Alzheimer's Care Communities
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can become overwhelming for family, friends and loved ones. An estimated 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, a progressive disorder that is the leading type of dementia. People who have Alzheimer's experience a variety of crippling symptoms including confusion, mood swings and memory loss. People with Alzheimer's often require care and supervision that can only be provided at supervised residential facilities.
Simple tasks such as eating, dressing and bathing can become monumental challenges for both patient and caregiver. As the disease worsens, patients may feel lost in their own homes, or they might forget the faces of spouses, family and friends. The physical and emotional strain of coping with the disease is immeasurable.
Depending on the degree of the patient's symptoms, housing options can include assisted living centers, nursing homes or Alzheimer's special care units. Assisted living centers are ideal for patients with mild symptoms; residents live independently while having access to meals, activities and health care services. Nursing homes provide closer supervision and more regimented care for individuals with more serious symptoms. Alzheimer's special care units, or SCUs, provide the most intensive care and monitoring of Alzheimer's patients. In these facilities, residents are grouped together on a floor or a unit within a larger residential center.
Housing options for people with Alzheimer's or dementia often include secure outdoor walkways where individuals can wander without getting lost -- a common occurrence among people with dementia. Some housing centers are built with circular layouts so residents can walk without hitting dead ends. Individuals in these facilities take part in group activities and receive care from medical staff trained in helping patients with dementia. Most importantly, residents of certified medical facilities are never completely alone. Even in an assisted living center, residents live among qualified staff members who can quickly respond to emergency situations.
The best residential facility for someone with Alzheimer's will hinge on the severity of his or her symptoms. There are many types of assisted living and nursing facilities. Check out information on several communities before making a decision.