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Memory Care 101: What to Expect From a Memory Care Community
Memory Care 101: What to Expect From a Memory Care Community
Kathleen Roberts Posted on

The average age of the population is getting older. As the baby boomers reach retirement and the average age of the American population continues to increase, there are more senior citizens who are experiencing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory loss issues. Memory loss slowly interferes with one's ability to manage everyday life. And it can be quite challenging for families to care for loved ones experiencing memory loss. Many communities offer Memory Care living to seniors, assisting them and their families during this time. Memory Care living is different from Assisted Living and Personal Care living in that it offers unique and specialized services for seniors with dementia. Seniors receive around the clock care, medication administration, assistance with daily activities of living, three meals a day, and life-enriching activities for persons living with dementia in a homelike environment.

While Personal Care, previously known as Assisted Living, is a great option for seniors who may need some assistance with daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning, Memory Care is specifically designed to meet the needs of individuals living with memory loss who require more attention and support.

What are some main differences between Memory Care living and Personal Care living?

  • Memory Care apartments are designed differently than Personal Care or Assisted Living apartments. Community and recreation areas emphasize open space and safety, with few barriers and obstructions. Some communities even have designated walking paths so persons may wander freely and safely. Seniors are less stressed due to relaxing environments, often with natural lighting. Personal Care apartments may include kitchenettes, whereas Memory Care apartments often do not. 
  • In some states, Personal Care residents are able to self-medicate. Medication administration is always done by professional staff in Memory Care living. 
  • Memory Care staff must complete specialized training in dementia and memory care. A higher staff to resident ratio is necessary to accommodate resident needs.
  • Memory Care communities are often smaller than Personal Care communities, as care and activities are customized and focused. Seniors in Personal Care are more independent; therefore these communities vary in size.
  • There is more structure around daily activities, meals, and sleep in Memory Care living. It is helpful for persons living with dementia to stay in a routine. With Personal Care, also known as Assisted Living, seniors often come and go as they please. Aside from set meal times, they determine their own schedules.
  • Physical, spiritual, and creative activities are planned specifically for residents living with memory loss. These activities are often different from those planned for residents in Personal Care or Assisted Living.
  • The cost of Memory Care is higher than Personal Care, due to dementia services, specialized housing, and staffing requirements. 

What does Memory Care provide for seniors?

A Memory Care community offers seniors many services. They provide secure and safe living units with 24/7 physical, emotional, and spiritual support. Dedicated staff address issues specific to memory loss, administer medicine and support overall well-being. Open areas, including gardens and common spaces, invite seniors to relax and socialize. Memory Care living involves daily enrichment activities for residents. Seniors are provided with complete meals, snacks, and transportation designed to meet their specific needs.

Memory Care Living at Living Branches

Living Branches Memory Care is personalized, compassionate care within a charming, home-like environment for seniors with memory loss. Our staff is trained in all aspects of dementia care. We support a daily routine that is reassuring and promotes social interaction, getting to know each resident as an individual to best meet his or her unique needs.

Living Branches is currently implementing Montessori methods into Memory Care at Dock Woods and Souderton Mennonite Homes. This philosophy of care focuses on understanding who each resident is, what they like to do, and what they are capable of doing, so that each resident can be empowered and supported to live their best life. Instead of focusing on limitations, we choose to focus on abilities. Every resident, even persons with dementia, can still find moments of joy and purpose in their day.

If you are searching for a senior Memory Care community for your loved one, contact us today. We will be happy to answer your questions and determine the best community and Memory Care plan that aligns with your loved one's specific needs.



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