Doctor and elderly patient discussing plans

Care Options For Alzheimer’s Patients

When your loved one needs senior care services, you have options – so many options that it can be a little overwhelming. But if your loved one needs long-term care, it’s a decision that often can’t wait. From independent living to memory care, there’s a level of care to suit any senior’s needs. Keep reading to learn more about the best option for your cherished family member.

Independent Living and Assisted Living

Independent living, one of the most common senior living options, isn’t technically a level of care at all. It’s actually most similar to how you live right now. Residents in independent living need minimal or no assistance with the activities of daily living. They rent or buy in to a senior-focused apartment complex, townhome or other housing option – often offering higher levels of care on-site – and then proceed to live however they choose.

Assisted living, by contrast, is a little more hands-on. This level of care is the right choice for seniors who are beginning to be challenged by memory loss or mobility and the vital activities of daily living. In assisted living, caregivers offer help with bathing, dressing, eating – any essential task that may become more difficult with age. However, in terms of care options for Alzheimer’s patients, it is not the right choice for seniors with dementia or other cognitive impairments. So where do Alzheimer’s patients go? We’ll cover that a little later.

Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation

For people recovering from surgery, injury or illness, skilled nursing and rehabilitation are the right choice. In a skilled nursing facility, seniors will also find the kind of medical care they need to deal with serious, chronic health concerns. Caregivers often have specialized training that equips them with the skills to handle things like IV therapy or advanced wound care in a safe, compassionate manner. Some will also include provisions for dementia care.

Memory Care

Memory care is the ideal choice for seniors with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. That’s not to say that seniors experiencing memory impairment don’t live in other levels of care – but only memory care is specifically designed for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Through good days and bad days, caregivers are there to help residents feel comforted and connected. Specialized programming is created to make your loved one feel more engaged with meaningful activity that can help them maintain their quality of life.

You might be wondering, is it possible to care for someone with dementia at home? When your loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is living in your home, it can be risky to step out and leave them alone. You might also run into issues dealing with behavior changes, like increases in aggression, which can be overwhelming. When they live at a memory care community, that weight is off your shoulders. Memory care staff are trained to anticipate behavior changes and they know how to deal with dementia patients: who is aggressive or moody, and how are they showing their feelings? What might be causing the undesirable behavior? Skilled staff ask themselves such questions to determine how best to handle each patient on a case-by-case basis. You can rest easy knowing that the comfort and security of your loved one is a real priority.


Determining what level of care is best for your loved one takes an honest appraisal of their abilities, health concerns and desired lifestyle. For independent living and assisted living, this decision is relatively easy – are they living on their own, or do they need a little extra help? There are a few ways to get that help, like hiring an in-home health aide, so be sure to keep your options open.

Skilled nursing and rehabilitation, on the other hand, are usually addressing a clear and pressing need. Maybe your loved one is about to leave the hospital – or maybe they have a chronic health problem that needs around-the-clock attention. Either way, those health concerns can’t be addressed in the home.

Memory care is often the hardest to talk about, especially if your loved one is only beginning to show symptoms of dementia. (We’ve written a guide to help you talk to your parents about testing and moving to a memory care community – you can read that here.) Difficult conversations aside, memory care is the only real choice for seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Do you have concerns about payment options, or are you wondering what does Medicare cover for Alzheimer’s care? Contact us with any questions regarding costs or to receive a personalized consultation.

The Stratford Commons Difference

If your loved one is showing signs of Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia, don’t wait to find the care they truly need. Stratford Commons Memory Care Community stands ready to guide you and your family throughout your senior living journey – and ready to provide compassionate, consistent support that will maximize your loved one’s comfort and happiness. That’s what makes us one of the best care options for seniors in and around Overland Park.

Our approach to care is designed to affirm the dignity of your loved one, offering individualized care plans, 24-hour on-site licensed and certified nursing, medication management and assistance with the activities of daily living. To learn more about what our care can do for your loved one, reach out on our contact page. We’ll get in touch to discuss what comes next.