Assisted Living Facilities

When to consider care outside the home

One of the most difficult experiences for family caregivers of a person with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder is deciding when to consider placement outside the home. Caregivers should ask themselves the following questions to evaluate their situation:

  1. Is the person with memory loss becoming unsafe in their home?
  2. Is constant care required beyond my physical capability?
  3. Am I becoming impatient or irritable toward the person for whom I am caring?
  4. Would structured activities and increased social interaction benefit the person I care for?
  5. Am I neglecting my family, my job or myself in order to provide care?
  6. Would placement outside the home result in more enjoyable visits and outings with the person I care for?

Your answers to those questions can help you determine if placement outside the home is the best decision.

What to look for when visiting care facilities


License: Ask to see the facility’s valid California State License, issued by the State of California, Dept. of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division.

Atmosphere: When you walk in do you “feel” the nurturing, loving, and supportive environment your loved one needs and deserves?

Living space: Is there indoor and outdoor space? Are there safe walking paths or secured access to fresh air and outdoor activities?

Visiting hours: Does the visitation policy meet your needs? Visit unannounced at different times to see the staff interact with residents.

Structure: Is the facility designed and constructed with the abilities, comfort, and freedom of the resident in mind?


Staff: Has the staff been screened and properly trained? Residents with memory loss present unique challenges to staff, requiring ongoing training.

Administrator: Does the Administrator seem knowledgeable about dementia and the special care required?

Physical contact: Is there positive physical contact between staff and residents – a warm touch, an arm around the shoulders?

Humor: Do staff and residents interact joyfully and set a tone of lightheartedness?

Verbal cues: How do staff redirect a resident? Do they command or encourage?


Personal care: Is care (bathing, toileting, etc.) done with respect and dignity for the resident?

Resident behavior: Are some residents sitting quietly or sleeping? Are some residents moving around freely? These are normal behaviors and should be allowed in a safe environment.

Personal belongings: Are residents allowed to bring in furniture, bedding, and photos that are familiar to them? This helps them to feel “at home” and gives them a sense of belonging and not being lost.

Level of function: Ask what happens when the person needs a higher level of care. Can the facility accommodate residents with a wide range of abilities?


Home life: Can the residents participate in meaningful activities such as setting the table, washing dishes, folding the laundry, etc.?

Programming: What does the structured activity program look like? Are projects interesting and success-oriented? Are activities planned with the dementia resident in mind?

Assisted Living Facilities Resources

A Home That Cares
Referrals to RCFEs* in LA County
(310) 592-2381

Assisted Living Locators
Referrals to RCFEs in LA County
(310) 853-8282

Brightside Referrals
Referrals to RCFEs in LA County and Thousand Oaks
(310) 490-6511

California Registry
Referrals to RCFEs & nursing facilities statewide
(800) 777-7575

Care Patrol
Referrals to RCFEs & nursing facilities nationwide
(866) 560-5656
Referrals to RCFEs & nursing facilities nationwide
(800) 973-1540

Concepts for Living
Referrals to RCFEs in Southern CA
(800) 414-4242

Connections Care Home Referrals
Referrals to RCFEs in Southern CA
(800) 330-5993
Services available in Spanish

Referrals to RCFEs & nursing facilities statewide
(800) 613-5772

Gently Guided
Referrals to RCFEs in SGV & LA County
(310) 308-9967

Heart Light
Referrals to RCFEs in LA County, including SFV & South Bay
(310) 204-2223

Helping Hands Senior Foundation
Referrals to RCFEs in LA, Orange Riverside & Ventura Counties
(818) 279-6580

Premier Residential Solutions
Referrals to RCFEs in LA, Ventura & Orange Counties
(818) 876-9999

Senior Placement Hotline
Referrals to RCFEs and nursing facilities in LA County
(877) 353-3756

Southern California Senior Resources
Referrals to RCFEs in Southern CA
(866) 697-3646
Services available in Spanish

Total Senior
Referrals to RCFEs in LA County
(818) 570-1087

*RCFE – Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly


Nursing Home Compare

We make every effort to include as many relevant resources as possible; however, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles does not endorse the agencies listed in this directory nor was any payment received for their inclusion.