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Memory Care vs. Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home – What’s the Difference?

Memory Care vs. Assisted Living vs. Nursing Home – What’s the Difference?

If you’ve been considering where to best place your aging loved one, you’ve probably heard the terms nursing home, assisted living and memory care. But did you know that they’re all different? While all three are designed to care for your senior’s needs when you no longer can, each one meets unique and specific requirements.

What’s the Difference Between Nursing Homes, Assisted Living and Memory Care?

The difference all boils down to how independent your loved one is and what level of care they currently need. We’re here to simplify and help you understand the main differences between the three.

Nursing Homes

A nursing home is the most traditional of the three options. Nursing homes are more like an institution or a hospital, with patients generally confined to a room with minimal interaction with other patients. Nursing homes are designed for less mobile patients that aren’t able to move around independently and need 24-hour skilled nursing care.

Nursing homes don’t normally offer patients much privacy, simply because the senior is unable to attend to their private needs like bathing, grooming and using the bathroom without help from someone. It’s also the least enriching of environments, with minimal activities that encourage being social and enjoying physical and mental activities.

Assisted Living

An assisted living community is the most modern and exciting of all the senior housing options. The best assisted living communities are more like a vibrant neighborhood with a full entertainment and wellness program than a nursing home.

Assisted living communities like Sodalis Senior Living offer a wide range of services that give seniors (who are active or can move about and care for themselves with some assistance) the freedom and flexibility to safely lead a social and independent lifestyle. The residences are well designed to be homelike so your loved one can also enjoy their quiet time and privacy. Sodalis assisted living communities include:

• Beautifully designed common areas where residents can meet, relax and participate in the many activities
• Residences that can be decorated the way your loved one likes
• Pet-friendly residences and environment
• A varied, daily menu of healthy, home-cooked meals, prepared by chefs experienced in the nutritional needs and taste preferences of seniors
• A daily calendar of on-site social activities and exercise classes
• Wine and coffee bar
• A salon offering a range of beauty services
• Linen service
• Housekeeping
• 24-hour monitoring
• On-call medical staff
• Transportation to town for shopping and activities, as well as for medical appointments
• A high expert-staff-to-resident ratio

Memory Care

Memory care facilities specialize in caring for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders. A memory care facility can be similar to an assisted living community and is designed to be safe for residents, staffed with professionals who are experienced in working with Alzheimer’s or other memory disorder patients and comfortable so residents may feel at home and at ease.

In most cases, the residents will live in apartments similar to those of assisted living facilities. In fact, Sodalis Living communities feature both assisted living and memory care residences and services on site.

Seniors living in a memory care community like Sodalis Living enjoy a level of independence that matches their capabilities and needs. When comparing assisted living vs. memory care, the memory care facility staff will be more hands-on with the memory care patients who may need help with bathing, dressing, taking medication, etc.

Besides more help for residents from the nurses and aides, a memory care facility is unique in how it’s designed. Activities, meals and surroundings are developed for residents with memory disorders like dementia or Parkinson’s. Surroundings are designed to provide a sense of tranquility, as well as provide the utmost safety. Activities and social programs at a memory care facility are created to both stimulate neuro-cognitive function but also soothe and diminish the anxieties that affect people with memory disorders.

How Do You Choose Between A Nursing Home vs. Assisted Living Community vs. Memory Care Facility?

Each facility type serves a senior’s unique needs at the moment. But as your loved one ages, their needs may change. How do you choose the right facility with this in mind? By choosing a community where a senior can age in place and not need to be uprooted if their health needs change or a memory disorder develops or intensifies.

Larger, state-of-the-art communities like Sodalis Senior Living still offer an intimate environment for residents, while offering assisted living, memory care and 24-hour skilled nursing care all in the same place to meet your loved one’s changing needs. Visit us for a tour of one of our many communities or contact us for more information.