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Assisted Living vs Memory Care: What You Should Know

When it is time to consider moving into an assisted living environment, you may need to choose the right type of place. There are modern senior living communities that offer different types of elderly care services. Assisted living vs memory care is one of the most common choices that you must make.

It is often confusing to understand the various types of senior living communities that you can choose from, and you may want to know more about the differences in the services.  Here are some of the things to consider about this choice.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living includes a variety of services for seniors who have physical infirmities that include the recovery from a stroke or a hip fracture along with constant care for chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. Rather than living in a home or an apartment in a regular neighborhood, the senior will live in a private room or apartment where there is fast access to help from certified nursing assistants.

These health care workers can assist with basic body care, and they can call for additional help from a registered nurse or a physician. However, there is often very little help with dementia conditions.

What is Memory Care?

Memory care is a specialized form of assisted living that focuses on the care of seniors who have dementia conditions that can include Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. If you or a loved one has dementia, then caring for the mind is essential to prevent an additional loss of the memories that are stored in the brain.

With memory care, it is often possible to retain cognitive abilities longer, improving a senior’s quality of life.

How Many Health Care Workers?

When seniors have memory issues, they can become confused or argumentative, and this can require needing additional health care workers. In addition to needing additional health care workers, the individuals require specialized training in the care of dementia patients.

This can include using the best communication skills necessary for talking to the patients with dementia. In addition, the seniors participate in activities that are designed for improving their cognitive abilities. The nurses and physicians may also have access to the newest types of medications that are formulated for improving the functions of the brain.

24-Hour Memory Care Services

In an assisted living community, the seniors will remain more independent, only requiring assistance during the day or when an emergency issue occurs. These seniors will often have call buttons in their rooms to request help if a medical problem occurs. The seniors in a regular assisted living community may leave the property to go on a walk or to ride a bus.

However, in a memory care community, the seniors are monitored on a 24-hour basis with health care workers remaining nearby. There are often surveillance cameras to keep track of these seniors who may get lost easily. While there are frequently outdoor areas for recreation, these spaces are enclosed to prevent the wandering that may occur with an elderly person.

The Cost of Assisted Living vs Memory Care

The cost of memory care is much higher than the cost of assisted living care. This is due to the need for 24-hour care along with the specially designed communities that are built with easy-to-maneuver bedrooms and hallways.

In addition, a senior who requires memory care services may also have physical limitations, such as needing to use a walker or a wheelchair. There are fewer specialized memory care communities for seniors, and this scarcity also makes it more expensive.

How Do You Decide?

When a senior citizen has a lower level of dementia with some physical limitations, a basic assisted living community is appropriate. However, if the senior citizen has dementia that is advanced or progressing rapidly, then a memory care facility is a better choice.

In all cases, the senior should have an involvement in the choice of living in a memory care community or a regular assisted living community. Contact Laurel Parc today to learn more about our high-quality memory care and assisted living services.