When your parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the news may leave you confused and unsure of how to proceed and provide proper support and care to your parent. After all, Alzheimer's is a progressive and incurable condition that can be challenging to deal with for you and for your parent. You may find yourself considering what type of care is best suited to your parent's needs as their Alzheimer's disease progresses and be looking at two options, assisted living and memory care. Get to know some of the key differences between these two options so that you can best decide which facility will best suit your parent and their needs moving forward.
Assisted Living Care Services
Assisted living facilities are flexible in the care services that they provide. This means that the programs can be customized to suit the needs of their residents. While one person in assisted living may need help getting dressed in the morning, another may not, for example. Such flexibility can be helpful for your parent with Alzheimer's as they may still be able to care for themselves in many ways, especially in the earlier stages of the disease.
However, the services that assisted living provides are often more general in nature. This means that they will provide assistance with daily living tasks like dressing, hygiene, and medications as well as meals, but may not be equipped to handle the behavioral changes and mood swings that Alzheimer's may cause. Additionally, as Alzheimer's progresses the level of care your parent may need as far as personal care, incontinence care, and special feeding assistance may be too much for assisted living facilities to properly provide.
Assisted living facilities also are often more open to people coming and going. Residents have open outdoor areas and are not restricted from exiting the building without staff accompaniment or supervision. If your parent with Alzheimer's is prone to wandering or gets confused or disoriented, this flexibility and lack of supervision and security can result in them getting injured or lost.
Memory Care Services
Memory care homes, on the other hand, provide comprehensive care for patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. They are able to accommodate residents at all stages of the disease. This means that as your parent's Alzheimer's progresses, you will not need to worry about them moving facilities or not getting the proper nutritional, medical, and personal care to keep their quality of life as high as possible.
Memory care homes are also prepared to handle behavioral issues. Every person with Alzheimer's experiences it in slightly different ways, and their behaviors will vary as well. They may become aggressive or angry at certain triggers such as being startled or surprised by a person approaching from behind them. Memory care facilities will work to discover these specific behavioral patterns and triggers and work with the resident to minimize these disturbances. This improves your parent's safety and their happiness and overall quality of life.
Security is also a major benefit of memory care homes. These homes provide close monitoring of residents and feature locked doors that must be opened by staff. Your parent will always have caregivers with them if they go outside or go on outings from the home so that they will always remain safe and will not wander off or suffer unsupervised falls or accidents on or off facility grounds.
Now that you know some of the key differences between assisted living and memory care, you can better choose the right situation for your parent who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Contact a local center, such as Alta Ridge Communities, for further assistance.