Many people will need long-term care at some point in their lives, this is especially so when we grow older. However, it can be very confusing with so many options out there and even more so when many programs and conditions overlap. In particular, as they grow older, many people will experience cognitive decline and memory loss as a result. However, this will present differently in many people.
In many aspects, assisted living and memory care are quite similar. For example, both assisted living and memory care will feature round-the-clock care, daily check-ins, enriching programs as well as nutritious and delicious meals. However, certain special differences are put in place to cater to the specialized needs of individuals suffering from memory loss. Read on to find out more about the difference between assisted living and memory care and which is more suitable for you or your loved one.
Both communities will have features like in-room emergency alerts and security around the community. The difference lies in that individuals with memory loss are more likely to have behavior such as wandering, falls, and aggression. While these are common, they can also be dangerous if left unchecked.
To prevent this, environmental security in memory care communities is a very important design feature. For example, there will be preventative measures put in place to prevent wandering such as obscured exits, and doorbells that signal when someone enters or leaves. To prevent individuals from getting lost should they somehow wander off, there will also be clear and distinguishable architectural structures to help with identification.
Furthermore, to aid with aggression or self-injury that is inflicted as a result, memory care communities will often also offer therapies that introduce self-soothing techniques or other forms of mechanisms that help with agitation and confusion.
Programs, Activities, and Therapies
As mentioned, there are differences in terms of the programs, activities, and therapies that are offered to memory care and assisted living residents. The key differentiator is that memory care communities offer more exclusive senior living programs that are aimed at maintaining or enhancing memory. This is because the best way to improve the quality of life of a resident in a memory care community is generally to enhance their memory retaining skills as far as possible.
On the other hand, this does not mean that assisted living communities do not try to help their residents enhance their memory or retain cognitive abilities at all. It simply means that it isn’t their main priority. For example, in assisted living communities with a large population of sociable residents, it might be more suitable to have activities that promote social interaction and games that allow for team building.
This will also be reflected in the difference in the training that the staff will have undergone. While both are trained to help with providing day-to-day assistance and basic medical support, team members at a memory care community will also have the skills to manage and prevent undesirable dementia and Alzheimer’s behaviors as well as techniques to help residents retain cognitive abilities as far as possible.
The best way to figure out which program is more suitable for you would be to reach out to a professional who can assess you or your loved one’s needs. Contact us today to find out more!