Are you looking for senior care options for yourself or a loved one?

Searching for senior care options can quickly become overwhelming. You want to find a place that meets your loved one’s emotional, physical, and social needs. 

When searching for senior living, you’ll likely see memory care and assisted living communities pop as options. While people sometimes use these terms interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. Read on to learn about the difference between assisted living and memory care. 

Assisted Living vs. Memory Care: Staff

Assisted living providers and memory care communities typically both have nurses and nursing assistants. However, memory care communities tend to have staff members with additional training in dealing with people with dementia. 

For example, they may have specific training on how to help manage anxiety, deal with wandering, and overcome swallowing difficulties. In most states, staff working in memory care communities are required to take continuing education classes to learn about the brains of people dealing with dementia. 

If your loved one suffers from dementia or some other memory disorder, a memory care community is usually the best option for this reason. 

Assisted Living vs. Memory Care: Environment 

Another major difference lies in the overall environment of the facilities. Memory care communities offer environments that are specifically suited to meet the needs of dementia patients. 

While assisted living communities offer safe and social environments, they don’t always take this extra step to ensure dementia patients have everything they need. But to be sure about the conditions and other steps like what to look for and how to choose the right assisted living community find out more information here. For example, a memory care community will likely have door alarms, motion-sensor lights, and one-touch lights. 

Assisted Living vs. Memory Care: Social Activities 

Social activities are a huge aspect of any senior living community. As we age, we tend to feel more alone and isolated. In fact, a study by the University of California, San Francisco, found that over 40 percent of seniors experience loneliness. 

Social activities, such as yoga, book clubs, and music classes can help combat this loneliness. However, dementia patients may need different offerings for social activities. Memory care facilities offer dementia-specific activities that are tailored to their unique needs. 

For example, they may offer knitting circles, arts and crafts, jigsaw puzzles, or music and singing groups. 

Assisted Living vs. Memory Care: Dining Options 

A typical assisted living facility will offer three meals per day and maybe some snacks, often in a social setting where patients can get to know one another. 

Not only do memory care communities offer meals and socialization, but they also offer meal services that are conducive to their needs. Memory care communities often offer specialized diet plans to ensure residents are eating enough calories. They may also be offered adaptive plates and utensils so they can more easily eat their food. 

Memory Care vs. Assisted Living: Time to Decide 

Now that you know the difference between memory care vs. assisted living, it’s time to decide which one is right for your loved one. Once you’ve decided on the type of facility, you can start looking into options in your area. 

And, check back in with our blog to learn more about senior living options!