Assisted Living vs. Memory Care

Are you unsure about the different care options available for your parent or senior family member? When they can no longer live independently, it can be hard to know which care option is the best to choose for them. Memory conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s can complicate this even further.

Assisted living and memory care are both viable options for seniors with memory problems. Let’s look at the differences between them to help you make the best choice for your loved one.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living communities allow seniors to live fairly independently while still have care on hand for areas they might need support with. Residents typically have their own private apartment, or a room in a shared apartment, equipped with facilities like a kitchenette so they can still cook for themselves.

The complex will also have shared facilities and services so residents can eat prepared meals in a dining hall and attend social events on-site. Care and medical staff are on hand in assisted living communities to provide care for a variety of needs. If someone needs assistance with bathing and dressing due to mobility issues, but can otherwise live independently, then assisted living is a great option.

Assisted living may also provide memory care for its residents, although this is not their primary focus and may not be provided in all assisted living facilities.

What is memory care?

Memory care, on the other hand, is dedicated to supporting people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory impairment issues. Long-term care is provided by nursing staff trained specifically in memory care, with staff on hand for 24-hour care. The environment is also usually catered to patients’ memory problems, with the layout of buildings designed to prevent dementia patients from wandering. Additional security may also be provided to protect wandering residents.

Creative activities are provided for memory care patients that are proven to stimulate the brain in a way that can develop memory and slow down the degenerative process of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Other activities are simply there to help residents experience enjoyment and fulfillment in their lives and socialize with one another.

Which one to choose?

If a family member has Alzheimer’s or dementia, then memory care can provide them with a more specialized level of care. However, this also means that it is usually the more expensive option. It is worth researching which assisted living communities have memory care included in their services as this could be a viable option, especially for patients whose condition is not too far developed.

At Brookstone of Clemmons, we provide around the clock care and memory care for residents of our assisted living community. Get in touch to find out more.