In 2010, nearly 20% of residential care communities, such as assisted living facilities, had dementia special care units, according to a new CDC report.
Assisted living and similar residential care facilities provide an alternative to nursing homes for people with dementia who no longer can live on their own, according to the report from the CDCs National Center on Health Statistics. About 42% of adults living in residential care facilities had Alzheimers disease or dementia in 2010, the report states. Many states require facilities with special dementia care units to have specially trained staff and physical features such as locked doors.
In their analysis comparing residential care facilities with and without dementia special care units, NCHS researchers looked at data from the centers 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities. They found 17% of residential care communities had dementia special care units in 2010, and beds in these units made up 13% of all residential care beds.
About 6% of the facilities cared only for adult patients with Alzheimers disease or other types of dementia. These facilities made up 36% of the residential care communities with dementia special care units. About 11% of residential care facilities had a separate dementia special care wing, unit or floor within a larger residential community, according to the analysis. Within these communities, 26% of the total beds were in the dementia special care units.
Of assisted living communities with dementia special care units, 91% had dementia-specific activities and programs, while 90% had door alarms. Other common features of these facilities were specially trained staff (88%), an enclosed courtyard (82%), doors with keypads or electronic keys (79%) and locked exit doors (76%). About 19% had closed-circuit TV monitoring, while 35% had personal monitoring devices, the report said.
Other key findings include:
50% of facilities with dementia special care units were large communities with 26-100 beds, and 21% were extra large communities with more than 100 beds; 56% of facilities without special units had four to 10 beds;
More than half of facilities with dementia special care units were chain-affiliated (58%) and built as a residential care community (79%) compared with 33% and 43%, respectively, of facilities without dementia special care units. Similar proportions of facilities with and without special care units were private, for-profit companies (81% compared with 82%);
37% of facilities with dementia special care units were certified or registered to participate in Medicaid compared with 52% of those without the special care units;
Communities with dementia special care units were more likely than those without special units to be in the Northeast or a metropolitan statistical area, and less likely to be in the West.
Data brief: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db134.htm