Reminiscence Neighborhoods: Memory Care vs. Assisted Living

Memory Lane

Memory care is a specific form of long-term assistance tailored to meet the needs of people with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia diagnoses.

Similar to assisted living facilities, Memory Care Communities offer a wide range of services, such as personal attendance, medication management and help with activities and facets of daily life. What makes memory neighborhoods so unique: they offer person-centered attention by skilled memory care staff!

Reminiscence Neighborhoods

Some assisted living communities and nursing homes provide care in a separate, secure wing or on Special Memory Care Units (SCU) however, other long-term care communities provide Memory Care!

This is an important distinction to make because it can affect monthly costs and determine insurance coverage. Typically, Assisted Living Facilities are a bit less expensive than dedicated Memory Care Communities, but with the presence of an SCU in regards to memory care or a long-term residence, you may begin to encounter additional co-pays or fees. Assisted Living and Memory Care are usually private pay, meaning they are not covered by health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid. You can use long term care insurance & VA money to cover the cost.

Community Features

SCU’s are pleasant and easy to navigate! By using specific colors and simple layouts, those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia afflictions are able to walk around their neighborhood more easily, increasing their sense of independence! Friendly and inviting living environments also help to minimize wandering behaviors!

A key focus of memory care helps residents struggling with memory loss by providing routine and structured activities! Nursing staff learn methods to effectively communicate and connect with Alzheimer’s individuals. If caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease, remember these safe mindful skills to use at home!

  1. Practice patience… Patiently! Remember: everyone has good days and bad days!
  2. Address your loved ones by their first name or familiar nickname when speaking with them! 
  3. Let delusions pass on by! Unless they pose an immediate threat or danger, don’t engage them and don’t argue!
  4. Speak calmly and warmly! Also, refrain from baby talk! Infantilizing someone can trigger a disagreement, as its often seen as a threat to independence and evokes the fear of losing control. 
  5. Connect through shared hobbies and passions! They say, “An elephant never forgets!” Likewise, the mind may lose event details, but often times remembers how to paint or draw! Think of ways to routinely stretch out your mental muscles! 
  6. Create a memory bag full of personal tokens tied to meaningful memories! Try using souvenirs to redirect and help your loved one to feel safe, when experiencing forgetful moments, fear or agitation. 
  7. Try music to soothe anxiety! Sit down together and make a long list of meaningful songs to engage memory! Emotion and memory are intrinsically tied to one another; relaxing music sets off a biochemical reaction, releasing hormones which calm the nervous system!  

Mindful Assistance

Both Memory Care Communities, Assisted Living Facilities, & SCUs offer residential solutions to geriatric patients who require routine and supervised care. If you need help finding memory care services for your loved ones, search online for senior care and order a free directory!