Elderlink, Inc., Nursing Home Information & Referral, Santa Monica, CA
Licensed by California Department of Public Health
Certified by Department of Social Services
1-800-613-5772 24 Hour Helpline


Preparing a move into an assisted living facility can be exciting and frightening at the same time. Downsizing for the move often times isn’t as easy. It can be somewhat of a challenge for some families especially when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to let go.

DOWNSIZING – What goes to the new location and what goes anywhere but the new location.

Almost all families that have helped their loved ones to move to an assisted living were confronted with the issue of downsizing. We know that assisted living has many benefits, and exciting opportunities that surround you, but there is limited space. In our effort to make this transition simple we put together a checklist to follow in hopes of making your move simple and enjoyable.

Cleaning Supplies

Although it’s common for most assisted living to offer to housekeeping for residents, we recommend you bring a few cleaning supplies to keep your room the way you like it. Items like surface wipes, 409 and a glass cleaner plus soap, and other personal necessities. No matter where we are it is, we will need them to care for unexpected messes.

Personal Items

This is where making decisions may take a little more of your time. That great dress you bought twenty years ago for that special event you are still keeping just in case another special event comes around probably needs to find a new home. Lots of clothes you never really wear or wear once a year simply because it is in your closet and “Well since it is there you probably should wear it, when in fact if you never saw it again you would not really miss it”, needs a new home also. Items such as friendly daily wear clothes go with you, medications, glasses, and toiletries are the first set of items you should pack. All other items depend on the availability of space.


Your new home! When seniors are moving to an assisted living one of the few things, they appreciate are items that would make them feel at home. Be sure to Include some personal decor items such as photographs, paintings or plants. The facility will let you know what you can bring but still since this is the time to downsize it may be the best opportunity. Talk to your loved one about what is most important to them to take before the move.  it is a lot easier to do that then instead of once they are in.  Many facilities can recommend a professional company who will measure out the room and make a plan to use the space to the fullest.


Many assisted living facilities to allow pieces of furniture aside from the usual bed, sofa, or chair. If the furniture from home won’t work, you can look online, and you will be amazed what you can find at very reasonable prices. For example, a dining table with drop-down sides, a thin shelf to put possibly some pictures on. Include some chairs, there are so many items reasonably priced that are so innovative, your loved one will be excited with new furniture that is unique and yet very functional. 

Household items

You won’t need much of these since meals are generally provided. However, it may be a good idea if permitted to include a set of dishes, pots, a small microwave, and refrigerator.


Limited space means some items need to go. Painful as it may be, if you do this all at once it is a little less painful with all the excitement and changes happening at the same time. We understand there isn’t a lot of additional space in assisted living like your home, there are many items that you aren’t supposed to pack for you to bring. Such items include:

  • Large furniture sets
  • Kitchen items
  • Collectibles
  • Rugs

If you or your loved one are having difficulty downsizing for assisted living or choosing a facility,  please call us, our experienced Referral Agents at Elderlink Referral Service (1-800-613-5772) or visit us online www.elderlink.org (FREE OF CHARGE) we have been helping seniors find the appropriate living facilities since 1995. If you have questions, we have the answers. Let us and our Licensed Administrator help you to make the right decisions based our knowledge and experience. Licensed by the California Department of Health #960000942. Some facilities have kitchenettes in the room with a dorm size refrigerator, a sink and a microwave. This is all based on the facility guidelines and you will know what is acceptable and not acceptable before you move in.


Many seniors will agree to the fact that excitement lightens up their mood and help them to feel better. For this reason, assisted living directors have created various activities that create lots of fun and excitement and added them into the activity calendar of their residents. This is far beyond the usual bingo nights and bridges game. Although these are also fun, residents now need something different from the usual “thing” they are used to already.

Many assisted living facilities are already up for the challenge as they now run dynamic activity calendars all year round. The goal is to add fun and entertaining activities to prevent residents from boredom and the feeling of depression.

We have spoken to lots of assisted living locations and here are some of the fun group activity ideas they have incorporated into their calendars.


Consider taking them to museums, opera, musical concerts, and bus rides to mystery destinations. Most all locations tell us it is perfect for removing the feeling of loneliness when you take them to places, they have never been or been before or they have been there, but some time past. There are many outing opportunities in your local area, explore them and allow your residents to feel the thrill of the world around them once again.


Assisted living facility directors can introduce a monthly cocktail party whereby every month residents would try a new cocktail drink then share what they think of the taste with the group. For those who do not drink alcohol, find a new refreshing non-alcoholic drink and let them join in with what they think of the taste. This can fill an evening with lots of laughs and smiles and give the tenants a memorable time.


Outdoor shows can be organized for residents. Many young magicians are very open to entertaining a group of seniors for free as a community service. This will enable seniors to feel the thrill and excitement of a Las Vegas show even when they have never been there.

There are many young performers who would like to come and entertain the seniors (at no charge or minimal fee). From singers to dancers, story readings to painting class.


Who says residents living in an assisted living aren’t interested in learning like students? Occasionally, consider bringing in an expert from a recognized traveling agency to teach residents about the different countries of the world and how they are different and unique from one another. Encourage seniors to participate fully by asking them questions and seeking their opinion on the subject matter.

Many of the tenants have never had the chance to travel as they would have loved to. Learning about these places would broaden their knowledge, give them a vicarious thrill and allow them to share places they have visited.


Create some fun way to enable residents to socialize among themselves and discover their hidden talent. Learn about activities that are important to them by asking them questions about their thoughts on a specific activity. Once a week or once a month allow a few of them to put on a fun show, or sing, dance or do a scene from a play.


Your aged parents need all the care they can get to alleviate the feeling of loneliness and depression which is common among the elderly. Most times, we are not always around to provide such amount of care due to our busy schedules. We then look to the next best solution to help insure a better life and moving them to an assisted living facility makes great sense. For most, finding the RIGHT ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY for your loved one is not easy at times and requires a lot of research.

There is a company that completes all the footwork for you, Elderlink is a free senior referral service that can help you choose the best assisted living facility for your loved ones according to their needs and budget.

They are the only senior referral service fully licensed by the Department of Public Health and your trusted partner when it comes to providing personalized senior care placement. Get the help you need from California’s leading assisted living locator. Call Elderlink today and find out what quality customer care is all about.


Recently, there has been an increase in the demand for professional caregivers for senior citizens. However, the level of care that a senior with special needs requires depends on the stage of the Alzheimer’s/dementia. Many care services are offered by assisted living facilities and memory care units. But assisted living is different from memory care in several ways, www.Elderlink.org understand the difference, which most senior citizens and their families are yet to grasp fully. We are there for our clients and their families answering all their questions and remember our services are always, FREE.


In most cases, memory care units lack the personal up close care for each resident as its commonly seen in assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities are designed to keep the stress level of those with dementia to a minimum.

Memory care units emphasis on security measures and go the extra mile to prevent patients from wandering while most assisted living facilities have well secured areas specifically meant for seniors with mild dementia.

Memory care units ensure seniors with dementia have access to a relaxed environment always such as creating a place where patients can relax together and watch television. Assisted Living Facilities do their best to make the entire location safe yet more homey. This is done to minimize the stressful and confused state of mind that dementia brings when it strikes.


Memory care units conduct more safety checks, and most of them have an alarm system that sounds anytime a resident gets close to the exit door. Since seniors with dementia can quickly become stressed, most memory care units maintain a rigid scheduling structure because residents can easily become unfamiliar with the environment but perform better when they stick to a routine.

Lack of appetite is often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, memory care units seek to address the issue in various ways such a creating a contrast between the plate in which a meal is served and the meal so residents can easily see their food.

ElderLink.org will advise each potential client or their family which facility offers the best level of care. During our initial assessment we will secure the information required to ensure you are given locations that fit your personal needs most closely.



In assisted living facilities, the staff are trained to assist seniors with activities of daily living such as helping them to bath, dress and climb the stairs, feel appreciated and cared for. In memory care units, staff is trained to handle the individual needs of those with Alzheimer’s/dementia. A little less personal and more rigid because staff has to closely follow protocols required by the Memory Care management.


When it comes to costs this is where www.elderlink.org will be your best help. A lot of factors come into play for both assisted living facilities and memory care units. This includes whether the living space is shared or private, the geographical area, and the amount of care needed by the patient. Generally, the care offered by many assisted living facilities are less costlier than memory care units and ElderLink knows them all of them throughout California.

Most seniors with Alzheimer’s/dementia and their families need professional advice to help them find the perfect senior care facility that meets their needs, budget and preferences. www.ElderLink.com is the only senior care referral service licensed by the Department of Public Health and we are Certified by the Department of Social Services. Most important to you and your family, our services are FREE. There is a reason why we are the oldest and most respected senior placement referral care provider in California, WE CARE.

Call us 800 613-5772

License CA Dept. of Public Health #960000942

Licensed CA Dept. of Social Services Community Care #6002629740

Enjoying your Holiday as a Senior Citizen

The hour of rest has finally come! It is the holidays, we believe that means NO REST. We at Elderlink think all work and no play makes mom and dad plus grandma and grandpa a bit less happy and a bit more stressed. We understand, you have your normal standard day, wake, food, relax or nap, lunch, get out to meet with friends and family, dinner TV and bed.

This month that changes, wake, food, prepare for family and start cleaning, start baking goodies as presents or for friends and family, go out shopping, lunch (maybe), more preparation possibly more shopping, more stress, dinner, more anxiety TV with all the holiday shows and music and sleep. Or insomnia thinking about what to buy the grandkids, what to cook, what to wear, and the list goes on….

HINT #1: It’s time to refocus on your thoughts!

Plan out the days and make time to relax and play. Remember you live in California with sunshine 350 days a year. In your hectic schedule consider some time at the beach, in the country, in the mountains with your family, or friends, leave stress aside and learn how to enjoy your holidays with Elderlink hints.

HINT #2: Do Not Overload the Holiday

Plan, which means think ahead, identify the days you will shop, another day to cook and bake, and another day to clean and prepare what to wear. MONDAY Shopping for gifts. Wednesday Shopping for food and start baking those delicious cookies, cakes, a ham or something fun to serve or take to a family gathering.TUESDAY, THURSDAY are your full get ready days and FRIDAY (half of the day, pick a simple and easier project around the house to clean) the second half of the day, do what you do on those days off like going out with friends, go to a family amusement park like the Zoo, or and even at a recreation center, possibly a bike ride, read a good book. Whatever you choose, on your days of rest, play and have fun DO NOT DO WORK OR ANY KIND. ß This was HINT #3 BY THE WAY.

HINT #4:

 The risk for many holidaymakers is to overload with activities and to feel frustrated with the idea of ​​not having had time to do everything. In all of the other HINTS, this was the true message. Keep in mind, the holidays are about fun, laughter, excitement, family and friends.

HINT #5:

Read HINTS one throughfour again and from all of us at Elderlink, have a happy and healthy holidayseason.

How to Care for Someone with Alzheimer

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is one of the biggest challenges a person can face.

One of the most important things you can do as a caregiver is to set reasonable expectations. For many family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a road too rocky to manage. When possible, a good senior citizens facility that works with Alzheimer’s patients is the best solution for you and your suffering family member. Most require very specialized care and having your loved one in the hands of a professional will help them and give you a sense of calm.

Most of us know Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects the memory, judgment and logical thinking of an individual with this disease. These symptoms may intensify as the disease progresses and your loved one’s faculties decline. Although there are treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, doctors still cannot cure it. Life expectancy after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s generally varies from 6 to 8 years but can reach 20 years for some people.

Stages of Alzheimer

Alzheimer’s has three stages. The first stage is the lightest form, in which the elder begins to have occasional loss of memory or to forget where his belongings are. At this stage of Alzheimer’s, many sufferers have difficulty with more complex reasoning and have prolonged personality changes. Many still work almost normally.

In the second stage, the disease is moderate. At this point, the first symptoms, such as memory loss, personality changes, and confusion intensify. Caregivers now need to help the older adult navigate his or her environment, as he or she may have difficulty identifying where he or she is and thereby putting themselves at risk without realizing it. Moreover, it is at this stage that many begin to confuse their relatives with another, to forget their name or not to recognize them.

The final stage of Alzheimer’s is the phase of severe dementia. At this stage, the older adult is no longer able to follow a conversation or interact with his environment and needs 24-hour supervision. In addition to the declining mental faculties, physical disorders caused by illness begin to manifest themselves. The person may have difficulty walking, their muscles and reflexes may react abnormally, and they may end up unable to feed themselves.

It is essential for a family caregiver to be mentally prepared, to know what to expect, and to resist the temptation to feel guilty as the disease progresses.

Tips to Help You Care for Someone with Alzheimer

The best advice you can give when it comes to caring for a person with Alzheimer’s/dementia is to have patience. Form short sentences the more information they contain, the more likely the individual will become confused and the more difficult it is for him or her to understand what you are telling them. When planning your day, try, as much as you can, to avoid changing their routine.

Another good tip, “Try to maintain their physical appearance as it was before their health status started to decline.” Give them some sense of normality. An Alzheimer’s patient’s health can decline rapidly, watching how they act is important since simple activities like brushing their teeth or showering can become a challenge. You will need to step in and remind or assist the individual, the more they get confused the more agitated they can become.

One thing is certain, the lingering effects of the disease on a family member as a caregiver will be very difficult to manage, especially when the person is close to your heart. However, if you follow these tips and those of the doctors, you and your family will experience the experience with less difficulty.

If you are ready to secure a senior living facility that works with Alzheimer’s patients, then we suggest you start with the best company to assist in your search,  please contact www.elderlink.net  for help finding the best elder care options.