Shopping for senior living options can be frightening, especially if you or a loved one suffers from a severe medical condition that necessitates an immediate move. Memory care and assisted living to provide supportive care to people suffering from various health issues, including cognitive impairments. On the other hand, memory care is tailored specifically to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, with dementia-friendly activities and staff trained in cognitive impairments’ psychological and physical effects. For some families, assisted living is the best place to start, while memory care is the clear winner right away. Here’s what you should know as you consider your options. What’s the difference between memory care and assisted living?
Staff Training in Memory Care vs. Assisted Living
Memory care and assisted living communities share personnel such as nurses and nursing assistants. On the other hand, memory care communities have staff with additional training and experience dealing with the issues that people living with dementia frequently face, such as swallowing difficulties, wandering, and anxiety. Most states require memory care staff, from administrators to housekeepers, to attend continuing education classes that help them understand the brains of people living with dementia while mastering strategies for mitigating distress and supporting residents. Memory care is usually the better option if your loved one appears anxious or has problem behaviors or if you have difficulty supporting and reassuring them at home.
Specialized Activities in Memory Care vs. Assisted Living
Did you know that music therapy, for example, can help your loved one with dementia access different parts of their brain? Memory care communities offer dementia-specific activities tailored to the unique cognitive needs of people with dementia, whereas assisted living communities focus on entertaining residents. Seniors suffering from dementia frequently express their distress through challenging behaviors. The proper intervention at the right time can prevent these expressions of concern, instead keeping seniors busy and involved with their surroundings. Alexi senior living is best for memory care for seniors.
Memory Care vs. Assisted Living: What’s the Difference?
Assisted living communities by providing three meals daily, usually in a very social setting. Memory care communities provide meals and socialization around the table and an environment that promotes independence and dignity for those living with dementia. Nutrition can be complicated by dementia. Memory care communities provide specialized diets to ensure residents consume the calories required to meet their current needs and preferences best. Residents are given various options to help them control their diet while being served in a less distracting environment with adaptive plates or utensils.
Memory Care vs. Assisted Living: A Difference in Environment
Memory care communities also provide an environment tailored to the needs and safety concerns of those suffering from memory and judgment issues. These extra precautions are not provided in assisted living communities, resulting in an otherwise unsafe environment for someone with dementia. Dementia affects all five senses as well as memory and cognition. Memory care communities include safety features like door alarms and environmental features like motion-sensor lights and one-touch sinks. These extra touches provide residents with a safer living environment and one that promotes independence.
Making a Choice Between Memory Care and Assisted Living
People with early dementia who live independently or only require a little daily assistance may thrive in an assisted living community, whereas a dementia care community may be too restrictive. If your loved one struggles with daily functioning, requires constant assistance or appears afraid and lonely at home, it’s time to give them the gift of dementia care. Choose a community with extensive experience supporting seniors, regardless of your choice. When you visit the community, ask lots of questions and make sure your loved one is at ease.
Memory Care Requirements
Did you know that the requirements for memory care vary from state to state? This brief but informative post will help you find the best possible memory care home for a senior loved one.
Some facilities may appear to provide the same services, but the level of service provided varies.
There are numerous types of senior care facilities in the United States, including assisted living, nursing homes, and memory care communities. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, many seniors move into these facilities. However, before these seniors can move in, they must assess to see if the facility is right for them.
Memory Loss in Seniors
Seniors suffering from memory loss add to the demand for memory care facilities. As they age, seniors find it more difficult to complete day-to-day activities. They may experience difficulties dressing, bathing, and grooming themselves. They may also struggle with meal preparation, laundry, and keeping up with household chores. Family members or caregivers who visit regularly may handle all these tasks.
However, as seniors age and their cognitive abilities deteriorate, they may require more specialized assistance that caregivers or family members cannot provide.
How Does Someone Become Eligible for Memory Care
While there are no legal requirements for memory care qualification, most providers use a set of criteria when evaluating potential residents. A senior must be diagnosed with one of several types of dementia or cognitive impairment to be eligible for memory care. Because of the progression of these diseases, seniors who qualify for this type of care frequently exhibit symptoms such as:
- Lack of spatial and temporal awareness
- They have difficulty communicating their needs or expressing their emotions.
- Difficulties processing data or making decisions.
- Memory loss that interferes with daily functioning
- Confusion over the passage of time, seasons, and people (both familiar and unfamiliar)
- Personality and behavioral changes (e.g., agitation, aggression, disinhibition)
Why Do Families Place Loved Ones in Memory Care Facilities?
For various reasons, families relocate their loved ones to memory care facilities. Some situations require immediate attention more than others. It’s important to remember that memory care facilities are designed with safety and quality of life in mind. Memory care may be required for various reasons, not just dementia.
Here are some of the most common reasons why families relocate their loved ones to a memory care facility:
- Safety concerns – It’s normal for people to become a little more forgetful as they get older. However, when memory lapses interfere with their daily lives, it may be time to seek memory care.
- Some early warning signs of a safety problem include forgetting to turn off the stove, wandering, getting lost, or misplacing items around the house.
- Difficulty Caring for Oneself – When daily tasks such as dressing and bathing become difficult for your loved one, it may be time to consider assisted living options such as memory care.
- If you notice that your loved one’s hygiene is deteriorating or that he or she isn’t eating enough, it may be time to consider memory care.
- Socialization – Research has shown that people with memory loss benefit from social interaction. Living in residential care allows companionship and interaction with peers, staff, and volunteers.
- Support for Challenging Behavior – Agitation, aggression, hallucinations, and paranoia are common in seniors with memory loss. Memory care facilities offer medication-free methods of managing these behaviors (unless needed).
There’re many activities in memory care. You can read some in our other post about activities to help with memory care. Alexi senior living provides the best-assisted living service in the Chicago suburbs services are the best and most reliable. For more information, call us at 815-534-5389.