According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s in 2020. The number is projected to increase to 14 million by the year 2050. The truth about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is that your loved one may require specialized care that isn’t possible within the confines of your home.
Choosing between the different options of elderly care can be overwhelming. Two critical care options that Americans often confuse are assisted living and memory care. While both involve long-term care measures, there are appreciable differences as well.
Residents in assisted living facilities receive help in activities of daily living but retain their independence. Often, luxury assisted living may also provide care to those with Alzheimer’s and other early-stage dementia that do not require intensive support. Memory care facilities provide a greater level of care for older adults with declining cognitive function. These specialized units offer 24/7 supervised care by staff that receives special training on taking care of people with dementia.
Here are key differences between assisted living and memory care that you may need to know:
1. Living Options
Residents in assisted living facilities in Tucson typically have their private living spaces, either a private room or shared apartments. The luxury assisted living home may also provide a higher degree of freedom of movement. Memory care facilities are developed with patients with dementia in mind. The buildings may have alarm systems, enclosed outdoor spaces, and layouts that reduce the risk of overstimulation.
2. Meal Plans
Both assisted living and memory care facilities provide three meals a day, with a special focus on balanced diets. Assisted living care units require the residents to avail themselves of the dining halls during meal times. However, caregivers may have to follow up with memory care residents to ensure that they are going for their meals.
Both assisted living and memory care units provide supervised residential care, with assistance with activities of daily living. Memory care facilities in Tucson may employ a higher level of care to keep the residents safe. All caregivers need to continually attend education courses to help them manage patients with declining cognitive ability. Additionally, the staff to patient ratio in memory care facilities is typically slightly higher as compared to that in luxury assisted living homes.
Assisted living communities may focus more on socializing activities and events to keep their residents occupied. Memory care facilities focus more on cognitive therapy activities that stimulate the frontal lobe. The activities seek to reduce the impact of memory loss and the adverse effects of dementia. Puzzles and games stimulate cognitive function while art and craft keep their creative juices flowing.
The care requirement in memory care facilities is higher than in luxury assisted living communities. As such, they may have the highest cost of care options. However, the average costs in both assisted living and memory care may vary depending on factors such as level of care, amenities present, size of the residence, location, and staff size.
Assisted living and memory care communities play a critical role in taking care of seniors during their twilight years. There may be subtle differences in the operation of both facilities. Most assisted living facilities like Via Elegante offer memory care as part of their services. Visit our community in Tucson to find a home that fits your loved one’s needs.