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The Arbor Company Senior Living Blog

Assisted Living vs Memory Care: What's Best for Mom?

Mar 14, 2017 1:00:00 PM / Rebecca Smith Rebecca Smith

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You know that your mom would benefit from some assistance and socialization at a senior living community. However, you aren’t quite sure which would be best for her. Between learning about the different types of senior housing available in your town or community, you also must weigh your mom’s medical needs and preferences when making a decision that will keep her healthy and happy.

If you are weighing assisted living versus memory care communities as your final two options, you may be wondering which would be the best decision for your mom’s specific situation. While your mom certainly has her own unique preferences and needs, you may find some guidance by using our descriptions of who would best succeed in each type of community.

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Happy and Healthy in Assisted Living

Your mom would be happy and healthy in an assisted living community if she has a need for more assistance than she would receive at home. Perhaps she uses a walker, and perhaps she would benefit from caregivers giving her a little extra TLC and help with getting dressed in the morning or with bathing at night.

Your mom would also benefit from having nurses and caregivers available, just steps away from her apartment, around the clock. These staff members would manage her medications, taking that stressful chore out of her daily responsibilities; this can be a huge relief if your mom lives with a chronic condition. Your mom, and you, also could benefit from the peace of mind that comes with knowing that in case of an emergency, such as a fall, she would have help immediately.

While your mom needs some additional assistance, she also wants to maintain her independence as much as possible. In an assisted living community, she would have her own apartment, complete with her own furniture and decorations. She could make a snack or something for her guests in her kitchenette, but she also doesn’t have to worry about preparing three meals per day; the dining room staff takes care of that.

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Engaged and Thriving in Memory Care

If your mom is living with some memory loss, especially if those include a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, a memory care community can provide her with the specialized environment, care, and activities that she needs to stay engaged, calm, and thriving.

Memory care communities offer many of the amenities that assisted living does, including the around-the-clock availability of nursing and caregiving staff, medication management, and assistance with daily activities. However, memory care offers more services that are specially tailored to seniors living with dementia.

These extra services include a routinized daily schedule, full of opportunities to keep seniors engaged throughout the day in purposeful and meaningful activities. Meals are not only delicious, but also created and prepared to meet the special needs of someone living with dementia. While residents often live in apartments smaller than those in assisted living, the rest of the memory care area is designed to be welcoming and accessible for residents to use at any time.

Memory care communities are lovely in appearance and are carefully designed and created to give residents independence, dignity, and engagement. If your mom has any memory issues, a memory care community would be ideal for her situation.

Assisted living and memory care communities offer similar services, but are tailored to serve seniors who have different needs. If you can’t determine which would suit your mom best, take a tour of a few communities and see which offers services that your mom would use now and in the future.

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Topics: Assisted living, Senior care, Memory care

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca is the Regional Vice President of Sales at The Arbor Company.

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