There are some distinct differences between assisted living and memory care, so if you or a loved one is no longer able to live on their own, it might be time to consider whether you need assisted living or memory care. But that can be easier said than done. If you are unsure how to determine whether you need assisted living or memory care, we can go through some questions to help clarify which type of care you or your loved one needs.
How Much and What Type of Assistance Do You Require?
If you just need help with certain chores around the house, but your memory and cognition are as stable as ever, than you need assisted living.
If you keep losing things, have trouble keeping your finances organized, and keep losing track of conversations, you need memory care.
Not only do memory care communities offer an extra level of care from staff, they also include other precautions built into the residents’ surroundings to help them stay safe. These precautions include door alarms to alert staff when a resident is leaving their room or wandering outside the perimeter of the building; motion-sensor lights so residents do not have to fumble to try to find the light switch or remember how a light switch works; one-touch sinks so residents do not have to fumble with handles to turn their water on and off. Not only are these amenities designed to increase safety for residents with dementia, they also enable them to live more independently.
Which Activities Do You Need?
Both assisted living and memory care communities offer a variety of activities to keep their residents as engaged and active as possible for as long as possible. While assisted living offers activities that entertain residents and encourage them to stay active and interact with each other, memory care offers activities that are designed to stimulate residents’ minds and support their mental health. For example, music has been shown to have certain benefits for those with dementia, so memory care communities are more likely to have activities that include just listening to music, whereas assisted living communities might offer something more interactive, such as game night.
Patients with dementia are more likely to feel anxious when encountering new situations and stimuli, so memory care communities are more likely to keep those experiences to a minimum, while assisted living might introduce novel experiences to their residents as a way of keeping them entertained and engaged.
What Kind of Diet Do You Require?
While everyone needs to make sure they are getting healthy amounts of the right nutrients at every stage of life, patients suffering from dementia have unique nutritional needs. Both assisted living and memory care neighborhoods have dieticians on staff to make sure their residents are getting all their required nutrients, but memory care neighborhoods are staffed with dieticians who understand the specific nutritional needs of dementia patients.
At Stillwater Senior Living, our new memory care neighborhood is designed to keep patients safe while slowing the progression of their disease as much as possible. We do this through a combination of nutrition and physical therapy.