Alzheimer's facilities are long-term residences for individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other types of memory loss. There are several long-term care options that may be appropriate for an Alzheimer's patient, depending on the stage to which the disease has progressed.
Assisted living facilities are the most popular choice for individuals who have early- to mid-stage Alzheimer's. These facilities generally accept adults age 65 or older and provide personal care, transportation, housekeeping, meals and other services.
Residents of an assisted living community each have their own room or suite, but live communally and have many opportunities to socialize with others who live there. Many of these communities also have dedicated on-site Alzheimer's facilities staffed by professionals who have extensive experience caring for people with dementia.
Facilities for Patients With Advanced Alzheimer's
Patients who have advanced Alzheimer's disease are often placed into a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. These options provide 24-hour nursing care to individuals who are incapable of caring for themselves.
Many nursing homes are certified by Medicare and Medicaid, making them an attractive financial option for adult children who do not have the fiscal resources to hire a live-in home nurse. Most residents of skilled care facilities are 65 or older, although many facilities accept younger patients, such as stroke victims and those with early onset Alzheimer's.
CCRCs: A Comprehensive Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) also provide many attractive options for Alzheimer's patients. These facilities usually consist of multiple buildings on a single campus, and provide a huge range of care options. Seniors who are fairly independent may live in an apartment or a suite, and if their health deteriorates, they may be moved to the assisted living portion of the campus and/or to the 24-hour care sector.
Many CCRCs possess Alzheimer's facilities that provide for all of the needs of dementia patients. These facilities are typically much more secure than other parts of campus because patients with advanced Alzheimer's have a tendency to wander. Increased security measures help keep patients safe and comfortable 24 hours a day.
Continuing care retirement communities are extremely attractive to many families because of their sliding care scale. A senior who moves in to such a facility will almost certainly never have to leave it, even if their health deteriorates.
The primary drawback associated with a CCRC is the high cost of living there. Many charge high up-front entry fees that are non-refundable. It is also important to note that these facilities often decline to accept new residents who already require 24-hour care. Therefore, it's quite important to pick an Alzheimer's facility while the patient is still fairly independent.
Hospice Care for Alzheimer's Patients
Alzheimer's patients who are expected to live fewer than six months may be placed in hospice care, which may also be called palliative care. Hospices cater to individuals of all ages and all health conditions, and emphasize pain management and dignity during the final months of life. Visits by family and friends are welcome, and the facility is staffed by highly trained and compassionate professionals who are dedicated to making this final period of life as comfortable as possible.
Hospices are usually quite beautiful on the inside, and resemble fine hotels more than hospitals. This is intentional, as the comforting, homey interiors help patients and their families relax during this stressful period. Many hospice-type Alzheimer's facilities are certified by Medicare and Medicaid, making them more affordable and accessible to working-class families.
Find Alzheimer’s Facilities
Caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's disease is no easy task. Thankfully, there are many excellent Alzheimer's facilities available that provide patients and their families with world-class care and support services. Browse our comprehensive directory to Find Alzheimer’s Care facilities across the United States.
Written by senior housing staff writer.