Moving to Memory Care from Assisted Living
Brian SheridanMay 12th, 2022
As a Senior Living Advisor in Northeast Florida, I understand that placing an elderly loved one into Assisted Living is difficult for many families. After all, the person will be leaving the home they’ve lived in for decades for entirely new surroundings.
However, it’s gratifying to see newcomers to these Senior Living Communities thrive once they settle in, partaking in a wide array of activities, meeting new friends, and getting the support they need to continue thriving and living as independently as possible.
One of the benefits of Assisted Living is the on-site healthcare team that provides support to your loved ones. They keep families apprised of any growing health concerns or changes in the person’s behavior, including any memory issues or how the person interacts with the world daily. These signs and other potential cognitive issues could preclude a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
As the disease progresses, Assisted Living might not offer the right level of care for your loved one. Moving to Memory Care, which provides a less active but more attentive and regimented experience, might be the most prudent act at this time.
What is Memory Care?
Memory Care communities are purpose-built for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. They are staffed by healthcare professionals trained to provide specialized dementia care in an environment designed specifically for mental stimulation and cognitive support.
Many Memory Care facilities are designed for easy navigation. Nutritious, brain-healthy food is served in the communal dining hall, creative activities are geared toward exercising the brain, and security protocols are in place to prevent wandering and ensure all residents are safe and accounted for.
How to know when it’s time to move to Memory Care
Assisted Living staff are often the first to propose the idea of elevating someone into Memory Care. For example, they will alert the family if their loved one refuses to come down for meals, doesn’t participate in activities, or rarely changes their clothes.
Assisted Living staff can help the person experiencing these issues for a while. However, as their condition progresses, Assisted Living may recommend moving to the specialized programming, supervision, and anxiety management available in Memory Care.
In addition, many care services in most Assisted Living communities are charged at a premium above the cost of the rent. When the extra charges start approaching the all-inclusive price of Memory Care, moving makes good financial sense.
What are the main similarities and differences between Assisted Living and Memory Care?
There are many similarities between the two types of communities, including a focus on ensuring the resident has a great day every day. Staff communication with families about resident health and behavioral problems is highly stressed in both Assisted Living and Memory Care. Also, there are qualified teams around the clock in both communities to support the residents.
However, there are some differences that families should be aware of, such as:
Cost of care
Even with an extensive care plan, Assisted Living in Northeast Florida is typically less expensive than Memory Care. Many families will place a loved one into Assisted Living for financial reasons, where they will do well if they have only minor memory problems and aren’t at risk for wandering.
Types of accommodations
Accommodations in Memory Care are typically somewhat smaller and simpler than in Assisted Living. Memory Care spaces are cozier for enhanced comfort and specially designed for easy navigation to help someone with a cognitive impairment move around safely and with less confusion.
Staff interaction styles with residents
Treating residents with kindness and respect is a shared priority between both communities. However, a heightened level of patience is used in Memory Care. Staff will also use tactics such as redirection to divert a resident’s attention if they appear to be confused, upset, or angry.
Although strict safety protocols to prevent falls and other mishaps are built into every aspect of daily life in both communities, Memory Care offers security measures to prevent wandering and ensure that residents are safe and accounted for at all times. Memory Care staff are also trained to respond to dementia-related challenges calmly and with empathy to ensure the safety of everyone in the vicinity.
Memory Care offers the ideal setting for people experiencing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In my experience, the transition from Assisted Living is usually very smooth because the resident already has a feel for the rhythm of life in a Senior Living Community. With the support of the Memory Care team, your loved ones will thrive in their new setting as they continue through their vintage years.
No-cost help finding quality Memory Care in Northeast Florida
Many families find that navigating the world of senior living can be daunting and confusing, especially if they’re doing it alone or for the first time.
That’s why families looking for Assisted Living or Memory Care in Northeast Florida call Brian Sheridan of Assisted Living Locators. Brian and his team will take the time to get to know your elderly loved one’s needs, wants, and requirements and present a list of best-fit options that suit their lifestyle. With Brian on your side, you’ll have all the information you need to make the most informed decision possible.