A majority of older adults will need some type of long-term care at some time during their lives. If you are the caregiver of an older adult who needs long-term care, it can be difficult to decide the right type of care to choose since they are not all the same. The advisors at Elder Care Direction can help you to understand the different types of long-term care that are available so that you can plan appropriately.
Assisted living vs. memory care
Two types of long-term senior residential care are memory care and assisted living. Elderly adults who are unable to live independently and need help with some of the activities of daily living but are still vital may be appropriate for assisted living facilities.
Assisted living facilities provide long-term care that offers a combination of health care, support services, and housing. Supportive services that may be available include transportation and medication management, and care is available 24 hours per day. Seniors may live in private rooms or in an apartment in a shared space. Assisted living facilities may offer different levels of service. Some do offer memory care services that may be located in special care units for dementia.
While assisted living facilities may contain units for memory care, assisted living and memory care are distinct types of care. Memory care is specifically designed for people who have dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory issues. These units usually provide supervised care 24 hours per day in a separate floor or wing of a care facility.
Memory care and treatment
Memory care offers a long-term care solution if your loved one cannot care for himself or herself because of a progressive memory impairment. People who work in memory care units have special training to help people who have cognitive impairments or dementia.
Memory care units are also designed to better fit the needs of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients so that the layout is easy to navigate and pleasant while also minimizing the risk of wandering. In 23 states, memory care facilities are regulated by disclosure laws that require special care units to disclose the services that they offer. Since these disclosure laws are not universal, it is crucial for you to research memory care and assisted living facilities thoroughly before choosing one for your loved one.
There are several variables such as the room size, whether the room is private or shared, the services that are needed and the geographic location that may affect the cost of memory care and assisted living. The costs for the two types of care are also figured a little differently from each other.
A base monthly rate that covers the room and board is normally charged for assisted living facilities. On average, a one-bedroom assisted-living apartment will cost $3,300 per month. Since the care that is provided in memory care units is specialized, it costs an average of $5,000 per month. Veterans’ benefits, Medicaid, and Medicare may help to pay for senior care, however.
Services in assisted living and memory care
While state regulations vary, assisted living and memory care both normally offer supervised care, help with daily activities, medical monitoring, hygiene, and mobility assistance. Other types of care that are normally offered include the following:
- Emergency call systems
- Medical care access
- Social activities
- Health programs
- Security and 24-hour supervision
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Three meals per day
Memory care may also include structured activities that are designed for people who are suffering from dementia.
Which type should you choose?
If your loved one does not have an immediate concern with dementia or Alzheimer’s and is still fairly independent, assisted living may be a better choice. However, if they have complex needs due to a memory impairment, memory care may be a better choice.
If Alzheimer’s or dementia is not an immediate concern, and your loved one is still relatively independent, then assisted living may be an excellent choice. The advisors at Elder Care Direction are able to help you to understand the choices that your loved one has. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.