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Transitioning from a Family Caregiver to Long-Term Care

Transitioning from a Family Caregiver to Long-Term Care

October 26, 2023

For many families, having a family member act as the caregiver for an aging loved one seems like the perfect option. While it is usually most comfortable for the loved one to be cared for by a family member, it may become difficult for the caregiver to continue in this role when medical conditions become more advanced and physical and emotional needs become more taxing.

In these situations, the family may need to move away from a relative in this role to more of a long-term care option. While this process is often done in the interest of your loved one’s health and well-being, it still may be a difficult transition.

Make it a Family Decision

While the care of a loved one may fall mainly on one family member's shoulders, the entire family should be a part of the transition toward long-term care options. The family member providing care may have difficulty being part of the transition on their own since they have shouldered the responsibility for so long. Involving the entire family will ensure that everyone is on the same page and make it easier for everyone when the time for change comes.1

Learn About Long-Term Care Options and Admission Processes

Perform research on the various long-term care options to find the facility that will better fit the needs and wants of your loved one. Once you have narrowed down the type of facility, find one with the amenities you wish your loved one to have, preferably in a location that is convenient for frequent visits.1

Schedule a Meeting With the Caregiving Staff

Once you have found the facility that seems to fit everyone’s needs, arrange a meeting with your loved one's future caregivers. It is important to remember you are still an integral part of your loved one's healthcare team and know more about them than most. When you talk with their caregivers:

  • Find out each of their roles in your loved one's care.
  • Share your loved one's likes, dislikes, and routines.
  • Brief them about your loved one's medical needs and health conditions.2

Talk With Your Loved One

Now comes the most challenging part of the process: discussing the change with your loved one. This will likely be a delicate subject and might be met with some resistance.

When talking to your loved one about the decision to transition them to long-term care:

  • Listen to their concerns.
  • Allow them to be upset.
  • Bring up the positive points of the facility.
  • Let them know you are still there for them whenever needed.
  • Help them make their new space as comfortable as possible.
  • Help them get involved with the facilities' events and activities.
  • Establish specific days for them to come visit your home.2

Whether you’ve been the caregiver or another family member has had this role, remember that the transition may be hard on them too, since it may feel like relinquishing responsibility for a loved one. To make the process smooth for all involved, ensure everyone is heard and has a voice during the transition and the decision-making process.


Important Disclosures:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This article was prepared by WriterAccess.

LPL Tracking #1-05325573.


1How to Talk to Your Loved One About Transitioning into a Care Facility, Cedar Haven,

2Transitioning From Primary Caregiving: How to Adapt Your Role in Long-Term Care, Family Nursing Care,