There are differences between assisted living and memory care. Memory care is similar to assisted living but provides special care and support for those with progressive memory impairment. Here’s how the two types of care communities compare:
- Overall look and feel: While apartments or rooms in assisted living communities usually feature a kitchen or kitchenette, those in memory care units do not. Memory care units also typically have enhanced security to prevent residents from wandering. These security measures may include secure outside areas, tracking bracelets to alert staff if a resident is too close to an exit and regular safety check. You will often find specially designed architectural elements in memory care units, such as larger windows for more natural light, calming colors and cozy gathering spaces.
- Scheduling: Assisted living communities will often offer a wide range of activities and events to be involved with as residents prefer. But in memory care assisted living units, careful scheduling of these activities provides a comforting routine for seniors with memory problems. Plus, in dedicated memory care units, programs and activities are often tailored to cheer, calm and stimulate residents without contributing to anxiety, which is a common symptom of dementia.
- Meals: Both assisted living and memory care facilities offer three meals a day, often in a restaurant-style setting. Because choice is important, menu options are typically offered in both types of residences.
Staff training: In assisted living communities, staff are trained to help residents with activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing and moving around the community. Staff in memory care units are additionally trained in how dementia causes specific behaviors and how to respond and communicate with people with memory issues..
- Costs: Because memory care includes greater supervision, specialized nursing care and services, the costs are higher than for assisted living. Costs will vary depending upon the location of the memory care facility, type of living space (shared or private) and what services are needed.
- Both assisted living and independent living communities offer housing and some support services. Their most notable differences, however, occur in the types and level of personal care services that they provide.
The design of an assisted living community is to provide long-term care for an individual who may require support with everyday activities, but does not need the level of skilled care that is provided within a nursing home.
The kinds of support that you will find offered in an assisted living community typically includes:
- Access to personal care assistance for both scheduled and unscheduled requests such as toileting and bathing
- 24-Hour emergency call systems with the individual resident’s apartment
- Support with medication management
- Wellness programs and live enrichment activities
In comparison, an independent living community is established for an individual who requires little or no assistance performing their daily routine.
The level of personal care found in assisted living is typically not found in independent living communities. If personal care or nursing staff are required, these services are generally established privately.
Older adults who choose an independent living community are typically looking for security, freedom from household chores and maintenance, and opportunities for socialization and life enrichment.
Our residents’ health and safety is our primary concern – we have an emergency call system in every apartment in every community we manage with 24-hour awake personal care staff and trained healthcare professionals on-call 24 hours a day.
Yes. Many of our communities accept Medicaid. For more specific information regarding government assistance programs please contact the community administrator.