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Alzheimer Care in California

Updated on May 11, 2012
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease.
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease.

With the senior population retiring to warmer climates, there is a growing need for Alzheimer care in California. To meet this need, many assisted living communities now offer care specialized to cater to residents with Alzheimer's and other memory-related disorders. Different levels of care are available depending on the progression of the disease. Overall, Alzheimer's care is provided by a specially trained skilled staff and offers a secure environment that lessens confusion.

Get a Professional Assessment

Alzheimer's develops slowly over years in most people. As the disease progresses, it affects the brain and will influence:

  • Judgment
  • Language
  • Memory loss
  • Movement
  • Personality
  • Problem solving
  • Thinking

The rate of progression differs from one person to another, so no matter where you live in California it is important to get a professional assessment to help identify the level of care your loved one needs.

Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

The medical community divides the progression of Alzheimer's into stages in order to help family members grasp not only where their loved one is in the progression of the disease, but to equip them so they will know behaviorally what to expect. These stages are known as mild, moderate, and severe, but these labels aren't based on an exact science. Instead, they are designed to educate family members and caregivers in order to equip them to recognize symptoms as they develop.

Alzheimer Care in California

For people in the mild stage of Alzheimer's disease, symptoms include memory loss of recent events, impaired judgment, trouble with complex tasks, losing or misplacing things, and changes in personality. At first looking after someone with Alzheimer's can be managed at home, but eventually it will be necessary to find long-term care.

Special Care Units (SCUs)

Special Care Units offer assisted living services which provide an environment that's safe for residents in the mild or moderate stages of Alzheimer's. SCUs can offer different levels of care. Some are equipped to offer skilled nursing care, while others are not. In some cases, SCUs will only accept residents who are in the early stages of Alzheimer's so it is important to research exactly what will and will not be provided at a given facility based on your loved one's assessment.

Nursing Home for Alzheimer's Care

Nursing homes provide the long-term, skilled nursing care needed for Alzheimer's patients as the disease progresses. With more than 1,200 nursing homes in California, finding the right nursing home can be challenging. The first thing to look for are skilled nursing facilities that offer specialized programs for residents in the severe or advanced stage of Alzheimer's. At this stage patients may lose the ability to communicate and will experience a decline in physical abilities. Along with impaired cognition, eventually, they lose the ability to swallow, or to control bladder or bowel functions. This short list of California skilled nursing facilities offer care for Alzheimer's patients as well as others who need memory care.

Before You Choose

Before you make a decision about which facility to place your loved one in, talk with your doctor, friends, other family members and look to see what others are saying online. Also contact the Long-Term Ombudsman program to get their advice and input.

Support Groups Help

While Alzheimer's takes its toll on the patient, the far-reaching effects are something the entire family has to live with. California residents can find a variety of support groups available for those dealing with this disease. Specialized groups can be found for children, caregivers, and for those who are in the mild stage of Alzheimer's. Seek out this support to help deal with the stress and nuances associated with the disease.


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