Posted: August 16, 2022
As you search for long-term care for an aging loved one, you’ll likely find several options. Older adult care varies in terms of amenities, care, staff training and costs.
Memory support, often known as memory care, is a popular and fast-growing type of care, as is assisted living. But what’s the difference between these two living options? Keep reading to learn the unique benefits each level of care provides and how to choose the best one for your loved one.
Assisted living helps older adults with activities of daily living (ADLs), independence, companionship and security in a home-like setting. This level of care is designed for those who seek help with everyday self-care activities but also desire to maintain their freedom and independence.
Assisted living communities typically consist of townhomes, apartments or condominiums. Residents can take care of themselves but might need extra support with daily activities. Assisted living communities are an excellent option for your loved one if they need just a little extra help, since professional caregivers can provide as much or as little assistance as they need.
They offer nutritious meals, communal spaces and transportation to social outings. Residents can appreciate plenty of life enrichment opportunities to keep them connected and engaged with their neighbors. Exciting activities and classes might include game nights, art classes, musical entertainment, exercise and more.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, around 70% of adults older than 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. In a residential community, team members are always available to provide around-the-clock care and support whenever needed. Residents can receive personal help with ADLs, including bathing, getting dressed and taking medications.
Assisted living communities also provide a range of services and amenities, such as:
In assisted living communities, older adults can look forward to a full calendar of social, wellness and inspirational programs. Social outings and events help keep residents active and engaged with the community, supporting their mental and physical health goals.
Many people who require long-term care will develop cognitive decline or memory loss. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates over 55 million people worldwide have dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases diagnosed a year.
Like assisted living, memory support communities offer help with activities of daily living. Team members at memory support communities are specially trained to understand those living with cognitive challenges. They’ll employ skills and strategies to support residents so they can enjoy an easier, more meaningful life.
Memory support communities and assisted living share many of the same features, including resident-style living and communal areas. However, memory support provides more specialized assisted living to meet the needs of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or related conditions. Communities include additional safety features to ensure those living with cognitive challenges are secure and cared for under 24/7 supervision.
Life enrichment offered in memory support communities tend to have a therapeutic focus. For instance, they may provide music therapy to help those with memory issues since music has been known to elicit memories and enhance communication for older adults.
Caregivers at memory support communities have the expertise to effectively manage behaviors associated with cognitive challenges, such as aggression and wandering. They can also ensure residents appreciate a balance between independence and support, providing compassionate care as needed.
Memory support and assisted living communities provide many of the same services, including:
Assisted living and memory support communities will also provide enriching activities for older adults, such as exercise classes, music or art therapy.
So, what is the difference between memory care and assisted living? Expect the following differences between the two:
Assisted living is an excellent option if your loved one needs extra help, such as assistance with everyday tasks. If your older family member needs memory support most of the time or requires 24/7 supervision, memory support is your best bet.
While assisted living is a wonderful option for older adults hoping for freedom and fun in their retirement years, many opt to transition to memory support when they begin showing signs of memory impairment. Physicians can notify older adults and their families when to move from assisted living to memory support.
Before choosing the right type of community, consider the following factors:
When narrowing down your living options, consider moving to a community that can meet your loved one’s changing healthcare needs. While one community might seem like a great fit now, it may not be in the future. Many assisted living communities include memory support programs in one setting to make the transition easier. These communities allow your loved one to age in place and live a meaningful, fulfilling life.
If you have a family member with a new memory impairment diagnosis, you may want to consider a community that offers both assisted living and memory support. These programs provide enrichment and excitement in a safe, supported setting.
Capella of Grand Junction provides assisted living and memory support all in one place, ensuring your loved one can live a peaceful, maintenance-free lifestyle. Residents can appreciate assistance with everyday tasks, exciting social activities and exceptional cognitive care in one setting. Our signature programs recognize the values of each resident, providing social, intellectual, inspirational and physical support to meet all four cornerstones of healthy aging.
For more information or to schedule a tour, we invite you to contact us today.