Caring for your loved ones into older age can mean finding the right community for them to make their transition into the next stage of life. That can mean assisting them with choosing the lifestyle they need.
Whether your loved one requires memory care or long-term care, the differences are subtle but important.
Let’s look at what memory care and long-term care lifestyles provide and the big difference between them.
What Is Memory Care?
Many older adults may find challenges with memory and other thinking abilities, and that’s natural with aging. Your loved one will be surrounded by a dedicated team and a personalized community with memory care.
Memory care is dedicated to your loved ones’ distinct needs when facing memory problems and cognitive challenges.
Some cognitive challenges associated with memory care include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
Memory care focuses on helping your loved one with these cognitive challenges.
Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia
Dementia is a group of symptoms severely affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities. Dementia is caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells and their connections to the brain. While dementia is associated with memory loss, it’s not the sole symptom.
Some common cognitive signs and symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty communicating or finding words
- Struggling with visual and spatial abilities
- Having trouble with planning and organizing
- Confusion and disorientation
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of progressive dementia in older adults.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that affects the brain and causes brain cells to die.
The early signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting recent events or conversations. Unfortunately, this disease gets progressively worse.
Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Memory loss affecting daily activities
- Trouble with familiar tasks
- Issues with speech and writing
- Decreased personal hygiene
- Mood and personality changes
- Lack of appetite
Alzheimer’s disease spans several years—so memory care is a great option to get assistance for your loved one.
Long-Term Care & How it Differs From Memory Care
Long-term care is ideal for your loved ones transitioning into a new stage of life and needing assistance with their medical needs and day-to-day life. Long-term care can be provided in a personalized community or at home.
Long-term care communities focus on helping your loved ones with daily activities such as:
- Getting dressed
- Going to the bathroom
- Getting groceries
- Daily chores like laundry
Long-term care aims to help with activities of daily living and can no longer live independently without assistance.
Now that we know what long-term care and memory care are all about let’s look at the big difference between them.
The Big Difference
While both memory care and long-term care deal with assisting daily activities, the big difference comes in the form of specialized care to deal with cognitive challenges.
Memory care is a specialized type of long-term care that offers a customized program for your loved ones depending on their needs. Memory care deals with cognitive challenges like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and, as a result, provides special accommodations and community spaces.
The big separating factor is cognitive challenges like dementia and Alzheimer’s that require a customized and catered experience.
Getting the proper support for your loved one is essential, and that starts with knowing what type of care and lifestyle is appropriate for your loved one.
The Best Fit
Choosing the best fit for your loved one can be a lengthy process. The right community and lifestyle depend on your loved one’s needs and what will give them the best quality of life. It’s essential to understand the difference between memory care and long-term care. Schedule a visit with professionals for more information and assistance in choosing the right memory care or long-term care community for your loved one.