Understanding the Differences Between Memory Care and Assisted Living Facilities

By RanchView Senior Assisted Living
March 31, 2021

Aging is becoming a problem in many parts of the country, with limited access to memory care and aging facilities. Many people do not even understand the difference between the services, assuming that assisted sites are enough for people in the early stages of dementia or other conditions. There are at least five differences between assisted living and memory care facilities.

1. Design and Function

The design and function of each residential facility are different. An assisted living facility allows residents to maintain a significant level of independence, determining their schedule and requirements for the day. The units are apartments with fully functioning kitchens.

In a memory care facility, there are more restrictions but only for the residents’ safety. There are no kitchens in the individual units, preventing fire hazards. The idea of a memory care facility is to make guests as comfortable as possible while maintaining security and full observation.

2. Staff Training

In assisted living homes, staff receives training on basic care essentials, like bathing, dressing, and other daily essentials. A worker at a memory care home will need to learn about the fundamentals of caring and more advanced techniques for calming challenged patients.

When a person has dementia or some other mental condition, they can become irrational and irritable. To keep everyone safe, staff need to understand how to safely calm or subdue the individual; this is made easier with increased security measures.

3. Activities and Routine

While an assisted living facility puts on different activities to entertain the community, the workers are not concerned about mandatory participation. Assisted only refers to providing opportunities for extra care or social engagement.

A memory care residence takes more time creating activities that are beneficial to supporting mood and cognitive focus. Staff strongly encourages participation to avoid many problems that come with memory disorders, like higher risks of depression and anxiety. Routine is also vital to the residents at memory care locations.

4. Dining

While people living in both types of facilities will have access to three quality and nutritionally balanced meals per day, those at memory care locations will often be served finger food. Forks and knives can become difficult for some, so finger foods make the transition easier.

5. Costs

There is no getting around it, memory care facilities may cost more than other residential care models. The increased training, security, and involvement in residents’ lives equate to more working hours inevitably affecting costs.

Do not fret if your loved one needs to move to a memory care facility. While the price might sound intimidating, there might be help available. While it is courageous and admirable to take care of a loved one on your own, it can also become exhausting. Are you looking for a permanent or temporary placement for your loved one living with memory problems, consider reaching out to an Olivenhain Guest Home representative for more information. As a caregiver, you deserve a break and time to take care of yourself.

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