Memory Care is Assisted Living, With a Bit More Care
Memory Care is not completely different than assisted living, it’s just a higher level of care. There are increased needs in terms of security and keeping track of residents, but many assisted living communities offer memory care as a separate wing of their community.
Advanced Memory Care
For individuals with dementia who require a higher level of skilled care and supervision, dedicated memory care units are an ideal option. Sometimes they exist as a wing within an assisted living facility or nursing home, or they operate as stand-alone residences. Supervision is provided 24 hours per day by staff trained to care for specific needs and demands of dementia patients. Memory care units offer the same services as assisted living facilities with increased supervision, plus activities intended to stimulate memory, and possibly slow the disease’s progression.
On top of a higher level of care, memory care facilities have heightened security because of some of the habits of memory care residents. Memory Care units are often locked, with no route of getting outside the property due to risk of residents wandering away or getting hurt outside of facility supervision.
It can be especially difficult for families who have a family member with Alzheimers or Dementia, joining a support group can be very helpful for families. There are many groups that work with families in these situations, and groups like the Alzheimer's Association do lots of work to keep the family in mind, not just the members suffering from memory related diseases.
For both assisted living and memory care, several variables affect cost. These include the geographic area where one lives, whether one has a private room or a shared living space, and the amount of care service required. However, due to the specialized dementia care that is offered at memory care units, costs are higher than assisted living. On average, one can expect to pay approximately $3,700 per month for assisted living and $5,400 per month to reside in a memory care unit.