Approximately 70 percent of older adults aged 65 years and above will require long-term care at some point of their lives. When we notice that our older loved ones can no longer live on their own with ready support, this is when we need to make the difficult decision of moving them to a retirement community. Two of the fastest-growing senior lifestyle options are assisted living and memory care with each delivering different levels of care. Here’s how you can determine which is the better senior living option that can provide your older loved ones with the care they need.
Assisted Living VS. Memory Care
Assisted living communities support residents’ independence while offering assistance whenever needed for their activities of daily living such as grooming, feeding, toileting, bathing, and mobility. Residents will receive care for their medical needs that can include services like medication management, health monitoring, continence management, insulin administration, and glucose and blood pressure monitoring. The main element of assisted living is 24/7 medical support.
Memory care is a distinct type of long-term skilled nursing program that is designed for older adults with memory-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia. The program provides 24/7 specialized care usually in its own separate wing or community.
Similar to assisted living, memory care provides an ideal accommodation alternative for older adults who are not able to care for their own needs due to progressive impairment. Memory care provides assistance with daily living activities as well as specialized care facilitated by trained memory care professionals.
The senior living floor plan and security features of memory care units are also designed differently to ensure the wellbeing of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to keep wandering behavior at bay.
Assisted Living and Memory Care Services
Both assisted living and memory care generally provide the same level of basic care which includes assistance with daily living activities and health care needs:
- Emergency response systems
- Medical care
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Health and wellness programs
- 24/7 supervision and security
- Social activities and events
- Transportation assistance
- Three meals a day and all-day snack options
Some of these services may incur additional charges on top of the base monthly fee. In addition, memory care also includes structured programs or activities that are carefully curated to help slow down the progression of their memory-related conditions. Residents can in turn look forward to enjoying improved quality of life.
Choosing Assisted Living or Memory Care
Based on the description of each of these senior lifestyle options, you can determine which is the better option that best meets the personal and medical needs of your older loved ones. Both programs generally provide the same level of basic personal and health care, with the memory care option offering a higher degree of care to tackle symptoms and behaviors exhibited by residents. Selecting the right type of program will ensure that your older loved ones will receive the specialized care that supports their needs and helps them regain their confidence and independence.