Is Memory Care Considered Skilled Nursing?

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As individuals age, they experience many changes with time, impacting their daily needs like moving, lifting, and personal hygiene. Many people seek senior living communities to adapt to these changes and enjoy comfortable, independent living. If a loved one has dementia or another form of cognitive decline, they may benefit from memory care

Memory care provides specialized care with trained nurses and support staff, which isn’t the same as a skilled nursing facility. Care in memory care communities focuses on supporting daily living and dementia-related needs to help residents live as independently as possible. 

The support in a memory care community is catered to residents’ needs. 

Memory Care: Providing Specialized Care

The nurses and staff members in a memory care community are here to support your loved one’s needs. While these communities don’t have as many resources as a hospital, they provide daily care for residents and often offer transportation to medical professionals for specialized treatments. 

The medical staff in these communities provide specialized care for residents living with dementia and memory loss. Memory-enhancing therapies are another benefit of memory care communities, supporting thinking, concentration, and memory. 

What Is a Skilled Nursing Facility?

Skilled nursing is a type of medical care that provides nursing services, such as wound care, disease management, medication administration, and other specialized treatments.

A skilled nursing facility is often for older adults transitioning from a stay in the hospital. When someone is ready to be discharged from the hospital, they may not have fully recovered from their injury or illness. Everyone recuperates differently, and someone may need somewhere to stay until they’re feeling back to normal—a skilled nursing facility. 

It’s common to need time in skilled nursing if someone has surgery to replace a knee, hip, or shoulder. It is also common for those recovering from a stroke or experiencing a significant illness. 

Your loved one may need time to recover in a skilled nursing facility if they: 

  • Don’t have enough help around the house
  • Have medical issues like diabetes or heart disease
  • Have specialized medications
  • Have wounds from surgery that need care

During their stay, visitors in these facilities receive care from registered nurses and occupational, physical, and speech and language therapists—whatever is needed to support their recovery. 

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care is a type of specialized care designed for individuals with memory impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It provides a safe and secure environment to help residents maintain their independence while receiving necessary care. 

Caretakers in a memory care community provide daily support for whatever residents need, such as the activities of daily living (ADLs), like:

  • Getting dressed
  • Eating and cooking 
  • Using the washroom
  • Bathing and personal hygiene
  • Moving independently 

Staff members are specially trained to meet the unique needs of those with dementia, creating a supportive and respectful atmosphere. 

The Difference Between Memory Care & Skilled Nursing Facilities

Memory care is catered to older adults living with dementia, while skilled nursing can be for anyone requiring extra support. Additionally, memory care communities focus on continuous care, while skilled nursing facilities are for shorter stays. 

Memory care is ideal for people living with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline, where they receive specialized care on top of support with ADLs and additional needs. The design of these communities helps residents easily navigate them, preventing confusion, which can be a common symptom of dementia. Memory care provides 24-hour support while offering residents as much independence as possible. 

While there may be times when your loved one needs to stay in a skilled nursing facility, memory care communities can be better suited for their long-term needs and comfort. They can live as independently as possible with 24-hour support whenever needed. 

When Should You Consider Memory Care?

It can be hard to know when your loved one needs additional support. Dementia can progress for years, and many people don’t show symptoms at first. Independent living becomes more difficult with time, but you can watch for signs that your loved one’s condition is progressing. 

Memory care may benefit your loved one if they:

  • Struggle with ADLs like eating, dressing, and personal hygiene
  • Live unsafely on their own, like wandering from home or falling
  • Experience behavior changes, like agitation or aggression
  • Struggle with illnesses or physical decline
  • Seem isolated or depressed

See If Memory Care is Right for Your Loved One

Dementia can make it difficult for your loved one to live as independently as before, but they can still enjoy their independence with professional support. Memory care provides your loved one daily support from nurses, helping them receive the care they need. 

Contact Juniper Village at Spring Creek if you’re interested in memory care for a loved one or wish to book a tour of our community. 

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