Just because your loved one is in a senior housing facility does not mean they need to stay there. If they dislike the staff, have a hard time making friends, do not want to participate in activities, or spend all day in their room without socializing, the facility could be a poor fit. In which case, it might be time for them to transfer to another senior home.

Check the Fine Print

When your loved one entered their current facility, they or their caregiver may have agreed to certain upfront fees. These are more common in continuing care facilities. Sometimes these fees are large, but you may be able to get some money back. Check the contract’s fine print to see if you can retrieve a percentage or all of the fee. There may be other move-out costs as well.

Determine What Went Wrong

To find a facility that is a better fit, figure out what’s gone wrong at the current one. Try to pinpoint the reasons by asking some questions, such as:

    • Was there a lack of independence, or too many rules?

    • Did your loved one like the staff?

    • Were the other residents friendly?

    • Were there too many or too few people around?

You should also speak with the staff about how your loved one has been behaving and interacting with others. If the staff says they have been having mood swings or acting erratically, it could be a sign of a health or cognitive problem. If the staff did not bring this to your attention or do anything about it before you asked, it could be a sign of a disinterested staff, which is a good reason to seek another facility. If your loved one is having memory problems, they may need to be transferred to a memory care wing.

Note that some reasons, like having a bad roommate, do not mean you need to transfer. The facility should have a program in place for swapping roommates or rooms.

Look for an Ideal Spot

One you have an idea of what went wrong, look for a facility that has what your loved one desires. For example, if they did not enjoy a facility with a hundred other residents and dozens of staff, consider a smaller community. If the activities were boring, look for a place that offers activities in line with your loved one’s interests. Visit the facility during class hours and take note of attendance and the participation of the staff. Speak with someone in charge of introducing new residents and ask them what programs are in place to make new residents feel comfortable.

Make Room at Home

It might not be possible to find a new facility before removing your loved one from the current home. If this is the case, they will need a temporary place to stay with you, a family member or a friend. Whichever the arrangement, it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to make your loved one feel comfortable and to ensure their health requirements are met. If you feel overwhelmed with that responsibility, you may need to hire a caregiver.