory Care Unit. We pulled up and the Memory Care staff had a wheelchair ready. They greeted her and took her straight to the dining room. She ate and chatted like she was right at home. Keep in mind that she actually loved her AL. She considered it her home at that time.

While I filled out paperwork in the office, the staff gathered her things from my car and sat up her room! They even hung up her pictures! When I completed the paperwork, I walked to her room and she was sitting with her roommate watching tv, smiling and happy as could be. Her roommate, who also had advanced dementia, told me not to worry that she would take good care of my cousin. They became instant best friends. She was happier than she had been in months. Granted, she was taking Cymbalta for anxiety and depression. But, this new place really brought her better health and contentment.

She has always told me she loved the place and in fact a couple of weeks later she seemed to have no memory of the regular AL. She loves her apt (that's what she calls it. Their rooms are quite large.) and the people there. I was very grateful that she had a good move. I realize that everyone is different, but to me, if the care is not up to par, something has to be done.

If you do decide to do it, I'd plan ahead for a smooth transition and try to make sure it is a better facility. Sometimes working with the place you have is a good idea, but if that seems to bring no results, you have to do what you think is best. I wish you the best of luck.
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What does your Dad want to do? If he is happy where he is, that should be the main consideration.

At one time I was thinking of moving my Dad to another facility mainly because the rooms were larger. But I noticed that Dad was happy with the staff whom he became use to, he didn't know their names, but recognized their faces.... was very happy with his meals which he looked forward to 3 times a day.... and he had made friends with the other older gentlemen.
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