There are 16,286 people aged 65 and over living in Gainesville according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With seniors accounting for just 11.6% of the total population — compared to Florida's overall average of 21.1% — the city has thus far avoided large numbers of fatalities caused by dementia. Statistics reported by the CDC indicate an upsurge in recent years, however, with Gainesville experiencing a 97.8% increase in Alzheimer's-related deaths from 2016 to 2020. According to the Alzheimer's Association, dementia is the underlying cause of death for one in three seniors nationwide, although Florida's mortality rate is significantly lower than the U.S. average.
Seniors with Alzheimer's generally need more help as the disease progresses, making dementia care facilities the best option in many cases. Also referred to as memory care communities, these facilities provide a secure environment and 24/7 assistance from caregivers, as well as activities and programming designed to maintain and improve an individual's cognitive functions. This guide compares the average cost of Gainesville's memory care facilities with those in nearby cities and discusses the financial and community support services available.