By 2020 the percentage of older adults is expected to grow 35 percent and number more than 54 million. Couple that with the fact that the 85 and older group is now the fastest growing segment of society. These demographics unfortunately bring with them many realities including soaring rates of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Every 69 seconds a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2020 the number of Floridians suffering from this disease is anticipated to increase 42 percent. Although public awareness has increased funding for research and great strides have been made, there is currently no cure on the immediate horizon. With the tidal wave of seniors expected as the Baby Boomers age, the impact this disease will have on families and stay-at-home caregivers will increase dramatically.

The Impact on Families

In 2010, there were an estimated 960,037 Florida families providing over 1 billion hours of unpaid care. The 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures finds that caregivers not only suffer emotionally, but also physically. Because of the toll of caregiving on their own health, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $7.9 billion in additional health care costs in 2010.

There will come a time when a person with Alzheimer’s disease will likely need more care than can be provided at home. Although the individual may need to move into residential care, such as an assisted living community or a nursing home, many families are not satisfied with current options that are available. Thanks to public awareness and a Baby Boomer population not afraid to voice their demands, new housing alternatives are under development.

Planning for a move into a memory care facility should begin well before admission is needed. This advanced planning allows families to:

  • Learn about what care options are available.
  • Determine which options will best be able to meet the needs of an individual with dementia.
  • Anticipate the costs of care and find resources to help pay for them.
  • Learn about community resources available from your local Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Resource Center.

Types of Alzheimer’s Care Settings

Historically, there have been limited care and housing options offered for individuals with memory impairments. Currently, some assisted living communities have a wing or section that has been secured and offers care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Nursing homes also provide care in an institutional setting for those requiring 24-hour nursing care and supervision.

In response to public demand and the growing number of individuals needing specialized care, communities dedicated exclusively to memory care are on the rise. “Dedicated memory care communities are the culmination of best practices and the latest research in Alzheimer’s disease, and may be the best hope yet for providing quality lifestyles for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” says Stuart Beebe, CEO for Sonata Senior Living.

For more information about research, community resources and much more, visit

Guide to Finding the Right Memory Care Community for Your Loved One

Looking for the right memory care community can be challenging. You want to make sure you find the best place for your loved one, while dealing with a range of emotions. The entire family feels the impact when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related form of dementia.