Memory Care versus Assisted Living

Memory Care versus Assisted Living

The senior population faces a cognitive decline and memory loss as they age. With nearly 50 million people with dementia worldwide, the high statistics push the need for immediate, timely, and specialized care for the seniors. Senior living varies drastically when it comes to the care, amenities, personalized staff, and the cost factor.

Memory care in Michigan and assisted living facilities are two options that you can choose for your aging loved ones. However, understanding the differentiation between the two is crucial as people often misuse both types. The unique benefits each type of center offers to its patients will clarify what you should opt for.

The Fundamentals

Assisted living centers offer services, such as housing, meals, and activities of daily living. In contrast, memory care centers are a specialized area that deals with caring for people with memory loss. The staff employed at memory care centers specialize in taking care of people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The memory care centers are well-equipped to maintain and improve their cognitive skills, eventually increasing the quality of life.

Safety Features

Assisted living communities offer several types of safety features, such as emergency alert systems and regular check-ins. However, for memory care centers, such safety features cannot act as value addition but should serve as a mandate. With people suffering from memory loss enrolled in the center, safety is of utmost priority and significant concern.

In dementia patients, wandering, getting lost, and falls are common and call for high-end safety features as a must. An environment with locked entrances and exits is a fundamental characteristic of memory care centers. Similarly, assisted living centers also possess a keen interest in the obscured exits and entries to keep the residents safe.

Many memory care facilities in Des Moines, IA, provide the enrollee with calming therapies that prevent agitation and aggression. Most people get aggressive and can result in self-injury. The unique design of the layouts of such facilities prevents obstacles and confusion for the patients and caretakers.

Specialized Staff for Personalized Care

Staffs at both assisted living and memory care communities are well-trained to take care of the patients. Coupled with that, there exists supporting medical professionals that aid any emergency. The assisted living staff goes through thorough training regarding the activities of daily living (ADLs) is carried out. Moreover, memory care staffs receive regular training regarding person-centered care and supervision for memory loss patients. The employees at such facilities have training in understanding the behavior of the dementia patients, and thus they proactively manage to prevent any wandering and aggression behaviors in the residents. Memory care centers possess a lower staff-to-resident ratio than assisted living to ensure the patients more one-on-one attention throughout the period.

A Vast Set of Amenities

Assisted living centers offer amenities and facilities, such as outdoor spaces, gyms, salons, libraries, game rooms, studios, pet-friendly spaces, and transportation services. On the other hand, memory care facilities possess similar amenities but within enclosed areas. They have relaxation rooms, gardens, and courtyards that have boundaries to avoid wandering of memory loss patients. The unique layouts of each room in a memory care center orient the residents and reduce confusion. In other words, memory care centers focus on specific design elements. These may include:

Shared spaces that clearly define themselves

Color-coded walls are common in memory care centers. Such a move eases the patient to find their way and not get lost.

Large outdoor areas, such as gardens and courtyards. Such amenities are necessary so that the resident does not confine to a specific space.

Memory centers also place memory boxes outside the residents’ rooms that possess customized memorabilia to guide them on the right path and make them feel comfy and at home.

The Target Audience

Seniors suffering from early or mid-stage dementia can do well in assisted living communities. However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms tend to worsen, and you might have to opt for memory care centers. The hassle of changing from one center to another is a contributing factor in people opting for memory care centers first hand. The unique physical layout and the security offer a safe environment that easily navigates the resident. Furthermore, memory care facilities tailor to the residents’ severity of dementia and provide memory-enhancing activities.

You can always contact a senior care center and put out your concerns for some expert advice. Suppose you feel that your loved one is facing memory challenges. In that case, you must introduce them to a memory care center that will provide them safety and engage them in activities to maintain their memory loss rates. On the other hand, assisted living communities aid seniors who are relatively independent and social. Assisted living is the right choice if memory loss is not a concern at present.