There are many senior living options available for those who are looking to move into a retirement community. Some of the options that you may have come across include memory care and assisted living. However, what sets memory care and assisted living apart?
Many retirement communities offer similar services such as meals preparation and housing but may provide different levels of care. If your loved one needs help with activities of daily living or requires more care and supervision, you will probably consider assisted living as the best option. However, if your loved one has memory-related conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, then a retirement community that offers memory care will be able to provide the care and support that your loved one needs.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the key differences between memory care and assisted living to help you determine which option will be best for your loved one.
The biggest difference between assisted living and memory care is the safety measures that are put in place to keep the residents safe. Although both communities install safety features like an emergency alert system, security cameras, and security fencing, residents in memory care are closely monitored at all times to safeguard against issues such as wandering or aggression.
Structure of Activities
In memory care, more structure is given to the residents’ daily activities. Typically, your loved one in memory care will have a clear day-to-day schedule with fixed routines. On the other hand, residents in assisted living are often given free rein over their choice of activities for the day.
Team Members’ Training and Level of Care
While memory care and assisted living both offer high-quality care, team members who are working in memory care tend to receive higher levels of training as they are taught professionally to work with and support residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In assisted living, residents usually share a community space like the kitchen, dining room, and common areas. On-site team members in assisted living also provide additional support to help those with daily activities or tasks. Both assisted living and memory care environments are also wheelchair accessible or offer roll-in showers for those who use wheelchairs or walkers.
In addition to shared spaces, memory care offers specialized amenities to help residents lead dignified lives. In memory care, the number of residents present in each bedroom or private area is often limited. There are also keyed entrances so that fewer people can have access to different parts of the building at any given time.
Activities and Therapies
Many assisted living communities offer therapy that includes an hour a day of physical, occupational, or speech therapy, depending on the residents’ needs. On the other hand, memory care communities must provide at least three hours of skilled cognitive stimulation for every resident each day. If you’re looking for high-intensity professional therapies that are custom-tailored to address your loved one’s specific needs and condition, then memory care may likely be your best bet.