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This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Actavis.

If your loved one needs help with daily tasks but doesn't need intensive medical care, "assisted living" may be the answer. It's a way to let him live independently in a safe and caring atmosphere.

What's It Like?

Sometimes an assisted living home is part of a larger nursing care center or hospital, retirement community, or senior housing complex. Or it may be an independent place that isn't linked to other outfits.

Most people who live in assisted living are seniors. Some may have Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Others may have certain disabilities.

Residents have their own private apartment with a bedroom, bathroom, small kitchen, and living area. Or they can share an apartment with a roommate.

Most places also have common areas where people can socialize and do activities. So you can get privacy if you want it, but also a sense of community.

"Assisted living was founded on the principles of choice and independence," says Maribeth Bersani, senior vice president of public policy at the Assisted Living Federation of America. "Residents in assisted living live life the way they want to, with dignity and respect."

What Does It Offer?

Most assisted living homes have:

  • 24-hour supervision, assistance, and security
  • Three meals a day in a group setting
  • Help with personal care (bathing, dressing, eating, toileting)
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Medication reminders or help taking medicine
  • Health care management and monitoring
  • Things to do for fun
  • Social services
  • Exercise and wellness programs
  • Transportation

There are many benefits, especially if your loved one is living on his own now, says eldercare expert Barbara McVicker, host of the PBS television special Stuck in the Middle: Caring for Mom and Dad. Those benefits include:

Chances to socialize. Your loved one is less likely to be isolated or lonely.

Nutrition. Three balanced meals may offer better nutrition than if he cooks for himself.

Activity. Your loved one will have more chances for physical and mental stimulation.

Less stress. Your loved one's needs are taken care of, so there's less stress for family members.

There is no evidence that NAMENDA XR® prevents or slows the underlying disease process in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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Who should NOT take NAMENDA XR?

NAMENDA XR should not be taken by anyone who is allergic (hypersensitive) to memantine, the active substance in NAMENDA XR, or who has had a bad reaction to NAMENDA XR or any of its ingredients.

What should be discussed with the healthcare provider before taking NAMENDA XR?

Before starting NAMENDA XR, talk to the healthcare provider about all of the patient's past and present medical conditions, including:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Liver, kidney, or bladder problems

If the patient is taking other medications (including those without a prescription), ask the healthcare provider if NAMENDA XR is right for the patient.

  • Certain medications, changes in diet, or medical conditions may affect the amount of NAMENDA XR in the body and possibly increase side effects.

What are the possible side effects of NAMENDA XR?

The most common side effects associated with NAMENDA XR treatment are headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. This is not a complete list of side effects.

NAMENDA XR® (memantine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules are approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. NAMENDA XR is available by prescription only.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.