As a loved one ages, he or she may require more care than what you are able to provide. This is not a failure on your part — it’s normal. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 70% of adults over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. Two of the fastest-growing types of elderly care are memory care and assisted living. What are the differences, and how can you decide which is best for your elderly parents?
Assisted Living vs. Memory Care
Assisted living is defined as long-term care that combines housing, healthcare and support services. Support services often include transportation, meal services, medication management and extra help with everyday tasks.
Some assisted living facilities offer more specialized nursing care for individuals who develop age-related conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Memory care tends to be much more comprehensive than standard assisted living. Some factors that make memory care distinct from assisted living services include:
- 24-hour supervised care
- Awareness and understanding of sensory issues
- A proactive approach to socialization and activities
Signs Your Loved One Is Ready for Memory Care
If you’re like many concerned loved ones, you will never experience a defining moment in which you realize your loved one needs more intensive care. However, there will be signs. Some signs it may be time to transition your loved one from assisted living to memory care are as follows:
- You’re performing more caregiver duties as the team at the facility is no longer able to meet your loved one’s growing needs.
- Your loved one is prone to sudden mood swings and has trouble interacting with others, making decisions or behaving appropriately.
- You notice physical signs of declining health, such as rapid weight loss, poor hygiene and unexplained injuries.
- There are more instances in which your loved one wanders off.
- Your loved one appears confused, disoriented or agitated most days.
It is never easy for family members to make the transition from assisted living to memory care, as making the transition before a person is ready could cause him or her unnecessary stress. If you’re unsure whether memory care or assisted living is right for your loved one, our team at Kisco Senior Living can advise you of your options and point you toward the best arrangement for your family.