Assisted Living Vs. Memory Care: Which One Is Best For Your Parents?

Seated at a table, an older woman is playing cards with other residents and enjoying a cup of tea while a nurse helps out

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Caring for an older parent can be emotionally fulfilling, extremely rewarding, and a wonderful way to spend your days. But it can also pose its own unique set of challenges, and there may be a point where you can no longer fully care for them yourself. That’s where senior living communities come in—a place your parent can feel at home and supported while getting help from a team of trained caregivers.

For many adults, assisted living is a popular choice. Your loved one can get support for their daily activities while remaining independent. But if they’re experiencing memory impairment or any cognitive decline, memory care may be the way to go!

What Is Assisted Living?

When your parent wants to remain independent but needs a hand here and there with their daily needs, what do you do? You think about assisted living.

In these communities, your parent moves to a home that’s entirely theirs. They can decorate, arrange furniture, and do whatever they need to feel at home. And they can stay as independent as they are able to maintain a higher quality of life—with a big benefit.

There is also a team of trained caregivers in the community that can help your parent with their daily needs. These communities are ideal for older adults who need a hand with:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Managing medication
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

Whatever daily activities your parent needs a hand with, assisted living can help. Plus, it gives your parent access to a massive range of programs and experiences to help them socialize and pursue their passions.

Assisted living enables your parent move to a vibrant community where they can stay active, social, and independent—all while getting the care and service they need.

Can Anyone Live in Assisted Living?

However, assisted living isn’t for everyone. It’s designed to cater to older adults in need of some assistance. If your loved one can stay independent without putting themself at risk, assisted living might be the right way to go. It’s important to note that criteria often varies between communities, so you can always schedule a tour to see if a community suits your parent.

Typically, community members should be able to move around with minimal assistance and maintain a certain degree of physical ability. Their cognitive state plays a part as well—if your parent is experiencing memory impairment or cognitive decline, assisted living may not be the right choice.

What Is Memory Care?

When your loved one is experiencing memory impairment, memory care is often the way to go. In these communities, your parent gets a safe and secure environment—with additional support from a team of caregivers trained in helping older adults with cognitive decline.

Conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other types of memory impairment can have a pretty significant impact on your loved one. And when you’re trying to care for an older parent with these conditions, things can get complicated if you don’t have professional care.

That’s when memory care becomes a great option. Moving to memory care gives your parent access to a team of trained caregivers and a safe place to call home. The communities are designed to be easy to navigate, and your parent gets a customized care plan for their unique situation. Plus, the communities are designed with additional safety features to prevent wandering.

Who Should Move to Memory Care?

Memory care is specifically designed for older adults needing a higher level of care. Unlike assisted living, where community members stay independent, memory care focuses heavily on addressing the unique complications caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re unsure of whether or not your parent meets this criteria, keep an eye out for these signs:

  • They frequently forget their place in a conversation
  • They often wander or get lost
  • They encounter difficulties in completing familiar tasks
  • They’re more withdrawn or no longer enjoy their hobbies
  • They experience frequent mood changes
  • They forget what day it is or start missing appointments

If your parent starts showing these signs, consider visiting a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. If it’s determined that it’s memory impairment, memory care might be the right choice for your parent!

Making the Right Choice for Your Parent

Before making a decision, it can help to think about your parent’s needs and preferences. If they want to remain independent while getting a hand here and there, think about assisted living—it’s a popular choice!

But if they’re experiencing or exhibiting signs of memory impairment, consider memory care. Conditions like dementia can cause a lot of problems in your parent’s life, so it’s important that they get the care they need! Remember: your parent deserves a place they can call home while still getting proper care.

If you’re unsure which community is ideal for your parent, there’s some good news: our Juniper Village at Preston Hollow community offers both memory care and assisted living!

Learn about assisted living and memory care as Juniper Village at Preston Hollow explains how to make the right decision for your parents.

Visit Us Today!

If your parent needs a future home and you need help figuring out where to start, visit us at Juniper Village at Preston Hollow. Our community is warm and welcoming, and we tailor our care plans to every person’s unique needs. We’re here to help your loved one in their Third Act, so book a tour with us today! Together, we can find your parent their forever home.

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