According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 70% of adults that are 65 or older will, at some point, be unable to live independently and find themselves in need of some form of long-term care. This is when caregivers are faced with a not so simple decision: What type of care should they choose?
Of course, not all long-term care options are created equally.
Both assisted living and memory care facilities are getting more popular as options for long-term senior care, but the main question is – what are the main differences between these two options?
In this article, we will delve deeper into Assisted Living vs Memory Care, including:
- main services
- if they both provide memory care activities
- how to choose a perfect option for your loved one
Assisted Living and Long-Term Care
If your loved one is still somewhat active and vital, but they are no longer able to live independently and require assistance with everyday activities such as bathing, dressing or eating, one of the most obvious options available to the patient is assisted living.
Assisted Living Federation of America defines assisted living care as “a long-term care option that combines housing, support services, and health care, as needed.” However, there are other personal care services that are often also included in assisted living care, these are: medication management and transportation.
Assisted living facilities involve care that is available around the clock, but assisted living patients sometimes have the opportunity to opt for a private room or shared space in an apartment, which depends on their budget and personal preferences.
Even though some assisted living facilities and communities include memory care units on the premises as well, these two types of care are not synonymous. Memory care is a standalone, distinct form of long-term care.
Memory care units, also known as special care units (SCUs), involve skilled nursing that specializes in:
- patients with Alzheimer’s disease
- patients with dementia
- other forms of memory problems
They typically provide a non-stop type of supervised care within a separate wing or floor of a residential facility. As it is the case with assisted living, memory care facilities offer a residential solution with professional care for your loved one who is no longer able to care for him or herself due to a progressive mental impairment. They provide assistance with daily living and include special memory care activities specially designed to assist people with dementia or impaired cognition.
Memory care units also have special physical layout and security designed to better suit patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, which means wandering behavior is minimized and the environment is pleasant and easy to navigate.
Should I Choose Assisted Living or Memory Care?
If your loved one is still relatively independent and dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other types of memory issues are not an immediate concern, you might want to consider assisted living.
If, however, your loved one has progressive memory impairments and is in need of a more complex care, a special care unit with memory care activities is the way to go. An assisted living community that includes a memory care unit for patients with dementia is also an option.
State regulations vary regarding what services should be offered in senior care communities, but generally, both memory care and assisted living offer the following:
- basic supervised care
- medical monitoring
- help with daily activities (dressing, mobility, and hygiene)
When it comes to Scottsdale, memory care facilities and assisted living homes with memory care activities are not lacking. Contact our team at Adagio too book a tour of our facilities and to find out more. Also, feel free to share your experience with these facilities in the comments section below.