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What is Alzheimer's Memory Care?

Alzheimer's, dementia and memory care are often provided in a secure assisted living or nursing home setting, usually in a separate floor or wing. Residents may live in semi-private apartments or private rooms and have structured activities delivered by staff members trained specifically on caring for those with memory impairment.

Featured Dementia and Alzheimer's Articles

Learn about dementia causes, stages and treatments in our Dementia Care Resource Center.

Memory Care: Differences Between Dementia and Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is a specific form of dementia. As Alzheimer's disease or dementia progresses, the level of care and assistance a person requires increases. While many families prefer to keep their loved one home for as long as possible, a person who suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's will eventually require 24-hour supervised care in catered settings.

For example, Alzheimer's living environments have secured areas to prevent wandering; a common symptom of the disease. And typically, residents in memory care need help with medications, bathing, grooming eating dressing and other daily tasks. Memory care provides intensive, long-term medical care to seniors with serious health and dementia conditions in a fully-staffed and monitored facility.

Cost of Memory Care

Memory care requires a larger staff to resident ratio and additional training to ensure the safety of all the residents, therefore the cost is usually higher than other communities. Costs may vary, depending on the following factors:

  • Level of care needed
  • Size of room
  • Whether a room is private or semi-private
  • Geographical location of the community

According to Genworth.com, in 2012, the U.S. national average cost of memory care for a single resident was almost $5,000 a month. This cost does vary widely by care facility, however. For example, some communities were as low as $1,500 per month and other communities as high as $7,000 per month.

Services Offered in Memory Care

Memory care offers 24-hour supervised care with meals, activities and health management for residents.

Here are some of the basic services offered in memory care:

  • Comfortable private, or semi-private, rooms
  • Daily meals
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Medication management 
  • Exercise and physical therapy programs
  • Social programs and activities
  • 24-hour staffing and personal assistance
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