Discover the important aspects of memory care and skilled nursing. Seniorly explores the key differences between them and what sets them apart.
If you're caring for an elderly loved one, you may be wondering what the difference is between memory care and skilled nursing. Or you may be wondering if a memory care facility is a nursing home? Both are types of long-term care, but they serve different purposes. Here's a look at the key differences between these two types of care.
Memory care is a type of long-term care that is designed specifically for older adults with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other cognitive impairments. About 40% of people aged 65 or older have age-associated memory impairment. In the United States, it is about 16 million people. For people living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, independence often decreases as symptoms become more severe.
Memory care facilities offer a safe and secure environment, as well as staff members who are trained to deal with the unique needs of people with memory problems. These residents live within secure areas or a special wing of assisted living or skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). The skilled nursing communities are fully supervised by staff members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In order to provide the best care options possible in senior living, memory care staff members in these communities receive specialized training on how individuals with dementia or those who are simply suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) differ from others and what their specific needs might be.
Skilled nursing care is more intensive than memory care. It is typically required when a person needs rehabilitative services or has complex medical needs that can't be met at home or in an assisted living facility.
SNFs offer 24-hour care, seven days a week, and have staff members who are specially trained to provide medical care. Similar to rehabilitation services, skilled nursing can be chosen for short-term or long-term care.
Skilled nursing provides medical care that assisted living and memory care typically cannot provide, like IV insertion, injections, and other medical care. SNFs also offer the personalized care typical of assisted living, i.e. help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, medication management, and dressing. Skilled nursing communities also offer meals, laundry, housekeeping, social activities, and around-the-clock security.
The decision to move your loved one to skilled nursing usually comes down to two factors: the severity of their condition and their care needs. If your loved one's condition is serious enough that they need around-the-clock medical supervision, or if they require specialized care that can only be provided by trained professionals, then skilled nursing is likely the best option. Here are five signs that it might be time to transition to skilled nursing.
While skilled nursing often comes after you or your loved one has experienced some sort of unexpected medical event, if you realize that an SNF is in the near future, you should start discussing financing options to cover costs. In addition to Medicare, here are some ways that you or your loved one can pay for skilled nursing:
The decision to move your loved one into a memory care community is not an easy one, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. The staff at memory care facilities are specially trained to deal with the unique needs of those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. They can provide the level of care and support that your loved one needs, and they can give you the respite you need to care for yourself. The following 12 warning signs are indicators that it might be time to start considering memory care for your loved one.
Many families struggle with the costs of healthcare and the financial aspect of memory care. Finding a way to pay for memory care services can be challenging. There are four main options to consider when trying to cover the costs of memory care:
Memory care is considered a form of skilled nursing care. The goal of skilled nursing services is to help patients overcome and rehabilitate their specific needs, while acknowledging that some conditions are chronic and require daily care.
Memory care helps those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia by providing them with specially designed environments that cater specifically to this type of patient's needs.
It can be a difficult task to know when your loved one needs to move out of assisted living communities and into memory care. There are signs you can look for that will let you know it is time to move your loved one into a memory care facility.
To make the most informed decisions about their move be sure to consult with family members and friends, health care professionals that are familiar with your loved one’s situation, neighbors, or anyone that may interact with them on a daily basis.
Small, Gary. “What we need to know about age related memory loss,” National Library of Medicine. June 22, 2002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123445/
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