Should Your Parent Use Assisted Living Or Memory Care?

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As your parents age, you and they need to get together so that you can make some decisions about what will happen when they can't live independently anymore. This is especially true if your parents are starting to deal with any memory issues. One option is to look into a facility with assisted living and memory care facilities. Memory care facilities and assisted living facilities have some similarities and some differences. You need to know which one will work best for your parent, and when.

Assisted Living

This is for when your parent is still somewhat independent and can do most, if not all, of their ADLs on their own. However, even though they are still pretty independent, they need a little extra help. An assisted living center has nursing and support personnel on staff. Your parents can arrange to have just as much or as little help as they need from the support staff. For example, your parent may need help with their medication, so they can arrange for medical staff to come in every week to set up meds so that your parent doesn't have to do anything except open the appropriate compartment and take their meds. Assisted living facilities also have activities and trips that your parent can take advantage of to still be social. 

Memory Care

Memory care facilities are specifically designed to help people with memory issues like dementia or Alzheimer's. One big focus of these facilities is the safety of their residents. While all residential care facilities will want to ensure their residents are safe, people with memory issues have some unique problems that other patients won't have. For example, people who have dementia and Alzheimer's tend to wander. If they get out of the house or facility, they can wander off into the nearby area and get lost. This can be very problematic because they don't necessarily know their name or where they live, and they need help finding their way back to the facility. A memory care facility will have doors that can be locked to keep people safely inside. Those doors can be triggered by a tag that the resident wears. When the door reads the tag nearby, it will lock so that they can't leave the facility without help. 

As your parents age, you want to make sure that they are in a safe place. Talk to them about living in assisted living or memory care facilities.