How to Move a Parent with Dementia to Assisted Living

Caring for a person that has dementia can be challenging at times. Memory loss can present different obstacles in a person’s life, transforming tasks that used to be perfectly ordinary into difficult and, even potentially dangerous, ordeals.

Of course, this can become an even greater challenge if the person you’re caring for is one of your parents. It can be difficult seeing your mother or father in that state, and, in some cases, moving them into an assisted living facility that specializes in professional care is an option to consider.

When Does it Become Apparent That Assisted Living Is the Best Option?

If you are having trouble deciding whether or not you should move your parent into an assisted living community, then you should take a look at some of the signs they are showing you. If you notice that their cognition has begun to significantly deteriorate, then they should probably be moved into an assisted living facility.

Signs include forgetfulness (forgetting to take their medication, forgetting to shower or brush their teeth, etc.), incontinence, and things not being properly taken care of around the house. Pets might not be receiving proper care, or perhaps food has gone bad without them realizing.

Assisted living communities can provide the expert care and services that your aging parent needs while also giving them the ability to socialize and be part of a community of people who are in similar situations.

If you feel that moving your parent to an assisted living facility is becoming more and more necessary, we have provided some information on how to find the right place for them and navigate the moving process. We will also discuss other options for dementia care if you feel that assisted living may not be the right fit.

Finding the Right Home

The first stage of the process is always going to involve some research and planning, but you need to make sure that you’ve spoken to the parent who needs care before you start to make any plans.

This can be difficult, especially if their dementia makes it hard for them to understand what’s happening. If they are having difficulty understanding what is happening or aren’t convinced that assisted living is the right avenue for them, then make sure to assure them that they are going to a place where they will receive proper care, can socialize with other people, and where their quality of life will be significantly improved.

Do Your Research

You’re going to want to make sure that you have done proper research on any community that you are considering moving your parent into. Take a tour of the facility and discuss with the heads of the community about the level of care your parent requires.

Bring a list of questions you have and inquire about the different activities they have to offer, as well as what measures they take to ensure that their patients are living an enjoyable and comfortable life. Some questions you should ask include:

  • Is the environment designed to be safe and welcoming?
  • Is the staff made up of caring and passionate individuals?
  • Have the experiences of previous and current residents been positive?
  • How are the meals structured?

You should also ask to view an activity calendar. Assisted living communities offer lots of activities to help their residents stay active and lively, and some of these activities are designed for both residents and their families too!

Of course, always make sure to read reviews and testimonials from previous patients and their families before making the decision to move. You want to find an assisted living community that only has their patients’ best interests at heart.

Applying for an Assisted Living Home

Countless people rely on senior living facilities and nursing homes to keep themselves healthy. This can make it difficult to get your loved one into the place you feel is best for them, and you may need to apply for one a few months in advance.

Luckily, care center staff like the team at Catholic Care Center can help you through the application process and financial planning stages. If the move needs to happen sooner rather than later, we will do everything we can to help move the process along.

Moving Them Into Assisted Living

If your mom or dad is struggling with the moving process, then it is important to take steps to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible. Showing them the place beforehand is a good way to get them ready for the move. That way they have an idea of what they’re getting into and can even help plan how the room is arranged and decorated; this way it feels more like a home to them and is more personal. If your parent continues to resist the need for additional care, it may require advice or recommendations from their doctor to persuade them to make the transition.

On the contrary, if your parent is open to the idea of moving into an assisted living facility, you could encourage them by saying things like “I can’t wait for you to see the new place,” or “You’re going to love how we’ve decorated the place.” This will help get them excited leading up to the day when they actually move in.

Essentially, you just need to meet them at the same level they are at, in an emotional sense. If they are ready and willing to make the transition, then you need to be as well. If they are unhappy about having to move out of their house, then you need to stress that, although it is hard for everyone to have to do this, it is the right thing to do. We all want to grant our aging parents the opportunity to thrive, even if that means an adjustment in their living situation.

Continue to Show Your Support


Once your parent makes it into assisted living, their future is going to be much brighter. This sort of service can enable people to maintain as much of their independence as possible, all without putting themselves at risk or missing out on crucial elements of their old lifestyle.

Of course, making the most of this may not be quite as easy as you expect, and you will still have to work hard to make sure that your parents have the best possible care. Paying regular visits to or video calling someone with dementia can help prevent them from getting too lonely and will keep their spirits high during what is most likely a difficult time.

Visiting at least once a week is a good way to approach this, and you can split these visits between your other family members too. A lot of patients love to have their favorite foods and snacks delivered to them by their loved ones, so this is a great way to show your support as well.

Along with seeing your parents as often as you can, it is a good idea to have conversations with the staff working with them. Catholic Care Center stresses the importance of predicting possible situations before they happen and taking measures to ensure that those situations don’t happen in the first place.

We do this by asking you questions about how your parents would react to certain situations. If a particular scenario would make your parent uncomfortable, then we will put them in a place where that is unlikely to occur.

Assisted living communities are a wonderful thing. They help your parents and other loved ones get the care they need and allow them to live comfortably in a small community of people. Moving someone you care about into an assisted living facility is going to take some work, but, as long as you follow the right steps, the whole process should be simple and straightforward.

Additional Dementia Care Options

Sometimes, depending on the severity of a person’s dementia, assisted living is not always the best route to take when providing the care that they need. Assisted living is for patients who have difficulty functioning or struggle to perform simple daily tasks.

Catholic Care Center offers what are called Memory Cafes, which is a free service that is available for a few hours a few times a week. At these Memory Cafes, people with dementia get the chance to socialize over a nice meal and it allows their caregivers (usually the family) to get a nice break from the constant care that is required.

Catholic Care Center is a non-profit organization composed of a team of driven, compassionate, hardworking individuals who are committed to providing the care and assistance that your loved one requires.

If you live in Wichita, KS and are looking for an assisted living community or other dementia care services for your parent, contact Catholic Care Center. For more information on moving call (316) 771-6550 to schedule a virtual tour today!

Tabula Rasa

A clean slate. A fresh start. This is what we hope and long for after a long 15 or so months. Luckily, with winter over and the summer now showing itself in its full force, we can finally go and get some fresh air. Go outside and hang out with family. If we get up early enough we can even catch the beauty of a sunrise. There is something about the sunlight hitting you that rejuvenates you. Makes you feel whole again.

One of the beauties of a sunrise is that just before you see the sun you begin to see its light shining over the land. All the darkness that hid so much from us slowly starts to slip away, until everything comes into view. It is no wonder that our faith keeps turning us back towards the light. Our faith has a way of getting rid of the past darkness, freeing us from it, so that we can continue our journey forward as stewards for the day ahead of us.

This is what I think of when I pray over the last year as I have a simple conversation with Jesus. I remember that prayer is the language of hope—where we reach out and have a one-on-one with our God who has been waiting for us all along. He is inviting us into something more beautiful than we could have ever wished for, an intimate relationship with Him. He is inviting us to look beyond our past and look toward His future, His life and His light. A clean slate and a fresh start.

I believe we need that now more than ever. It seems we have started making it through the brunt of the isolations and the quarantines with Him always at our side. Maybe these past months have opened our eyes even wider to our need of Him. Maybe that is the good we were supposed to see through this pandemic. In the words of C.S Lewis, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” This causes our hearts to cry out all the louder…Jesus, We Trust In You.

– Fr. Chris

Our Journey Back

I pray that all of us had a joyful Thanksgiving and a fresh start to Advent. I hope that it re-energized us as we prepare for Christmas.

For me, Thanksgiving was a time to remember what it was like to see all those who are dear to me—those I love. Once you get past the sugar highs and the sleepiness that follows the big meal, you remember just how important family and those relationships are. To be honest I was pretty tired before I went to those Thanksgiving parties. But there is that energy that you get when you’re with those whom you haven’t seen in awhile.

I guess I never realized what state being quarantined and isolated during Covid had left me in. I had a longing just to be in their presence. There was a fulfillment with them that I had forgotten I needed.

In the seminary, we were told to think of our prayer life in this same way. Once you have experienced the love God wants to share, there is a longing to go back to it. A longing to know that you are not alone, that God is near to you each and every day. It’s almost like when you were dating. You couldn’t wait until the next time you’d be able to see them. Maybe you even had that hesitation and you thought, “Do I call them, or do I wait for them to call me? I don’t want to sound too needy!”

I find it amazing that after so much has changed for us in the last year(ish), He hasn’t. Jesus is still waiting for me to come and speak with Him. Sometimes I forget how much He means to me. He helps me to be centered. He helps me to calm down. He lets me just be me.

Sometimes we need a push, or at least I know I do. Sometimes that excitement for something just over the horizon gives me some initiative. I believe the season of Advent is a push for all of us as we look forward to Christmas. A time to prepare and a time to remember what is really important to us.

Maybe life has gotten in the way of our relationships with each other and with God. Maybe this season couldn’t have come at a better time. Maybe today is the day I start my journey back to both.

– Fr. Chris

Father Chris Martin Introduction

An Introduction
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Father Chris Martin. Unfortunately, because of circumstances beyond our control this has been a crazy last year. Recently, I have been blessed to become the new Chaplain of Catholic Care Center. Since last May I have been able to get to know many of the residents and staff of Catholic Care. I have enjoyed hearing their stories, learning from their wisdom and serving them.

Even though I have only been ordained as a priest of our diocese for a few short years, I have come to believe that the way for all of us to prosper is to be centered on Christ. Bishop Kemme has continually asked us to live as disciples who are “Fully Alive.” I believe that living our faith is a process. It will take time and we will have to overcome many hurdles before we get there.

I believe that first hurdle for all of us is our prayer life. After being at the Church of the Magdalen with Father John Jirak for the last two years, I have witnessed what prayer can do for us and our families. If we want the Catholic Care Center family to live up to and exceed the vision that Bishop Gerber had for us, we need to be founded on prayer.

We have to walk before we can run, and today I hope that you will begin to take this first step with me. Take that time to pray, to build that relationship with Christ. He is waiting for you to come to Him. He is leaving the door open for us to get to know Him and what He can accomplish with us. All so that we can begin to know what it means to believe that we are His beloved children. As Christians this is who we are, it is our identity, and I pray that we never forget it.

Visit our Facebook page for livestream Rosary, Mass, and Stations of the Cross with Father Chris.