With over 4.5 million individuals in the Unites States suffering from Alzheimer's disease it is the most common form of dementia. When the disease has progressed to the point that the family or care giving staff can no longer continue with care, the best type of care will be provided in a dedicated Alzheimer's community or in an Alzheimer's special care unit located within a larger Assisted living community.
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 or other open designs to insure that pacing residents won't encounter a "dead-end" that can have the potential of adding stress to the resident. Other features generally include "memory boxes" located near the entry of each residents' room containing pictures and objects that may still be familiar to the individual and assist them with identifying their room. Since wandering is a primary component of the disease, all these communities are secured and have a delayed egress system in place, either a keypad device or wander guard bracelet or anklet. Often, residents have access to outdoor walking paths or gardens, which are within secured areas.
Costs of Alzheimer's Care
Because of the special nature of the disease and the additional training and security measures that need to be taken by the community, Alzheimer's care is generally the most costly of all Assisted Living options. Although there are a few communities that have seen the need to be able to serve this population on a limited income, the average costs within California for a shared room inclusive of care is about $4000 per month and for a private room, the costs are about $5000 per month. *
Board and Care Homes
Generally, board and care homes are allowed to care for individuals with dementia but the state does not allow them to be a secured environment. This means that an individual that may get up during the night in order to leave the home is a risk for elopement. These homes all have an alarm system that alerts them to anyone trying to enter or leave the premises. Very few care homes have the staff or capabilities to contend with residents that are displaying aggressive behaviors (biting, pushing, swearing, and yelling) and will not accept clients that are known to to have these behaviors unless the behavior is controlled with the use of medications. For these reasons, when an individual reaches that level, the best possible option is a dedicated Alzheimer's unit or community.
By calling our help line at (800) 777-7575. or by filling out our care needs assessment form., you can get a personalized list of qualified facilities in your area that have been inspected by our staff to start your search.
*As of 2008