Moving into an assisted living community is a changing phase of life. You will surely miss your home for a long time, but expect to find new friends and an easier life. But if a senior is experiencing a memory problem, it’s a different story. You may need an assisted living facility or a memory care facility. Choosing the right option is confusing at first. This post will help you decide.
What is Assisted Living?
Seniors in the assisted living facilities are leading independent lives. They need help to carry out the activities of daily living. As a person grows older, it would be difficult to move and driving can be risky. Aside from helping with activities of daily living, this senior living home also provides independence, companionship, security, and privacy.
Many assisted living facilities offer apartment-style settings with community spaces, housekeeping services, communal meals, and other activities. The professional caregivers assist the residents when taking medications, walking, bathing, grooming, and dressing.
Living in this facility is never boring because the residents are allowed to socialize. There is a range of activities, including musical entertainments, art classes, faith-based activities, physical exercises, game nights, and film showing. It has a social room where the residents can engage in board games, jigsaw puzzles, and arts and crafts.
What is Memory Care?
Unlike assisted living facilities, memory care communities cater to residents with serious and specific memory-related needs. They need personalized care because they are prone to wandering, which is dangerous to them. Sometimes they easily get frustrated and be aggressive.
This senior living option has a different approach to the facility’s design. The walkways are circular so that residents would not end up through doors or obstacles that may cause frustrations. Has consistent lighting to prevent shadows and the exits are locked. They have planned activities to allow the residents to reminisce about their pasts. Music therapy sessions help the residents to remember their younger days.
Services covered by Assisted Living
– Minor over the site with some ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)
The staff provides keen monitoring of the residents needing help to do the activities of daily living. It is the responsibility of the staff to help the residents who have difficulty in taking a bath, dressing, and grooming.
– Meal services
The assisted living facility provides meal services prepared by an in-house chef. They ensure preparing foods suitable to the health requirements of the residents. A nutritionist worked together with the chef to create a food plan.
– Medication management
Because of old age, many seniors in the assisted living facilities need help in managing medications. The staff reminds the residents of taking medications and if there’s an appointment for a checkup.
– Housekeeping and laundry services
Obviously, seniors can no longer do the laundry and clean up the place. The residents of assisted living facilities have nothing to worry about because the facility offers laundry and housekeeping services. It means that a utility staff will be the one to clean the apartment and do the laundry.
– Exercise classes
The assisted living facility offers exercises classes for the residents to keep them physically fit. Regular exercise is beneficial for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It helps to improve endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. Encouraging the seniors to join exercise classes can improve their behavior and eventually reduce the possibility of acting aggressively and wandering.
– Transportation to appointments
Included in the core services of an assisted facility is transportation to appointments. Residents in the facility cannot drive on their own, one issue when going to doctor’s appointments. The transportation service of the facility is a big help.
Services covered by Memory Care
According to AlzheimerSupport, activities in memory care facilities are designed not to trigger anxiety that may lead to dementia. The services of assisted living and memory facilities are similar, but the latter is more profound. If a senior can no longer manage herself, the best decision is to shift to memory care.
– Assisting with all ADLs
The staff of the memory care facility helps with all the activities of daily living of the residents. It is because the residents are more dependent.
– Meal service and assistance as needed
Three meals are served daily in a restaurant-style setting, along with extra beverages and snacks throughout the day. The facility has an in-house nutritionist and chef to prepare the foods of the residents. Thus, ensured to provide the right food appropriate to the health condition of the residents.
– Medication management and oversight
Aside from managing medications, the staff offers 24/7 monitoring of the health condition of the residents. They also have in-house medical alert systems.
– Specially trained nursing staff, including certified dimension practitioners
In a memory care facility, they do not have only caregivers but also trained nursing staff. They are trained to provide care to fragile adults. That is why the staff can provide first aid and CPR during emergencies. The staff can also administer medications with the supervision of a licensed medical professional or registered nurse.
– 24-hour care and supervision
Memory care provides long-term care. That is why they offer 24-hour care and supervision to the residents to ensure their well-being. The facility has a daily therapeutic recreational plan for the residents. To slow the progress of memory loss among the residents, they encourage them to play brain games. Recreational and social activities, like day trips, bible study groups, organized games, and fitness classes are also offered.
– Additional housekeeping services
The staff of the facility does the housekeeping chores, such as changing linens and laundry. Sometimes the housekeeping services are beyond the usual chores. The staff ensures the entire place is cleaned and sanitized, especially the bed and the bathroom.
– Peer support groups for family members
Residents living in assisted living long for their families. The facility provides not only support to the residents but also to the family members. Family members can visit their loved ones in the facility. Memory facilities also allow pets inside the premises and even in the apartments.
How to decide between assisted living and memory care?
Choosing the right living option involves many factors. You should not decide outright but think many times. If the senior is close to family and friends, looking for assisted living near you that will allow regular visits. Know if the facility would involve the family members or friends in providing care or any activities in the facility.
Consider the cost of the living options. Determine if you can afford to support the monthly cost. Choosing assisted living or a memory care facility would cost you a huge amount of money. Check if the insurance company covers the cost of senior living facilities.
The most important thing to consider is to choose a licensed facility that follows safety standards. This way, you can ensure the safety and security of your loved one. Likewise, the community must meet the changing healthcare needs of the residents in the future.