Over 4.5 million people in the United States and 26 million worldwide suffer from
Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. The
disease destroys brain cells and symptoms can include confusion, anger, mood swings,
language breakdown and long-term memory loss. Caring for a person with Alzheimer's
disease involves specialized services that differ from other types of senior housing.
What is the best type of care for a loved one with the disease? Alzheimer's care is often
delivered in an assisted living or nursing home setting usually in a separate floor or unit.
Generally, the residents live in semi-private apartments and have structured activities
delivered by staff members trained in Alzheimer's and dementia care. Most of these living
environments have secured areas to prevent wandering, a common symptom of the disease.
Often, residents have access to outdoor walking paths or gardens which are within secured
Stand alone memory care communities called Alzheimer's special care units or memory
care units also exist to better meet the specialized needs of residents with the disease.
These memory care communities have been designed specifically for seniors suffering
from Alzheimer's disease or dementia and often have features like a circular layout to
ensure a resident won't encounter a 'dead-end' in a hallway (a potential source of stress
for advanced cases of Alzheimer's).
When making a decision, it is important to ask if there is specialized care offered for
residents with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
Back to Care Choices.