What is Memory Care?

Personal, Passionate, Individual Care

One way to approach finding the right level of senior care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is to first understand whether the individual is in the early, middle or late stages of the affliction. Early-stage care-giving, for example, may require a lighter level of assistance, during a time in which the senior may still be able to function independently, whereas those in later stages of Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty walking and eating, and are more susceptible to infections; especially pneumonia. It’s important to match the level of care with the stage of the disease or dementia. A medical professional should be able to help you determine the stage through examination of the senior in question.

Many assisted living communities cater to individuals with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other related memory disorders. There is a growing trend towards the development of specialized communities where the care and housing for Alzheimer’s patients is tailored to the special needs of individuals with the disease. What sets these facilities apart from other assisted living communities is the care provided, in that the care works to foster each resident’s skills and interests in an environment that helps diminish confusion and agitation. In addition, Alzheimers disease specialty services are provided in a secure assisted living environment by professionals who are specially trained and skilled to know how to handle the behaviors associated with memory impairments.

7 stages of Alzheimer’s disease progression

According to the Alzheimer’s Association there are 7 stages of progression of Alzheimer’s disease:

Stage 1
No impairment — No evidence of memory loss but concern is indicated
Stage 2
Very mild decline — Memory lapses occur, but whether such incidences are due to the aging process or Alzheimer’s disease is unclear
Stage 3
Mild decline — Apparent decline in cognitive skills, such as remembering names and places
Stage 4
Moderate decline — Forgetfulness about one’s own personal history may occur, as well as difficulty performing daily tasks
Stage 5
Moderately severe decline — The individual starts to require help with daily activities as memory lapses begin to interfere
Stage 6
Severe decline — Personality changes begin to take place as well as confusion about one’s surroundings
Stage 7
Very severe decline — The individual loses the ability to respond to their environment, to carry on a conversation and, eventually, to control movement

Financial Matters

Like any housing situation, the cost for assisted living with Alzheimer’s disease care varies by community, type, location, amenities offered, and so on, but the following guidelines are generally true:

  • For those over the age of 65, the cost of Alzheimer’s services is three times that of normal health care costs in that age bracket.
  • Federal and state programs exist to help pay for housing and care for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, including Medicaid, Medicare, social security disability, and other caregiver support programs.
  • The cost will vary depending on the level of care the person will require, which is often determined by their stage of disease progression.
  • To get a true estimate of the cost of assisted living for seniors with Alzheimers, contact the communities listed on AlternativesforSeniors.com and inquire. A friendly associate will gladly assist you.

Other types of active senior communities exist in addition to assisted living for seniors with Alzheimers or dementia, including in-home residential care, continuing care communities, and nursing and rehab centers. For those who are seeking independent living options, single-family homes, condominiums, and mobile home living are a few of the available choices.