“Is a Senior Living Community an Appropriate Option for Someone with Alzheimer’s?”
Larger group facilities are not ideal for persons suffering from memory loss. As the name suggests, most senior living “communities” are designed to foster social interaction; i.e., to bring people together. But by the very nature of their disease, people with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia become isolated from those around them and incapable of social interaction. In addition to loss of memory, the disease causes loss of communication skills and changes in the person’s behavior and personality. This can be devastating to relationships.
Aside from the social aspects there is the loss of judgment that accompanies the disease. As functioning becomes increasingly impaired, people with Alzheimer’s literally lose their way in the world. They may be prone to wandering. They become dependent on caregivers for help with tasks such as dressing, washing and even eating. And with the loss of judgment comes an increased demand for safety.
For these reasons, people with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia are best cared for in a secure, home-like environment with familiar surroundings and a high ratio of caregivers to residents. It is a specialized environment and a level of care that conventional group facilities are simply not equipped to provide.
Please support our local Alzheimer’s Association at 316-267-7333.