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Alzheimer's Care

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer's accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases, and at least 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's. The greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with the disease are over the age of 65. But, up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early-onset Alzheimer's, which often appears when someone is in his 40s or 50s. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, and worsens over time. While research continues and treatment for symptoms are available, currently, there is no known cure.

There is no one singular approach to caring for a person who has Alzheimer's, because Alzheimer's affects each person differently. When making a care decision, it is important to find out if there is specialized care offered for residents with the disease or dementia. Alzheimer's care is usually delivered in an assisted living facility or nursing home in a separate area or on a separate floor from the rest of the building. In general, residents live in semi-private apartments and have structured activities delivered by staff members trained in Specialized care. Most of these facilities have secured areas to prevent wandering, a common symptom of the disease. Residents usually have access to outdoor walking areas or paths within secured areas.

Stand alone memory care facilities, or Alzheimer's special care units, also exist to better meet the specialized care of patients. These memory care communities have been specifically designed for people suffering from Alzheimer's with a circular layout to prevent a resident from encountering a "dead-end" in the hallway.

The most important factor when choosing care for someone with Alzheimer's is to find out if the facility offers specialized care for residents with the disease. The environment within which a resident lives can be an effective treatment. A positive environment can improve a resident's daily life, so make sure to ask if specialized Alzheimer's care is available.

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