What is Memory Care?

February 12, 2024
February 3, 2024
Posted by
Bre'anna Wilson
February 3, 2024
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Memory care facilities or memory care communities (the names are used interchangeably) specialize in the care of those with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. They provide 24-hour supervision and provide a safe and supportive place for someone with dementia to live. To put it in simple terms, they are basically like a specialized assisted living facility.

You may also notice that more thought is put into the design of memory care communities, making them safer and more dementia-friendly. Sometimes you will see memory care facilities operate as a stand-alone place, and other times you will see it as a separate wing of an assisted living facility or even nursing home. There are pros and cons to both types.

It's also important to keep in mind that stand-alone or not, not all memory care communities are created equally. Although all memory care communities are supposed to have specially trained staff, the type of training care staff receive varies greatly and so do their skills. You will also find that the staff-to-resident ratios also vary from facility to facility and state to state. When searching for a memory care community, a higher staff-to-resident ratio is typically ideal (1:6 is optimal, but the lower the better).

To keep residents safe, most memory care rooms are free of cooking appliances, however, some rooms will have a small kitchenette with a microwave and fridge.

Memory care communities also vary in the programs and amenities they offer. However, common amenities include:

  • 24-hour staffing
  • Personal care
  • Dining, meals, and snacks
  • Medication management
  • Activity programs and events (tailored to individuals with dementia)
  • Housekeeping and laundry services

And additional amenities may include:

  • Fenced in courtyard
  • Fitness centers
  • In-house physical and occupational therapy
  • Pet therapy
  • Music therapy
  • In-house worship services
  • Transportation options

The primary consideration in determining whether a person with dementia would be better suited for an assisted living facility or a memory care facility revolves around the risk of wandering. If there's a potential for the individual to wander, it is generally advisable to opt for a memory care facility. This type of facility offers 24-hour supervision, and the units are frequently secured with extra safety features, although not universally so.

To learn about 8 Memory Care Community Considerations check out this blog here.

To learn What to Bring to a Memory Care Facility check out this blog here.

To download our "Assisted Living vs Memory Care Facility Checklist", which helps you assess if your partner with dementia may be better suited for a memory care facility or an assisted living facility, grab a Paw Pass to the Treehouse at letsbambu.com/treehouse.

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