What's The Difference Between A Memory Care Facility And A Nursing Home?


If you're caring for an aging family member or loved one with dementia, you may have heard the term "memory care." While many people have some idea what memory care is, not everyone knows the difference between a memory care facility and a standard nursing home. These answers to frequently asked questions will help you decide for yourself if memory care is right for your loved one.

What's the difference between a memory care facility and a nursing home?

A nursing home is a standard facility designed for the treatment and care of seniors who are no longer able to care for themselves. Nursing homes are similar to hospitals in that they're designed to handle patients experiencing a variety of conditions, including heart trouble, stroke, cancer and more.

A memory care facility is a home that provides medical care for patients suffering from different types of dementia. While many patients who come to memory care facilities will have other health issues besides dementia, dementia is often their most notable and severe medical condition. Sometimes memory care units are special wards housed within nursing homes, but often memory care facilities are separate from nursing home facilities.

If your loved one has dementia, what are the benefits of a memory care facility over a nursing home?

There are a variety of ways that memory care facilities provide superior care for patients with dementia.

  • Memory care facilities provide safety and freedom to patients. People with dementia, particularly those with Alzheimer's, have a tendency to wander, and can easily become lost and confused. Nursing homes are not typically designed to prevent patients from walking off the grounds. Patients in nursing homes are allowed to walk freely. Under these conditions, a patient suffering from dementia may inadvertently leave the grounds. Memory care facilities--and memory care wards in nursing homes--are secured for the safety of the patients. These facilities provide patients with an open area where they can wander freely without fear of leaving the grounds.
  • Memory care facilities are designed for consistency and continuity. People suffering from dementia benefit from predictable routines. Consistency makes it easier for patients with dementia to function on their own. Memory care facilities provide these routines to their residents. By contrast, many nursing homes arrange for activities and crafts that change on a daily basis. While these activities may be good for many nursing home residents, changing routines can be detrimental to memory care patients.

Deciding between a nursing home or memory care facility can be tough. For more information about memory care and what's right for your loved one, talk to a representative of a reputable memory care facility in your area. Learn more here. 


22 March 2016

Recognizing Great Nursing Home Amenities

When I started looking for a care center for my mother, I decided that I needed to learn a little more about nursing home amenities. I wanted her to be in a safe, happy, fun place, but I didn't know what to look for. To make my search easier, I picked up a piece of paper and a pen and started calling different facilities. I made a list of all of the exciting, new features that places were offering, and then I showed the list to my mom. I let her decide where to stay and what she wanted to do. This blog is all about recognizing great nursing home amenities, so that you can keep the people that you love happy and content.