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Is Assisted Living or Memory Care Right for Your Loved One?

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When a loved one needs more care than they can receive at home, it may be time to think about senior living. These communities can be an excellent way to get your loved one the care they need in an environment that truly feels like a home. Two of the most common types of senior living are memory care and assisted living—but what are the differences between them?

Memory care caters to the unique needs of older adults living with memory impairment, cognitive decline, and dementia. On the other hand, assisted living is designed to support older adults who want to stay independent but need some help with their day-to-day lives. Each of these has its own benefits and can be an excellent step towards getting your loved one the care they deserve.

What Is Memory Care?

Dementia is a group of disorders that eventually lead to cognitive decline. This condition often develops subtly and can often be mistaken for age-related forgetfulness. But as it develops further and further, dementia can lead to worsening symptoms. This eventually causes a person to need a higher level of care than can usually be found at home.

This is where memory care becomes an excellent choice. This specialized type of senior living is designed solely to cater to the needs of older adults living with dementia at almost any stage. In memory care, your loved one can move to a safe, secure community that can support them through their unique situation.

Memory care offers a host of benefits, including:

  • 24/7 support from trained professionals
  • Engaging activities that stimulate cognitive function
  • Secure spaces to prevent wandering
  • Personalized care plans to meet each resident’s needs

The goal of memory care is simple—to improve your loved one’s quality of life by addressing the unique challenges caused by dementia.

How to Tell if Someone Needs Memory Care

So, how do you tell if a loved one should move to memory care? Often, dementia can be mistaken for age-related forgetfulness; this condition can be extremely subtle and showcases itself in a variety of symptoms. However, there are some key signs that dementia is affecting their day-to-day life:

  • Struggles with daily tasks, like bathing, dressing, or maintaining personal hygiene
  • Frequent confusion or disorientation
  • Changes in behavior or mood
  • Communication troubles, like forgetting words or easily becoming confused
  • Wandering or getting lost in familiar places
  • Increased safety concerns at home

If these symptoms sound familiar, your loved one can likely benefit from a move to memory care.

However, if your loved one receives an early diagnosis, don’t wait for symptoms to worsen. Instead, reach out to memory care communities near you. This can be an excellent step towards preserving your loved one’s cognitive abilities, dignity, and quality of life.

However, while memory care can be an excellent step toward supporting a loved one living with dementia, what about older adults who aren’t experiencing cognitive decline? What options exist to help them?

What Is Assisted Living?

Imagine a community designed to support older adults who want to remain independent. A place where they can enjoy a fulfilled, rich, and vibrant life surrounded by trained caregivers who encourage independence and autonomy.

Meanwhile, on-site teams can swoop in to provide support if daily activities become difficult. Your loved one can get proper support with bathing, managing medication, dressing, or housekeeping.

These communities exist. Assisted living is a type of senior living designed for older adults who value their autonomy and independence but need a hand here and there with some daily tasks. These communities can provide a wealth of benefits for older adults, including:

  • Chef-prepared meals to encourage proper nutrition
  • Housekeeping services
  • Utilities in every home
  • 24-7 on-site support
  • Planned transportation and group outings
An assisted living staff preparing clean bedsheets for a resident.

In assisted living, your loved one can maintain their independence while receiving the support they need to enjoy each and every day. It’s a wonderful community that promotes socialization, bonding, trust, and love—all while meeting your loved one’s unique needs.

How to Tell if Someone Needs Assisted Living

So, how can you tell if someone would benefit from a move to assisted living? There are a few key questions to ask yourself:

  • Are they beginning to struggle with everyday activities like housekeeping and self-care?
  • Are they at risk of falling and harming themselves?
  • Does your loved one seem isolated, lonely, or socially deprived?
  • Do they need more support with running errands or managing their home?
  • Have you noticed a change in their eating habits, leading to poor nutrition or weight loss?
  • Are they taking their medication regularly and correctly without reminders?

If the answer to these questions is “Yes,” your loved one may benefit from moving to assisted living. It can be a wonderful step towards getting them the care they need and a great way to improve their overall quality of life.

However, it’s important to remember that these communities encourage residents to stay autonomous and independent wherever possible. Residents should be cognitively and physically stable. While the community may be able to provide some degree of emergency medical care, it’s rarely equipped with access to advanced medical care.

Taking the Step Towards Senior Living

Both memory care and assisted living can be excellent choices for supporting a loved one in need. Whether your loved one is experiencing cognitive decline, has some difficulty with daily activities, or simply wants a more social living environment, our community at The Legacy at Forest Ridge can help. Book a tour with our community today, and take the first step towards getting your loved one the care they need!

Written by LifeWell

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