Last Updated on December 10, 2023 by Ali Hamza
There comes a time when every family has to decide where to send their aging loved ones so that they can live independently. This is the point where they start looking at different senior living options.
In this post, we look at two of the common choices that most people are presented with during this process. We’re talking about memory care units and assisted living facilities.
Both of these have their own advantages. However, one may be better suited for a certain type of individual than the other.
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Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who are relatively independent and can manage to live on their own. The upside is that they get access to medical staff, care, and services whenever needed.
They also get help with basic tasks such as scheduling medication, meals, taking care of doctor’s appointments, bathing, using the bathroom, etc.
One more aspect of assisted living communities is the availability of medical personnel round the clock
Memory care, on the other hand, is a bit different form of long-term care facility that is designed to serve people suffering from memory issues like Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Memory care communities have 24-hour medical care which can be offered either in a community or across a dedicated wing.
The amount of security and physical layout at a memory care unit is designed in a way so that patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s do not wind up wandering. The facility is also designed to create a pleasant atmosphere that is easy to walk through and navigate.
Many memory care units are divided into neighborhoods so that the surroundings are familiar and the residents don’t get lost.
Regulations in terms of the services offered can vary from one state to another. However, it’s safe to assume that both assisted living and memory offer basic care, monitoring, help with activities like dressing, hygiene, mobility, etc.
Below are some other activities that both types of facilities offer –
- Emergency medical care
- Exercise and health program
- Round the clock security and medical supervision
- Three square meals a day
- Social programs and activities
- Laundry and housekeeping services
In memory care units, structured programs and activities are designed to help residents suffering from memory issues. The activities are devised keeping in mind medical needs.
If your parents or someone you love can still function rather independently and Dementia or Alzheimer’s is not a concern, then they should enroll in an assisted living.
However, if they are struggling with some more complex health issue coupled with memory impairment, then memory care is a better choice of the two. Alternatively, you can also go to assisted living communities that have a specialized unit to meet the needs of Dementia patients.
Many senior citizens are physically active and mentally sharp. However, they do need some help with activities of daily living. For example, they may need help with cooking meals, getting dressed, taking care of doctor’s appointments, medication management, personal hygiene, etc.
For such individuals, nothing is better than assisted living. Residents here receive help with all kinds of daily tasks so that they can lead a comfortable and easy life.
Both assisted living and memory care share a lot of similarities. However, the latter is better for people battling with progressive cognitive impairment and memory issues like Dementia or other problems.
These individuals have special medical needs which a typical assisted living may not offer. Many patients may wander away or may feel disoriented. That’s why the staff at memory care units have to undergo special training to take care of such cognitive impairments in patients.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s care homes also put special emphasis on the intuitive layout and the security aspect. This is to ensure the least amount of confusion, encourage independence, dignity, and comfortable living without compromising their safety.
As we already mentioned, if your loved one doesn’t have any grave memory issue or physical disability, they would be better off living at an assisted living. It’s good for people who need help with a few tasks but are largely independent.
Assisted living offers them the required help so they can live an enriching and fulfilling life. There are also better opportunities for socialization, social activities, etc.
Memory care is good for people with cognitive impairment, which is progressive in nature. People struggling with Dementia are better off at one such facility. If your loved one also suffers from one such issue, it will offer you a lot of peace of mind knowing that they are in a place that is equipped to handle their individual healthcare needs.