The Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia symptoms on Senior Living Residents

Summary: Hollenbeck Palms, the most established senior living community in California, explains their framework for providing holistic support for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Over 6 million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. By 2050, the number of individuals suffering from this progressive illness is expected to reach 13 million. Despite its prevalence, many physicians and senior living communities lack the caregivers, resources to fully support these individuals. The availability of direct care workers is steadily declining while the demand is predicted to increase 40% until 2026. Additionally, 20 states in the US will become ‘dementia neurology deserts’ within the next two years because they don’t have enough services for these patients. Physicians also frequently feel unprepared to deal with Alzheimer’s patients and often wait to discuss the symptoms of the disease until the person or their family member’s inquire about it.

Although Alzheimer’s disease was identified over a century ago, modern medicine still has no cure for its symptoms. The causes can stem from family medical history, age, or living habits. The onset of dementia symptoms initially involves very mild memory loss until the brain’s capacity to understand thought, memory, and language is completely impaired. Unfortunately, medical advice for avoiding this disease is also very indistinguishable from general recommendations for having a healthy life.

During the early stages of dementia symptoms, seniors appear more irritable, anxious, and depressed. Later on, they may become restless, have hallucinations and delusions, insomnia, and angry outbursts involving physical or verbal behavior. Some of these actions are joined with an inability to communicate and sensitivity to change. They may be caused by the deterioration of brain cells, but it can also be influenced by environmental factors and medication side effects.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s varies widely depending on the preferences of a patient and their family, but also on the severity of the disease. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, or sleep medication may be prescribed to seniors dealing with dementia symptoms, but they will usually have other treatment forms. Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s is crucial for mitigating behavioral difficulties and protecting brain health. But treatment regimes can often fall short due to financial constraints. The average cost for Alzheimer’s related care in the US reaches a staggering $355 billion, $239 billion is usually paid by insurance while $116 billion are out-of-pocket costs for families. Caring for a patient with this disease has become more expensive than taking care of a cancer patient and ruled more fatal than breast and prostate cancer combined.

For over 133 years, Hollenbeck Palms has been a pioneer for advancing senior living options. They have advocated for holistic care principles and are passionate about providing for their residents who experience memory loss. The expansive eight and a half acre campus has opened a memory care to specifically cater to these individuals.

Hollenbeck Palms is embracing innovation and envisions more comfort, respect, and love for seniors transitioning to assisted living communities.

Media Contact

Name: Zhana Dubin

Email: [email protected]

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.