If it is your first time considering a senior living community, chances are that you are confused and possibly overwhelmed by the number of options available. This is probably not helped by the fact that many of the services offered by the different options overlap in different ways.
Here at Hidden Meadows On The Ridge, our experienced senior lifestyle coordinators have created a guide for you and your loved ones to know the main differences between memory care and assisted living.
What Is Memory Care and Assisted Living?
To begin with, it is important to know what kinds of care these terms are referring to. Assisted living generally refers to a place of residence for individuals who want or need extra help with their daily activities that they cannot obtain at home. In most cases, this will also include access to round-the-clock medical support and care on top of nursing services.
On the other hand, memory care refers to a type of care and not necessarily a living residence. In some cases, memory care can involve a secure living facility and in others, memory care communities can be a subset of a larger assisted living residence. The largest difference that exists between assisted living and memory care is that memory care living options offer specialized activities, programs, security layouts, and trained staff that cater to the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
This is one of the largest distinguishing factors between the two living options. People living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other forms of memory loss face a unique set of challenges and related behavioral traits. One of the best means to supporting you and your loved ones is having professionals who are trained to understand the issues that are being faced and impart strategies that can help with developing better coping mechanisms and for mitigating distress and anxiety.
In a memory care community, the staff members are specially trained to understand and address issues specifically related to memory issues. This is not to say that staff in assisted living communities have sub-par training, it just means that their skills are more generalized to help their more diverse community.
Both memory care and assisted living will offer specialized environments that are suited to the needs of the residents. In most cases, these will involve safety features like non-slip tiles in bathrooms, 24-hour emergency responses, and extended fire safety measures. On top of this, there will be aides for mobility as well like slopes and elevators for greater accessibility.
Memory care communities go one step further by making sure that the residence prevents wandering and features to help residents not get lost. This can include precautions like door alarms, clear signage, and increased staff presence.
We believe that the best way for you and your loved one to decide on a senior living option is to take a look yourself. For more information on how you can schedule a tour to take a look at our assisted living and memory care communities, contact us today.