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Alzheimer's & Dementia Care

Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia are progressive diseases in which a person goes through stages of gradual mental and physical decline. If a resident of a continuing care retirement community is diagnosed with a dementia, gradually he or she will need more and more care.

These additional services may be provided in the current living situation, usually at an additional cost, or there may need to be a change in living arrangements within the CCRC. This is an advantage of living in a CCRC.

Before Admission

Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia are progressive diseases in which a person goes through stages of gradual mental and physical decline.Many continuing care retirement communities will not admit a new resident into the independent living section if he or she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia.

Some CCRCs may admit new residents with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease directly into the assisted living or nursing care sections, as these areas have staff trained to assist individuals with such conditions, but openings are scarce.

Special Services

A number of services may be offered to residents with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, including:

  • Personal care services to assist the resident in the independent living section with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, etc. The resident will pay extra for this service (unless such care is provided under an extensive contract). It is important to note that many CCRCs limit the length of time aide service can be provided to someone in the independent living section, as an extended need for this level of assistance indicates a need to move to the assisted living or nursing care section.
  • Specialized programs for Alzheimer's patients, usually found in the assisted living and nursing home sections.
  • Facility modifications specifically designed for Alzheimer's patients within the assisted living and nursing care sections.
  • Support groups for residents and caregivers.

For a couple who have chosen to live in a retirement community, there may be comfort in knowing that, if one of them is in need of care in the assisted living or nursing care center due to a diagnosis of dementia, those sections are located near the independent living section so frequent visitation is easy.

To better understand Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Association offers information on their web site, including ways that family members can receive support and guidance.