Memory Care vs. Nursing Homes: Which is Best for Your Needs?
How do you decide between memory care vs. nursing homes when researching senior living communities for your loved one?
Both long-term care options are appropriate for individuals who require assistance with the activities of daily living, and both provide skilled nursing care. However, they typically have distinct focuses, so it’s important to understand their differences when considering care for a loved one.
Memory Care Facilities
Memory care communities offer specialized care for people with dementia symptoms. Health professionals working at memory care residences undergo specialized training to better understand and care for those with memory impairments.
Here are other characteristics of assisted living facilities that focus on memory care.
Memory care residences offer specialized care for those living with dementia symptoms.
Dementia care covers a wide range of diseases and diagnoses. For example, people with Alzheimer’s disease have dementia – as do those with Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia. Memory care facilities focus on addressing the unique needs and challenges associated with cognitive decline.
Memory care facilities are specifically designed for those with dementia.
Memory care units are often designed with features and layouts that provide a secure environment and reduce confusion for residents. A memory care unit has secure entrances and exits to prevent wandering.
Those working at memory care facilities are trained in managing behavior issues.
You may have noticed that your loved one with dementia is becoming more agitated and aggressive as their disease progresses. Staff at memory care facilities are specifically trained to help residents with complex dementia behaviors.
Memory care facilities emphasize activities that cater to residents’ cognitive abilities and interests.
Medical professionals design activities for memory care communities that may help slow a patient’s cognitive decline.
Nursing homes provide residents with a broad range of medical and personal care services. A nursing home’s services may include:
- Assistance with activities of daily living.
- Medical care such as medication management, wound care, and physical therapy.
While nursing home residents may have memory loss, this may not be their debilitating medical issue.
Nursing homes serve diverse needs.
Nursing homes typically admit residents with various health conditions, including chronic illnesses, disabilities, or rehabilitation needs. The resident population may include individuals with and without cognitive impairments.
Nursing homes have a diverse staff to provide extensive medical support to residents.
Nursing home staff may include registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), therapists, and other healthcare professionals. The level of medical care is generally higher than in memory care facilities.
What Type of Skilled Nursing Care Is Right for Your Loved One?
Choosing between a nursing home and a memory care facility depends on the specific needs and conditions of those requiring care.
If someone has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and their primary need is support for cognitive decline, a memory care facility may be a more appropriate choice. However, a nursing home may be a better fit if the individual has a range of medical needs beyond cognitive impairment.
The good news is you don’t have to make this decision alone. Retirement Unlimited staff will help you select the appropriate level of care for your loved one. And because we offer many different senior care options, your loved one may be able to start in one environment and move to another community if symptoms progress.
Schedule a tour of a senior living community near you to learn about the types of care we offer.
Key Takeaways: Choosing Between a Memory Care Facility or Nursing Home?
- Both memory care and nursing facilities can help dementia patients.
- Memory care residences offer specialized care for those living with dementia symptoms.
- Those working at memory care facilities are trained in managing behavior issues.
- Nursing homes have a diverse staff to provide extensive medical support to residents.
- Ask a professional for help determining what type of care your loved one needs.