There are plenty of retirement homes that are specially designed for older adults so that they can enjoy their golden years in peace and dignity. But choosing the right kind of housing facility is essential. Having a thorough knowledge of the key differences between various housing facilities, like independent living, assisted living, memory care, nursing care, and so on, is quite essential.
This blog will discuss the key differences between the two housing facilities: assisted living and independent living. Noting the differences in the staff training, environment, amenities, meal planning, and programs will help you decide whether the care facility is right for your loved one.
But first, let us understand the basic idea of assisted living and independent living.
What is Assisted Living?
Older adults find it challenging to continue doing household chores. This takes up much of their time to accomplish household tasks. But at the assisted living centers, the caregivers help the residents accomplish their activities so that they can live their golden years with dignity and independence. Assisted living facilities are special living or housing arrangements for older adults who do not need complete medical help but need assistance with the activities of daily living.
What is Memory Care?
Memory care facilities are specially designed for older individuals diagnosed with memory issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The housing facilities are structured to reduce disorientation among people diagnosed with dementia. Memory care centers have various memory-stimulating activities to reduce the rate of cognitive decline.
Primary Difference Between Assisted Living and Memory Care
Staff Training To Help Resident
Both assisted living facilities and memory care facilities have well-trained staff to help older individuals with the activities of daily living. The community members and staff at assisted living centers take on the caregiving responsibilities of older individuals. In addition, the facilities provide long-term care, and staff does regular check-ins to look after the well-being of the members.
At memory care facilities, trained staff members take care of individuals diagnosed with dementia or memory issues. The staff helps older individuals with activities of daily living. The staff attends continuous training sessions so that they can understand the progressive conditions of dementia and come up with new strategies and advanced methods to ease their lives. They are also trained to make nursing care plans for individuals diagnosed with dementia and encourage them to stay independent and connected.
Environment To Boost Well-Being
The assisted living communities have private apartment settings or homes that offer an ample number of community services with special features like in-room emergency alerts, daily check-ins, and so forth. Unlike memory care housing facilities, assisted living centers do not offer extra measures that are likely unsafe for dementia.
On the contrary, memory care facilities have extra security with indoor and outdoor facilities that offer safe wandering and social gatherings for someone diagnosed with dementia. The houses and interiors are designed to eliminate confusion among residents diagnosed with memory issues. Facilities such as locked-in entrances, exit doors, and entry records are present in the centers.
Amenities To Enjoy
Both independent living and assisted living facilities offer many amenities to older individuals. Therefore, before choosing an assisted living facility in the neighborhood, it is important to seek out all the information about assisted living centers. The assisted living facilities offer fitness clubs, beauty salons, transportation assistance, pet-friendly accommodations, libraries, game rooms, and so forth.
However, memory care facilities are specially structured to reduce the chances of confusion among older individuals diagnosed with dementia. The houses are structured in a way that has common rooms, color-coded walls, and outdoor gardens on the premise itself. Every facility is inside the premises so that the residents diagnosed with dementia do not feel disoriented. To promote socialization, the memory care facilities have several common community spaces to encourage participation in various cognitive-stimulating activities.
Meal Planning For Better Nutrition
It is important that older individuals keep their nutrition and healthy diet intact. Many health complications arise due to poor nutrition intake, leading to several illnesses. In assisted living facilities, the residents get meals three times a day in a wonderful social setting.
Also, in memory care facilities, the residents have special diets so that they consume the right amount of calories they need as per their requirements. Nutrition plays a key role among people diagnosed with dementia as their cognitive capacity changes. Consuming the right kind of nutrition reduces the progression of memory issues.
Programs To Encourage Social Participation
The socialization programs at the assisted living facilities mainly focus on providing entertainment to older individuals. The programs may either be conducted onsite or in surrounding communities. This includes various physical activities to improve the health of older individuals to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer. Also, older people participate in various cognitively stimulating activities to improve their mental abilities; this includes delving deep into a new hobby, having group discussions, and much more.
While at the memory care facilities, the individuals diagnosed with dementia have specific plans. The staff at the care facilities create a customized approach to create a care plan for every specific older individual. The care plan is based on various assessments like their likes, preferences of food, dislikes, health, personality, and so on. The residents engage in various activities and social engagements, based on the care plan. Such engagements help to reduce the progressing rate of dementia.
What is suitable for my loved one: Assisted Living or Memory Care?
Choosing the right kind of housing facility plays a key role in the well-being of older individuals. If your loved one is showing the symptoms of physical challenges to accomplish tasks, but has no memory issues then assisted living would be the right choice for them. There are the top 8 signs that indicate your loved one needs assisted living. But knowing which assisted living would be right for your loved one is essential in order to help them live their golden years with dignity and independence. Check out the comprehensive guide to choosing the best-assisted living centers for your loved ones in your neighborhood.
Memory care facilities offer quality care to loved ones diagnosed with memory issues and who are dealing with progressive cognitive decline. Take a look at the top 4 signs that indicate the need for memory care. The well-trained staff at memory care facilities help people diagnosed with progressive dementia.
Need Help Finding A Senior Housing Facility For Your Loved One?
If you are tired of googling the ‘best senior living communities near me,’ Senior Care Love makes your search easier. Our trained staff will help find the right care community and retirement home for your loved one. Speak to our senior care advisor if you need help deciding what kind of care facility your loved one needs. Our experts know the top senior living communities, including independent living, memory care, and assisted living, in Baltimore and other areas of Maryland and Washington DC. Contact us now!