The senior living options are plenty. Choosing the right one for your loved one can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming. If you are loved one is independent but would like an easier life, then you can consider assisted living facilities that offer medical and personal care. If you loved one has memory issues and has been showing signs of dementia or is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, then you might want to consider Memory care facilities. There are several places that offer assisted living with memory care, but these may not be conducive for a senior needing focused care.
The one word that will differentiate memory care for assisted living is specialization. Here we will discuss the difference between memory care and assisted living facilities:
Staff: The staff at an assisted living facility is generally nursing staff and personal care assistance. The other staff would be for handling common areas and facilities like cooking and housekeeping. There are no specialists on a regular basis at an assisted living facility. In a memory care unit, you will need to have trained nurses who are aware of how to handle memory care residents and staff who is trained to handle the vagaries of dealing with dementia patients. Doctors and therapists will also need to be available on the regular basis at memory care centers as patients need monitoring and assistance round the clock.
Activities: Residents in assisted living facilities are more active. They have regular fitness and social programs. The space is designed for commune living and many of them interact regularly with each other. Memory care units have programs and activities specifically designed for cognitive enhancement. They are also executed by trained specialists who have experience in dealing with dementia and other memory care seniors.
Nutrition: Seniors in assisted living may or may not have underlying health conditions and can be on regular diets without daily monitoring. A common diet for a large group of residents might work. But in the case of memory care residents, there needs to be specialized food for brain health and more care needs to be given to their diets as they cannot make the decisions to care for themselves.
Environment – Memory care units are specifically designed for patients with mental issues. The layouts tend to be circular that allows for patients to wander without having the overwhelming fear of being lost. The areas are secure and under 24 hours surveillance. An assisted living provides personal care but not a 24-hour basis and it’s is not monitored care. Assistants will help with daily routines and medications but may not actually stay close to the residents for immediate assistance.
Cost – Assisted living units can be purchased or rented, and the additional services can be added as and when required. That way there is a control over your spending. But memory care is specialized care and comes with higher costs as the resident requires assistance from medical staff, therapists and personal care.
The decision for moving a loved one to an assisted living facility or a memory care should be carefully weighed as it would affect their overall health. Involving their doctor in the decision would also be prudent so that you can make the most informed decision.