FAQ: How is Specialized Memory Care Different from Assisted Living?

While memory care programs offer many of the same services and benefits as those found in an assisted living community, these programs take extra steps to provide specialized care for those experiencing Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other types of memory loss. If you have an elderly loved one in need of memory care, it’s important to know the difference between these two types of care so you can ensure that all their needs are being met. Below we break down the key differences that separate the two.

 

Staff

Memory care facilities will have staff that are specially trained in memory care, so your loved one will be able to receive the specialized level of care they need. In a good memory care program, all members of staff will have had at least some training, including administration workers and the members of dining, recreation, and housekeeping teams. These types of programs will also have highly trained RNs and LPNs to provide skilled care that meets the unique needs of patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

 

Dining

Keeping a daily routine is important for all seniors, but this is especially true for those suffering from memory loss. Memory care programs provide 3 meals per day in a more intimate dining setting that lessens distractions, and will help residents enjoy their meals with as much independence as possible. These programs also take into consideration that getting enough nutrition can become especially challenging for those in the later stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Specialized nutrition plans make sure your elderly loved ones are getting the calories and nutrients they need to live the best quality of life.

 

Activities

Memory care programs offer plenty of recreational activities to help keep residents engaged and happy. While assisted living facilities also offer activities, those within a memory care unit offer even more structure and routine. They’re specially designed to help enhance memory, communication, and socialization.

 

Environment

While assisted living facilities offer a safe environment for seniors, extra measures are taken in memory care units to make sure residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia can have a safe living experience with as much independence as possible. Some are architecturally designed to create a calming effect, and create spaces where seniors can wander safely under supervision. More security measures are put into place to ensure safety, including door alarms and motion sensor lights. Most facilities will also offer the option of private rooms equipped with emergency call systems and 24-hour staff supervision, so you can have the peace of mind knowing that your loved one can receive the care they need around the clock. 

 

Additional Services

Both assisted living and memory care facilities will offer services that make the lives of both residents and their family easier. However, those with memory impairments require even more specialized care. Memory care programs provide medication management, advanced nursing care options, and can help arrange primary care. Support groups for family members, and events that involve both family members and residents can help ease the emotional stress that comes with having a loved one who suffers from memory loss.

 

Interested in learning how your loved one can benefit from specialized memory care? Feel free to contact us! Loretto is proud to provide a variety of services for older adults, with 19 specialized programs and facilities, and over 2,500 caregivers. We’re one of the largest providers of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Central New York, offering one of the first residential programs created especially for those who need memory care. Learn more about our program here!

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