Alzheimer's Caregiving

Frequently Asked Questions

18. What kinds of residential care options are there for people with Alzheimer’s?

Residential care options for people with Alzheimer’s include

  • assisted living facilities
  • nursing homes
  • group homes
  • continuing care retirement communities.

Assisted living facilities are available in large, apartment-like buildings or in smaller "board and care" homes. They are for people who can mostly take care of themselves but need some help. Some assisted living facilities and nursing homes have special units for people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. These units are often in separate sections of the building, and staff members have special training.

Nursing homes provide 24-hour services and supervision. They are for people who cannot care for themselves anymore. They provide medical care and rehabilitation as well as meals and personal care for residents who need help with many everyday activities.

Some nursing homes have special Alzheimer’s disease care units. These units are often in separate sections of the building where staff members have special training to care for people with Alzheimer’s. Some units try to make the person feel more like he or she is at home. They provide special activities, meals, and medical care. In many cases, you will have to pay for nursing home care. Most nursing homes accept Medicaid as payment. Also, long-term care insurance may cover some of the nursing home costs. Nursing homes are inspected and regulated by State governments.

A group home is a home for people who can no longer take care of themselves. Several people who can't care for themselves live in the home. At least one caregiver is on site at all times. The staff takes care of the people living there: making meals, helping with grooming and medication, and providing other care. You will need to pay the costs of the person with Alzheimer’s living in this kind of home. Remember that these homes may not be inspected or regulated, but may still provide good care.

A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is a home, apartment, or room in a retirement community, where people with Alzheimer’s can live and get care. Some of these places are for people who can care for themselves, while others are for people who need care around-the-clock. An advantage is that residents may move from one level of care to another—for example, from more independent living to more supervised care.

Learn more about choosing a residential facility for someone with Alzheimer's.