Senior Living vs. Memory Care Services: How Do They Differ?

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"Many people think of senior living facilities and memory care services like they are one in the same. They believe these services are interchangeable. In reality, senior living and memory care services aren"t similar. There are key differences between the two. For example, senior living care allows an elderly person to live at a facility and take advantage of all of the hosted amenities, such as swimming pools, gyms, and so much more.

Memory care services are geared towards caring for people with Alzheimer"s, dementia, and other memory-related illnesses. The care they need is more extensive and different precautions need to be taken for their safety.

Let"s explore the core differences between these two senior care services to help you make the right decision for you and your family.

The Cost is Different
The cost for a senior living facility can vary. It usually depends on the provider. (See our related post: How much does senior living cost?") However, since you"ll be staying on a campus, you can expect to pay more compared to memory care services.

Sometimes, memory care services can be more expensive. The cost will depend on the extent of service that needs to be delivered. If your loved one is suffering from the final effects of dementia, memory care services will generally be more costly.

Seniors that are showing subtle signs of dementia may not command as high of a price. Overall, you"ll need to request a quote to find out the final price of each service to see if it"ll fit your budget.

The Extent of Care is Different
People usually stay in a senior care facility because they don"t want to live on their own anymore, and they also don"t want to be a burden on their children and loved ones. Living at a senior care facility is a choice, and it doesn"t mean the guests can"t take care of themselves.

On the other hand, people receiving memory care services can"t take care of themselves. Their memory is an obstacle that will prevent them from living on their own. Thus, the extent of care for both services are different.

At senior care facilities, people can go about their day with minimal supervision. Those receiving memory care services are supervised around the clock to help the facility monitor their condition, keeping them (and those around them) safe and healthy.

The Freedom is Different
While the extent of care is different for both services, the level of freedom also varies. Seniors in an independent senior care setting are allowed to participate in activities and enjoy amenities at their leisure.

They can also receive visitors and interact with them as they choose. People experiencing dementia are more fragile and must be accompanied at all times by facility staff.

They may also receive hospice care, depending on the severity of their condition. Again, receiving memory care services is not a choice. Therefore, patients can expect to enjoy less freedom compared to seniors in a care facility."

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