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How Do I Choose the Right Place?

Make an appointment to visit each place you're considering. "Don't be afraid to ask questions," Bersani says. "This is an important decision and can take time to find the right fit."

When you visit, ask these questions:

  • What types of training does your staff have?
  • What's the staff-to-patient ratio?
  • Will you create a written care plan that's tailored to my loved one's needs?
  • Will the facility be able to continue to care for my loved one as his needs change?
  • Is the group of residents a good match for my loved one?
  • Are there shopping centers and other businesses nearby? Are they within walking distance?
  • Do you offer fun, social activities? Spiritual ones?

Some things to look for on your visit:

  • Visit during mealtimes and sample the food. Check to see if the kitchen is clean and the service is good.
  • Find out about safety measures. Are there call buttons? Is there a medical doctor or registered nurse on duty?
  • What does the outdoor space look like?
  • How does the staff talk to residents?
  • Watch how residents interact with each other.
  • Talk to residents and their adult children. Ask questions.
  • Visit each center more than once. Drop in without notice.

You can review state licensing reports to see if there are any areas of concern and see if anyone has filed complaints about the facility. You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau.

How Expensive Is It?

Assisted living may cost less than $25,000 a year or more than $50,000 a year. It's usually less expensive than a nursing home.

"Different levels of care at any facility have different price points," McVicker says.

Many places charge a base rate. When you add services, you pay more. Avoid surprises by asking what's included in the basic price and how much it costs to get extra care.

The costs are usually paid by the resident or his family. If you or your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy or health insurance policy that includes assisted living care, some of the expense may be covered.

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.