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If you’re helping an aging parent or other loved one find senior care, deciphering the levels of care can feel like navigating unfamiliar territory in the dark. Recognizing the need for Assisted Living or Memory Care support — and when to move from one level of care to another — adds another layer of complexity. Understanding the differences between levels of care can illuminate the choices and help your family make informed decisions.
Assisted Living and Memory Care are two fast-growing types of senior care, but what’s the difference between the two? Both are long-term care options that provide a range of medical and personal care services for those who need assistance with daily living. Residents in both settings receive help with activities of daily living. The biggest difference is that Memory Care also provides specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
If your loved one is struggling with the tasks of daily living and/or experiencing signs of memory loss or cognitive impairment, you may be wondering when they should move to a senior care center. Learning about the unique benefits each level of care offers can help you make the right choice.
Assisted Living Offers Help with Daily Living
Assisted Living communities provide support with activities of daily living such as medication management, preparing meals, bathing/showering, grooming, using the toilet and other daily tasks. These neighborhoods ensure safety and security with in-room emergency alert systems so residents can call for help any time of the day or night. The level of care is personalized for each resident in Lakewood’s retirement community, meaning that the plan of care evolves as their needs change.
Assisted Living is often a good choice for older adults who need help managing some of the aspects of daily living. Residents benefit from a maintenance-free lifestyle and the convenience of calling for help at the push of a button, if needed. They may need help from staff several times a day, but they don’t require 24/7 monitoring. A typical resident has the ability to walk, stand up and transfer with minimal assistance.
In some cases, seniors with early- to middle-stage dementia do well in an Assisted Living setting. However, when symptoms worsen, and a Memory care program can provide the additional support they need. If your loved one with memory loss is already in Assisted Living, you may wonder when they should move to a higher level of care. The care team will discuss these questions with you and your loved one, and recommend making a transition when the time is right.
Memory Care Provides Specialized Support for Seniors with Dementia
Memory Care communities support residents and their families by providing long-term care in a safe setting intentionally designed to support those with memory loss. Care is provided in a secure environment with calming therapies and soothing spaces to reduce agitation, minimize confusion, and provide a calm atmosphere. Secure entrances and exits prevent wandering, and secured outdoor courtyard areas provide spaces where residents can spend time outdoors safely.
Staff and caregivers in dementia care facilities are specially trained to provide compassionate care for seniors with memory loss, and they have effective ways to prevent and manage difficult dementia behaviors such as aggression and wandering.
When you choose Lakewood’s dementia care program, you and your family will benefit from the specialized care and unique programming aimed to improve the quality of life for those with dementia. They have opportunities to engage with daily activities that inspire creativity and social interaction, as well as daily routines planned with their unique needs in mind.
An increase in a person’s dementia-related symptoms may signal it’s time to move to Memory Care. Making the move while they still have the cognitive ability to comprehend the changes and adapt to a new routine may be helpful in making a smooth transition to a higher level of care. With the right level of support, your loved one can remain as independent as possible, and live each day with joy and purpose.
A Seamless Transition
With Lakewood, you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one will always have access to a full continuum of care. Residents can seamlessly transition between Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation whenever different levels of care are needed. Contact our team to learn more about our exceptional senior living community in Richmond’s West End.