Assisted Living vs. Memory Care: What’s the Difference?

Are you or a loved one having difficulty with activities of daily living as you age? Has a spouse or friend’s memory declined to the point you are worried about their safety? Before you begin searching for long-term care, it’s important to know the difference between assisted living and memory care. While some of the services are the same, there are several differences in the level of care provided.

What is Assisted Living?

Seniors in an assisted living community typically need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, medication management, or mobility, but don’t need around-the-clock help. Seniors who receive this level of care can clearly communicate their needs and their reasoning skills are intact.

What is Memory Care?

Like assisted living, residents in memory care also require assistance with activities of daily living. However, they are often unable to clearly articulate their needs and therefore, require a higher – and more personalized – level of care. Seniors experiencing memory loss may forget how to turn off the stove or oven, or even how to navigate to and from their apartment. Memory care team members have special training to enhance engagement and communication with these residents so they can be successful and still maintain a purpose in a community.

Assisted Living Communities

Safety is always a concern for seniors who are prone to falls and other injuries. In assisted living communities, residents may have an emergency call device like a pendant as well as call buttons in their apartments and daily check-ins from team members to ensure they are generally in good health.

Assisted living communities offer lots of fun activities and opportunities for residents to socialize and engage like painting, playing board games, going to live musical performances, daily exercise, and educational forums.

Memory Care Communities

Safety and security are heightened in a memory care community, which typically includes keypad access for team members and visitors to enter and leave the memory care neighborhood. Memory care communities are often designed to minimize confusion with plenty of open space for walking and movement, ample signage, color-coded walls, and personalized shadow boxes to help residents navigate the building.

Memory care residents have access to most of the same socialization opportunities, but with more personalization to ensure they are meaningful and purposeful. At Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, special activities are scheduled for our memory care residents that are shown to help slow cognitive decline, reduce falls, and decrease the use of some medications, and are done with the support of trained team members.

Your Senior Care Partner

At Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, we help families find the best living situation to meet their loved one’s needs. Call 970-340-4460 or contact us online if you have questions about assisted living or memory care or would like to schedule a personalized tour.

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