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Alzheimer's FAQs

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1. What is Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia (a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily details), in which an increasingly severe decline in memory, thinking and reasoning occurs due to deterioration of brain cells. Early symptoms include problems remembering new information, asking the same questions repeatedly, becoming lost in familiar places and becoming disoriented about time, people, and places. Over time these symptoms progress to greater disruption in memory, reasoning, and judgment until affected individuals gradually lose the ability to perform customary daily activities and self-care.

2. Is there a cure?
There currently is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. While doctors have not yet found a treatment to prevent Alzheimer's, researchers worldwide are working on developing drugs that will slow down the progression of the disease. There are currently several drugs available that can slow the progression of the disease, in some cases for periods as long as 6 to 18 months. The U.S. Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) has approved three in a class called cholinesterase inhibitors.

3. What age group is most at risk of Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's occurs primarily in people who are at least 65 years old and affects nearly half of those aged 85 and older. Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for late-onset disease. While younger people also may get Alzheimer's Disease, it is much less common.

4. How many beds are there in the Alzheimer's/Dementia unit?
Our secure care unit has 39 private beds in a homelike setting with access to an outdoor courtyard. There are wandering pathways around the unit for our residents to follow as well.

5. Are single rooms available?
Yes, all rooms are private. Residents of The Washington Home enjoy a quiet, residential neighborhood in Northwest Washington, beautiful outdoor gardens and visiting areas. Private, brightly lit, spacious rooms are essential to our residents' quality of life and independence. Each unit has cable TV access and a phone.

6. Does The Washington Home allow people to bring furniture from home?
Each room is equipped with a bed and bedding, a dresser with mirror and one chair. There is enough space in the room for one additional chair and bookstand. Residents are encouraged to bring smaller belongings to personalize their room and make them feel more at home.

7. Is there a doctor on site?
A full medical team is available at The Washington Home. Our staff is certified in Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. We also have:

  • Registered clinical dietician on site
  • Physical therapy
  • Dedicated nurse manager
  • Social worker and activity therapist
  • Certified gerontological nurse
  • Restorative Certified Nursing Assistant (RCNA)
  • Compassionate care by dedicated nurses
  • Volunteers that include students and current and former family members


8. Are there special activities planned?
Planned activities enhance a person's sense of dignity by maintaining their existing physical and mental capabilities, as well as giving purpose and meaning to their day. It becomes more difficult to keep the person's mind and body active as the disease develops. Their likes and dislikes may change, requiring the caregiver to be observant and flexible in planning activities.

Each unit at The Washington Home has a calendar of activities and events that is posted on the wall each day to ensure that there are a variety of activities provided to suit our resident's different interests. Activities include music, games, and visual arts. Reminiscence, community service, and therapeutic touch also play important roles in resident care and support

9. How is the food?
We take pride in our provided meals at The Washington Home. Our kitchen is equipped to cater to special diets. We also have a registered dietician and nutritionist on staff to help accommodate our residents with dietary needs or restrictions.


Sample Menu:

Apple Juice
Peaches and Cream Oatmeal
Turkey Sausage
Western Scrambled Eggs
Whole Milk

Baked Chicken
BBQ Pork Sandwich
Bread Dressing
Mashed Potatoes
French Cut Green Beans
Italian Blend Vegetables
Pear Halves

Baked Lasagna
Tossed Green Salad
Green Beans
Garlic Bread Tuna Salad Sandwich
Vanilla Ice Cream

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