Memory Care Versus Assisted Living: What Does Your Loved One Need?

When you realize that your loved one is no longer to take care of themselves, it is important to remember that there are a number of different options to choose from. Although it is not unusual to assume that any nice nursing home or moving in with family members are the primary choices, both assisted living and memory care facilities are specialized, popular choices that should be considered. If you are making that important decision now, it is a good idea to allow for the following information.

Will Your Loved One Benefit Most From A Memory Care Facility?

A memory care facility is most appropriate for someone who has experienced a significant mental decline and may not be able to care for themselves safely. For instance, if dementia has become a problem, your loved one may not be able to get home if they walk out the front door. Therefore, while a standard nursing home is likely to have unlocked doors and open, outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy, the locked doors of a memory unit would be a safer choice for individuals at higher risk of injury or accident.

In addition, the phenomena of sundowning is common to many individuals suffering from dementia. It occurs as early as 4:30 in the afternoon and is seen in up to one out of five people who have moderate or more severe dementia. It manifests with hallucinations, confusion, and anger, among other unfortunate symptoms. Specialized staff in a memory care unit will be able to appropriately redirect patients through a variety of entertainment, meal and scheduling constants to diminish the behavior. It is believed that the loss of language and ability to communicate that often presents with dementia may contribute to the symptoms of sundowning, so being pro-active when treating sundowning is crucial.

Or Is An Assisted Living Facility A Better Choice?

An assisted living facility provides a safe place with limited support services for the adult who is primarily able to take care of themselves without much help. For instance, if your mom, dad or other important older person in your life has trouble making medical appointments and maintaining their home, he or she is likely to do well in a assisted living facility. It is important to note that assisted living is a term that can be used very broadly and is not specific to any one set of policies or practices. However, there are several generalities that tend to be associated with assisted living facilities.

For instance, each person or couple will usually have their own apartment or home within a larger facility or area. Limited medical assistance will be available, as well as help with day-to-day activities. That means that while a nursing home or memory care unit would typically have nursing staff making regular checks on your loved one, staff at an assisted living facility would be unlikely to intrude on the residents unless they were asked or advised to. Maintenance at the facility, including repairs, lawn work, etc. would not be the responsibility of the resident and it is common for a cafeteria to be available to tenants who do not want to prepare their own meals. Clients at an assisted living facility are assumed to be primarily independent and supervision by staff is not typically a given.

In conclusion, both assisted living and memory care facilities are good choices for the older person in your life who is no longer able to completely care for themselves at home anymore. However, memory care facilities provide more support and are better for someone who has lost more of their life skills, while assisted living facilities tend to provide a safe and welcoming living arrangement for someone who functions adequately with minimal support around them. Click here for more information.