As more of the population grows older, the need for residential care, including both Memory Care and Assisted Living Care, outside the home continues to increase. But figuring out what type of elderly care is right for you, or your loved one is difficult. Knowing the differences between types of care, specifically assisted living and memory care, will help you choose the best option for your family.
Memory Care Vs. Assisted Living
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is typically designed for seniors who maintain a level of independence but may need day-to-day assistance with bathing, dressing, cooking or managing medications. The Assisted Living Federation of America defines it as “a long-term care option that combines housing, support services, and healthcare, as needed.”
Residents live in a private or shared room or apartment with a full bathroom. Some resident rooms may include a kitchen and laundry area.
Assisted living communities usually include:
- Transportation for outings, shopping or medical appointments
- On-site dining
- Social and outdoor spaces where residents can gather
- Staff to help with maintenance and housekeeping
- On-site fitness center or exercise classes
- Around-the-clock staff to help with needs such as bathing, dressing or toileting
If you, or your loved one, are still active but can no longer live alone without supervision or help, assisted living may be an option for you.
What is Memory Care?
Memory Care refers to long-term skilled care specifically for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia who cannot live on their own. Memory care provides around-the-clock supervised care including meals, activities, bathing and routine medical care.
Just because someone is living with memory loss does not mean they want to sit alone in a chair all day watching television. If a memory care community isn’t offering a wide variety of appropriate daily activities, residents can easily become bored and agitated.
What to Expect at the Best Memory Care Facilities?
A quality memory care community recognizes residents as the individuals they are and offers activities accessible to different levels of dementia that promote purpose and meaning. The best memory care facilities provide residents with access to art, music, and other fun activities for dementia patients.
Some assisted living communities have specially designated areas for memory care residents. Others, like The Memory Center facilities, are communities specifically designed to address the needs of those in cognitive decline.
Memory care communities should include:
- Around the clock care for bathing, toileting, dressing and other personal needs
- Full dining services including all meals
- A full activities program including evening activities to reduce sundowning and agitation
- Specially designed layout to reduce trip hazards and address safety concerns including wandering
- Staff trained to care for those living in cognitive decline
- Medical care
Ready to Tour a Memory Care Facility?
Considering assisted living or memory care for a loved can be a very difficult decision, and finding the right facility is important. Not only for your loved one’s health and well being but for your own peace of mind. The Memory Center guide to touring details what to look for on a tour and important questions to ask.
About The Memory Center
Currently, the Memory Center operates two facilities, Midlothian (near Richmond) and Virginia Beach. Our communities provide exceptional care for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We founded the first assisted living facility devoted specifically to memory care with a program designed to meet the challenging conditions of an aging brain with a caring, interactive community.
Contact us for more information or to set up a tour.