Alzheimer's facilities

Most Alzheimer’s patients are cared for at their homes, however, along with their decreased ability to take care of themselves and the increased care burden on their families, other forms of care provides options that responds to the progression and needs of the disease. Such forms could be either:

Institutional facilities
  • Special care units SCUs
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Long-Term Care Facilities, or
Less Institutional facilities
  • Group Home
  • Day Care Facility
  • Home Environment care
These Facilities vary in their population by serving only dementia patients or providing services to both cognitively intact and cognitively impaired patients. Some advocates support integrated population as they enhance function for people with dementia through interaction with cognitively intact residents. However, others prefer separation to lessen embarrassment among dementia people, and reduce confusion and depression for cognitively intact residents.

Facility size depends on the type of the facility; however, there is a trend towards smaller units 6-12 residents instead of 20-60 residents because smaller size unit helps reduce overstimulation, depression and anxiety for dementia people. It also helps staff and family members as well.

Location of the facility depends on several factors including labor pools, families, entertainment opportunities and availability of outdoor spaces. For instance, rural locations could have the advantage of providing an outdoor space while having problems recruiting employees. Furthermore, closeness affect family visits which improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their families as well. Proximity and access to related facilities, such as medical care and community facilities are also important, as they would reduce in-house duplication and promote interaction in the community.

Special care units SCUs

SCUs provide services only to the cognitively impaired, such as people with dementia. In the United States, special care units are the most common type of dementia care facilities. They differ than other facilities by providing dementia-appropriate activities, embracing smaller groups of residents compared to other units, and employing dementia-specialized staff.

Home Environment

Alzheimer’s patients at the early stages of the disease commonly live in their own homes in which minor modifications are installed to assist them in their daily lives, such as installing grab bars, labeling drawers, and securing the backyard.

Day Care Facilities

Provide services to people with dementia for periods of time ranging from few hours to a full day responding to the increasing needs on care-givers at home. These facilities differ slightly in design, size and location from each other.

Group Home

Group homes accommodate small group of residents around eight residents. They also provide a smooth transition for people with dementia by offering home-like environments.

Long-Term Care Facility

These facilities with in hospitals or nursing homes are organized with higher priority given to nursing units and surveillance than residents spaces.

Cohen, U., & Weisman, G. D., Steiner, V. L., Ray, K., Rand, J., & Toyne, R. M. (1988). Environment for people with dementia: Design guide. Milwaukee, WI: The Health Facilities Research Program.
Cohen, U., & Day, K. (1993). Contemporary environments for people with dementia. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Day, K., Carreon, D., & Stump, C. (2000). The therapeutic design of environments for people with dementia: A review of the empirical research. The Gerontologist, 40(4), 397-416

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