Does Your Parent Need Assisted Living Or Memory Care Services?

When talking with your parent about moving to a retirement center, it's important to make sure the services they really need are available. That's why you need an understanding of the differences between an assisted living facility and a memory care center. Each of these offers supportive services for the specific physical and mental needs of seniors. Learn how both of these facilities can help your parent and which may be the most appropriate for their current needs.

Assisted Living Facilities

If your parent is living alone in a house or apartment, the burden of caring for themselves and their home can become too much. Your parent may still be physically active, but they find it difficult to do some of the daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals. They may begin to rely on friends and family for help, or they hire a home worker to assist them in various tasks. Assisted living facilities were designed to help seniors who periodically need a little help with life.

The type of support your parent can expect to get in an assisted living environment includes:

  • Assistance with daily hygiene
  • Preparation of one or more meals
  • Laundry and housekeeping services
  • Programs to keep people active and socially connected
  • Transportation to medical appointments, shopping and social outings
  • Access to emergency medical care

In assisted living, your parent retains as much independence as they can, or want, with support available where they need it. The amount of support your parent receives can change from day to day, based on their current needs.

Memory Care Services

These facilities are geared toward the senior who has begun to show signs of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other memory-related problems. This is the type of help needed when your parent's memory prevents them from doing their daily activities such as bathing or eating. Staff in these facilities are specifically trained on how to work with the memory-impaired seniors to give them as much independence as possible, while respectfully supporting them throughout the day.

Because the memory-impaired senior can put themselves in danger, such as forgetting that they've already taken their medication and double-dosing, these facilities offer 24-hour support and supervision. A memory care center provides the same types of services noted above for assisted living, plus special support for the memory-impaired senior such as:

  • Physical room layouts to help seniors that have wandering behavior
  • Assistance to dining areas and with eating to make sure they have adequate nutrition
  • Management of all medication needs
  • Physical exercise programs
  • Programs to improve memory and challenge critical thinking

All-In-One Facilities

Some facilities now offer both assisted living and memory care for seniors as their needs change. If your parent shows no signs of memory loss now, they could move into the assisted living area of such a facility. If they begin to have memory changes, memory care services can be added, or your parent can move to a different area of the facility where there is more support.

If your parent is currently having memory loss, make sure they have the right support from the beginning. Your parent will be getting the support they need to be healthy and safe in an environment with staff that understand your parent's special needs.

For more information, contact local assisted living facilities like Courtyard at Jamestown.