← Back to Blog

Understanding Care Levels: Memory Care vs. Assisted Living

senior woman with her memory care caregiver

If you’re looking into senior living options for your loved one, you’ll likely encounter the different types of care offered in these communities. You may have read about memory care and assisted living.

While both types of care provide support for residents, they have key distinctions.

Understanding memory care vs. assisted living can help you find the care your loved one needs.

Memory Care vs. Assisted Living

Memory care provides long-term care for residents who have forms of dementia and memory loss. This support is specialized to help those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continue to live a vibrant and purposeful life.

Residents receive personalized, quality healthcare in a secure environment with trained staff to help them with whatever they need. Staff members work closely with residents to help make them comfortable and engaged throughout the day.

Residents participate in programming, fun activities, and specialized therapies that stimulate the brain and help keep them present and in the moment.

Assisted living provides services that help older adults function in their everyday lives.

Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), transportation, and housekeeping gives seniors the support they need to continue to live as independently as possible.

Seniors living in assisted living communities don’t require a nurse by their side 24/7 but have the confidence that comes with having access to care around the clock, should they need it.

Assisted living residents can fill their calendars with the community’s robust amenities, whether taking advantage of the The Kimble Fitness and Therapeutic Center visiting the arts and crafts studio, or enjoying the library and reading room.

Memory Care Services

Those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia may experience confusion or could be prone to wandering. Having a safe and secure environment is paramount for a memory care community.

Safety features include:

  • 24-hour security and staff
  • Emergency call systems
  • Geriatric-certified medical director on staff

The services and care offered in memory care go beyond medical care – it also includes specific programming centered around the individual’s personhood. This provides for opportunities to thrive, have fun, and enjoy life.

  • Music Therapy. Music therapy is a joyful way to encourage interaction through singing and making music.
  • Computer Activities. Computer programs like Never 2 Late provide interactive software that seniors engage with through a touch screen.
  • Dining Experience. Having a serene, open environment with opportunities for choice allows memory care residents to enjoy their meals with others.

Memory Care Rehabilitation

While many senior living communities may offer rehabilitation services to older adults recovering from an illness or injury, they may not have one specified for memory care patients.

Therapy and rehabilitative services in a memory care program help older adults with cognitive impairment maintain the highest quality of life possible and return home safely.

A care team will assess your loved one’s needs and find the best way to treat them. The plan can adjust as your loved one’s needs change. The team will also communicate with you and other family members so you’ll know how your loved one is doing.

Assisted Living Services

Assisted living residents receive personalized care tailored to suit their needs. For instance, someone may need help with ambulating or walking but not need assistance with eating.

They can continue doing everyday activities they don’t need assistance with to help retain that function and maintain their independence.

Those who live in assisted living can expect amenities and services like:

  • Flexible dining options
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Wellness checks
  • Social worker support
  • Pastoral care
  • Programs held in and out of the community
  • Walking paths

Assisted living can provide great peace of mind to seniors living in the community and their families. With kind and compassionate healthcare professionals at their side, they can truly thrive in an environment built around suiting their needs.

The community gives older adults multiple opportunities to socialize, make new friends, and enjoy current friendships. Your loved one will also get chances to expand their mind and try something new – whether that’s through taking a class or going on a group outing to somewhere they’ve never been before.

Learn About the Living Options at Presbyterian Homes Westminster Place

Find where you belong at Presbyterian Homes Westminster Place in Evanston, IL. Our 40-acre campus includes beautiful gardens and walking paths, and our proximity to Chicago offers residents the comforts of nature and the excitement of the city.

We offer direct admission to memory care and assisted living residences so you or your loved one can start living your best life as quickly as possible.

Contact us to visit our community and see the benefits of our memory care and assisted living residences. We’re here to answer your questions about life at Presbyterian Homes Westminster Place.