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Home Care Businesses Fill Void As Alzheimer's Care Units Decline
Date:4/15/2010

of the Home Instead Senior Care network, the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care and companionship services for senors. One in eight people aged 65 and older (13 percent) have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2010 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report.

“In the past, care communities have been the only options for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease,” Hogan said. “But with more seniors wanting to stay at home – about 86 percent in our surveys – and fewer nursing beds available, the strain will continue to increase on the nation’s family caregivers. These caregivers often need assistance with their loved ones as the disease progresses.”

The total number of nursing facility beds (in dedicated special care units) in the U.S. decreased from 1,717,165 in June 2007 to 1,708,721 beds in December 2009. The number of beds in Alzheimer’s special care units went down even more dramatically during that time, from 90,285 to 83,796, according to the American Health Care Association (AHCA).

This national trend could confirm a growing need for more resources. “Since almost half of nursing home residents in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s or other dementia, and only 5 percent of nursing home beds are in Alzheimer’s special care units, it is clear that the great majority of nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are not in Alzheimer’s special care units,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report.

As a result, family caregivers are stretched thin and feeling the crunch. More than 40 percent of family and other unpaid caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and oth
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