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What is an Alzheimer's or Memory Care Community?

Special Care Units are care communities that focus on Alzheimer’s, memory care, and other forms of dementia.  They are also referred to as memory care communities, or Alzheimer's care units. Alzheimer’s Disease is a specific form of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior.  Alzheimer’s is often the term used to generalize dementia, but there are other forms of dementia.  Special care units usually group all seniors with dementia together onto one floor, even when their types of dementia vary.  Residents in special care units can stay in either a private or semi-private room.  Special care units are secure and closely attended to by staff to ensure that the seniors cannot wander away, which is a common symptom among seniors with dementia.  The cost of special care units is usually more than that of assisted living or skilled nursing because the staff is specifically trained to care for those with memory impairment.  Many families try to care for their loved ones with dementia as long as possible, but in the end, most seniors suffering from dementia need 24-hour care, which is difficult or impossible to do without utilizing special care units. 

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Services and Care

Special care units offer round the clock supervision.  Below is a list of services and accommodations provided by special care units:

Average Cost of Specialized Units and Facilities 

The cost of Alzheimer’s and memory care is typically more expensive than other services for seniors such as assisted living and skilled nursing.  This is due to the intensive care provided, and the extensive training the staff has undergone.  Plus, the staff to patient ratio is usually higher than other senior housing options.  Generally, the cost for Alzheimer’s and memory care is based on:

The average cost for Alzheimer’s and memory care is typically between $3,000 and $4,000 a month, although costs can vary between $2,500 and $8,000 a month.  Each state and community charges differently, but these are some ballpark numbers to give you an idea.


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