As we age, our physical and emotional needs become a top priority. When daily routines and tasks become harder to manage, families are commonly led to consider options such as assisted living and memory care for their loved ones. These decisions are often difficult, just as any major transition in life, laden with emotional and practical considerations. The choice can feel daunting, especially if family members are unaware of the distinctions between memory care and assisted living or if the particular needs of their relative are not clear.
At The Rosewood, our mission is to help family members feel empowered to make the right care decisions for their loved ones. We specialize in educating families on various senior care programs and their differences to help them determine a plan of care that will best meet their needs. When it comes to assisted living and memory care, both programs will address health needs and even cognitive impairments, but they differ in specialized support for various conditions. In this guide, we’ll explore these differences that should influence your decision when it comes to selecting the right senior living option.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a residential senior care program that aims to create an environment of independence while providing necessary support. The goal of assisted living is to provide a safe home for seniors where they can receive immediate care when needed but continue their normal lifestyle as much as possible. At The Rosewood, our staff encourages residents in our assisted living program to keep up routines, social lives, and exercise while also caring for health conditions they may be facing.
In most assisted living facilities, regular activities are held for residents to enrich their lives and help foster a sense of independence and community. At The Rosewood, these activities span from on-campus holiday parties and games to field trips to museums, restaurants, and scenic areas. While some activities in assisted living are designed for cognitive support, most are focused on entertainment and socialization.
Medical care in assisted living is structured to provide support for tasks that have become difficult to accomplish, such as bathing, dressing, or using the toilet. At The Rosewood, each resident in our assisted living program receives a personalized plan of care to address the individual’s unique needs and abilities. In general, candidates for assisted living are seniors who require support for certain daily activities but have intact cognitive functioning.
Assisted living programs are an excellent way to ensure your loved one is in a safe environment where they will receive attention and care for their health needs while remaining as independent as possible. Assisted living and memory care programs both focus on maintaining levels of independence but to different degrees.
What is Memory Care?
The major difference between assisted living and memory care is that the latter specializes in caring for seniors with impaired cognitive function. Memory care programs are ideal for seniors with Alzheimer’s or different forms of dementia. Memory care facilities prioritize the safety, security, and well-being of residents through various brain health activities, adjustments to living spaces, and higher staff-to-resident ratios.
Memory care facilities are often required to hire medical providers with specialized licensing. At The Rosewood, our memory care program holds the most stringent licensing available in North Georgia to provide the most specialty care for our memory care residents. These licensing requirements are necessary to ensure memory care staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for providing quality care to seniors struggling with cognitive health conditions. Confusion, loss of memory, and anxiety are common symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s and memory care providers must be skilled in assisting with these symptoms as they arise.
Memory care programs provide the same daily task support that assisted living programs do with an emphasis on managing the symptoms of memory loss. Medical staff will provide assistance with mobility, physical health conditions, and more while also implementing therapies and activities that support cognitive health. At The Rosewood, our staff often engages with memory care residents through puzzles, art, and other creative activities that help preserve memory.
In addition to supporting physical and cognitive health, memory care facilities often provide additional security for their residents through increased safety measures. Dementia disorders come with various behavioral risks, especially wandering, which is why memory care facilities are often more secure than assisted living through locked doors and alarms.
While memory care facilities provide more specialized care than assisted living, the overall health of the entire person is still prioritized. At The Rosewood, we provide memory care residents with events, activities, social programs and exercise to ensure they feel at home and empowered to continue routines while receiving necessary support for their condition.
Assisted Living and Memory Care at The Rosewood
We hope this guide provides you with the knowledge you need to choose the best care option for your loved one. While the decision to move a friend or relative into a senior living center may be difficult, our goal at the Rosewood is to make the transition as smooth and peaceful as possible. Our staff are compassionate and well-trained in guiding residents and their families through moving and settling into a new home and new routine.
If you are considering The Rosewood for your loved one, we would love to schedule a tour of our campus with you. Our community in Fort Oglethorpe, GA, has become a loving and inviting home for countless seniors over the years, and we strive to make the physical spaces just as beautiful as the residents and staff who make our community special.