Memory care is a specialized form of long-term care designed to provide comprehensive support and assistance for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other cognitive impairments. As our loved ones age, we may begin to notice changes in their memory and cognitive abilities. While some memory issues are a normal part of aging, there comes a point when it's essential to consider memory care as the best option for their well-being. In this blog, we will explore the signs and factors to consider when determining if it's time to consider memory care for your loved ones.
Understanding Memory Care
Memory care is a distinct and structured form of senior living designed to cater to the unique needs of individuals with memory-related conditions. These facilities provide a secure, nurturing, and engaging environment staffed by professionals trained in dementia care. Memory care programs typically offer a combination of specialized therapies, activities, and support services tailored to the individual's cognitive needs.
Signs It's Time for Memory Care
Safety Concerns: One of the most compelling reasons to consider memory care is when safety becomes a significant issue. People with dementia can become disoriented, forgetful, and may engage in risky behaviors like wandering or leaving stoves on. Memory care facilities are equipped to provide round-the-clock supervision and ensure that residents are safe from potential dangers.
Increased Agitation and Behavioral Changes: As dementia progresses, behavioral changes can become more challenging to manage. Aggression, agitation, and emotional outbursts are common symptoms. Memory care facilities are staffed with experts who are trained to handle these situations with care and expertise, helping to maintain the resident's quality of life.
Inability to Perform Activities of Daily Living: Individuals with advanced dementia may struggle with basic self-care tasks such as bathing, dressing, and feeding themselves. Memory care professionals are trained to assist with these activities, promoting dignity and maintaining the individual's hygiene and nutrition.
Frequent Confusion and Disorientation: When a loved one is consistently disoriented, unable to recognize familiar people or places, and experiences confusion, it may be time to explore memory care options. These facilities have secure layouts and trained staff to help residents navigate their surroundings.
Caregiver Burnout: Caring for a loved one with dementia can be emotionally and physically draining. If family caregivers are experiencing burnout or struggling to meet the increasing demands of care, memory care can provide a much-needed respite and peace of mind.
Factors to Consider
Individual Assessment: Each person's journey with dementia is unique. It's important to have a thorough assessment by a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate level of care required.
Location and Facilities: When choosing a memory care facility, consider its location, amenities, and the quality of care provided. Visit several options to find the one that best suits your loved one's needs and preferences.
Cost and Financing: Memory care can be costly, so it's important to understand the financial implications and explore options such as long-term care insurance, Medicaid, or veterans' benefits.
Staff Qualifications: Ensure the facility has a well-trained and compassionate staff with expertise in dementia care. Ask about staff-to-resident ratios and their experience in managing memory-related conditions.
Activities and Programs: Look for facilities that offer a variety of engaging and therapeutic activities designed to stimulate memory and improve quality of life.
Deciding when it's time to consider memory care is a complex and emotional process. It requires careful consideration of your loved one's needs, safety, and quality of life. While the decision may be difficult, memory care facilities are dedicated to providing the best possible care and support for individuals living with dementia. The well-being of your loved one is of utmost importance, and memory care can provide the specialized attention and resources necessary to ensure their comfort and happiness as they navigate their journey with memory loss.
Our lives are improved and enriched by pets. In fact, a scientific study demonstrates that playing or petting a pet can initiate a molecular chain reaction that reduces the stress hormone cortisol and raises the feel-good hormone serotonin in as little as fifteen minutes. Remarkably, you can experience the calming benefits of animals without ever having to touch them. Your body may release oxytocin, a potent neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy, just by gazing at a pet. Given their many advantages, it's understandable why so many assisted living facilities allow pets to socialize with their clients.
Pet therapy comes in a variety of formats for assisted care facilities. While some communities allow employees to bring friendly pets to work with them, others have resident communal pets. A small number of localities even let citizens own dogs. However, pet therapy is the only way that most residents of assisted living facilities may engage with a regular home pet, such as a dog or cat.
Pet therapy in assisted living, however, is not limited to your average house pet. Other animals, such as small horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and even reptiles, are frequently brought in by assisted living facilities for the residents to play with. Pet therapy can be arranged as an individual visit in a resident's room or apartment, but it is usually a planned and coordinated leisure activity for the community to enjoy as a group.
What is Pet Therapy?
The term "pet therapy," which is sometimes known as "animal-assisted therapy," refers to activities and therapy involving animals. People who are dealing with health issues including cancer, mental illness, and heart disease can benefit from the support of pet therapy animals. Activities involving animals, like those included on calendars for senior living communities, offer comfort and delight in addition to a host of other health advantages.
Benefits of Pet Therapy
Let's examine the direct advantages of pet therapy for people residing in assisted living facilities:
Long-term interactions between people and pets have been demonstrated to provide the following advantages:
What Makes Pet Therapy So Helpful?
Numerous studies demonstrate that those who engage with pets, especially dogs, experience higher levels of self-esteem and overall betterment compared to those who do not own pets. This is because pets, in particular, foster emotions of competence, autonomy, and therapeutic/psychological well-being.
Especially if they engage in fewer activities than they formerly did, older people frequently feel insecure and lonely. Therapy animals, particularly dogs, have a unique ability to connect with people. They frequently assist withdrawn people come out of their shells and become happier and more talkative.
When an animal visits, the residents anticipate it and treasure the time they spend with it. Instead of the negative and depressing thoughts that some people find themselves facing and obsessing upon, animals provide them with something nice to focus on. When someone is experiencing bad emotions, the animal's unconditional acceptance and affection help them feel good about themselves and the world.
Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's disease especially benefit greatly from the company of pets. Animals and dementia patients frequently develop a unique bond because of animals' high level of intuition. Several studies have demonstrated that having an animal in the house helps to lessen a number of the behavioral issues linked to dementia, including agitation, despair, anxiety, and loneliness. Additionally, pets encourage greater interaction and socialization in dementia sufferers—even those who previously were unable to engage in social situations including nonverbal individuals and other adults.
Additionally, it has been discovered that pet therapy reduces the agitation linked to sundowner's syndrome. For someone who struggles with self-expression, the animal's profound acceptance and nonverbal communication are very comforting.
There are groups that offer assistance to families looking to find a companion animal for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's disease: Therapy dogs, Pet Partners, and Pets for the Elderly Foundation
Therapy animals are being used in assisted living facilities more and more for therapeutic purposes for all of the aforementioned reasons. For those coping with a variety of medical issues, these incredible animals support wellness and recovery.
Seeing these advantages, a growing number of communities are incorporating pet therapy into their regular schedules or bringing pets into their communities permanently so they can be enjoyed day or night.
It seems that everyone gains when treatment is provided to the dogs! Get in touch with Bridgeway Senior Healthcare for further information if you'd like. One of the many compassionate ways we offer assisted living and memory care is through pet therapy.
Choosing an assisted living community is a significant decision that requires careful planning. To make the right choice, it's essential to be well-prepared and approach the decision with confidence. Here are steps to guide you in the selection process:
Assess Needs: Begin by identifying the specific needs and preferences of the individual who will reside in the community.
Research Options: Conduct thorough research to identify potential assisted living communities that align with your criteria.
Visit Multiple Communities: Schedule visits to several assisted living communities to gain firsthand experience of their facilities and services.
Prepare Questions: Prior to your visits, create a list of questions to ask during your tours and meetings.
Engage with Staff and Residents: Take the opportunity to converse with staff members, administrators, and current residents as you tour the community.
Review Contracts and Policies: Obtain copies of contracts, policies, and procedures from the assisted living communities you are considering to fully understand their terms.
Gather Feedback and References: Reach out to current or former residents and their families to gather feedback on their experiences with the assisted living communities you are evaluating.
Consider Location: Evaluate the location of the assisted living community, including its proximity to family, friends, medical facilities, and essential amenities for the resident.
Trust Your Instincts: After accumulating all the necessary information and conducting extensive research, trust your instincts when making a decision that feels right for the prospective resident.
Revisit Top Choices: Once you've narrowed down your options, revisit the top communities on your list for a second visit to solidify your decision.
By following these steps, you can make an informed choice when selecting an assisted living community, ensuring it best suits the needs and preferences of the person who will be residing there.
Enhancing communication with individuals affected by Alzheimer's, dementia, or memory loss disorders can greatly improve your relationship with them. Here are some strategies that can help foster understanding between you and your loved one:
1. Ensure Optimal Hearing and Vision:
If you suspect hearing or vision issues, seek a professional assessment.
Consult with a family doctor who can initiate assessments and refer you to specialists.
2. Get Close and Personal:
Address the person by their name and maintain eye contact.
Position yourself at their eye level, either sitting or standing.
3. Simplify Choices:
Too many options can lead to frustration for those with dementia.
Instead of open-ended questions like, "Where would you like to go today?" use more direct options like, "Would you like to go to the park?"
4. Minimize Distractions:
Eliminate background noise from sources like the TV, radio, or fans during conversations.
Avoid group discussions, which can confuse or overwhelm; opt for a quiet environment.
5. Keep Communication Simple:
Use specific names for objects, such as saying "bird" when referring to a pretty bird during a walk.
6. Avoid Conflicts:
Refrain from arguing with individuals experiencing dementia, as it can lead to agitation for both parties.
When faced with an argument, it's often best to disengage rather than escalate the situation.
7. Enter Their World:
Validate their feelings and thoughts, acknowledging their perspective.
For example, if they feel abandoned while their caregiver is in another room, express understanding and reassurance.
8. Exercise Patience:
Slow down and avoid rushing interactions.
Do not finish their sentences, as it doesn't aid their memory and can be frustrating.
Instead, try asking questions that might trigger their memory.
9. Pay Attention to Visual Cues:
Recognize that they may struggle to express their emotions verbally.
Observe their facial expressions and body language to understand their feelings and needs.
10. Use Creative Communication:
If words alone are insufficient, explore alternative communication methods.
Employ verbal, visual, and auditory cues, as well as gentle touch, to aid their understanding.
For instance, when it's time to get out of bed, open the curtains, show them the daylight, and present their daytime clothing.
At Bridgeway Senior Healthcare Generations Village, we understand that Alzheimer's, dementia, and memory impairments affect not only the residents but also their families and friends. We are dedicated to supporting caregivers, residents, and staff by offering education and assistance as a fundamental part of our philosophy.
Visit https://www.bshcare.com/memory-care1.html for more information.
Generations Village Memory Care, offered at both Avalon Bridgewater and Avalon Hillsborough, provides a secure and nurturing environment for individuals facing Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other memory-related challenges. We understand the distinct needs of each resident and, as such, offer tailored programs and services. Our dedicated staff, extensively trained in Alzheimer's and dementia care, provides daily compassionate support and personalized services.
Our memory care programs aim to foster a sense of dignity and self-respect, enhancing the quality of life for each resident. Each resident enjoys a private suite that can be adorned to feel like home. Families are encouraged to bring in cherished items such as quilts, blankets, pillows, and photos to create a comfortable and familiar atmosphere.
Our philosophy is driven by a deep commitment to address the spiritual, psychosocial, and emotional needs of residents, their families, and friends, acknowledging the profound impact of dementia and memory-related conditions on everyone involved.
Benefits of Generations Village Memory Care:
Our caregivers receive specialized training to better address the unique requirements of individuals with memory loss, with many becoming Certified Dementia Practitioners.
Licensed nursing professionals are available on-site 24/7.
We employ immersive treatments for Alzheimer's disease, including the therapeutic use of music.
Collaborative and Custom Care Planning:
Personalized programming and services cater to each resident's specific needs.
A complete Continuum of Care is available, including rehabilitation, sub-acute services, and long-term care at Bridgeway Care and Rehabilitation Center.
Specialized Activity Programming:
A monthly calendar filled with daily activities to keep residents engaged and entertained.
Off-unit events are supervised by trained staff.
Residents reside in a safe and secure, home-like environment.
We employ a state-of-the-art, real-time resident location tracking system to offer peace of mind to residents and their families.
Assistance is provided for mood disorders to enhance residents' emotional well-being.
Nutritious and homely dining experiences.
Assistance with daily activities and personal tasks.
Emergency monitoring and care.
Housekeeping services to ensure a clean and comfortable living environment.
Care for the Caregiver:
We offer educational resources and caregiver support for family members, friends, and staff.
The Greater New Jersey Chapter Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Support Group is available to provide additional support.
Generations Village Memory Care is a place where we honor and cherish the precious memories of our residents, striving to create a nurturing and supportive environment for those living with memory-related conditions.
Every day can present fresh difficulties if you or someone you love is suffering from dementia or memory loss. We provide the newest treatment options and caring assistance to you and your family at every stage, regardless of whether the memory loss is caused by dementia or something else.
In order to better the lives of our patients, our researchers and care teams at Bridgeway Senior Healthcare are constantly striving to expand our knowledge of and approaches to treating memory and cognitive impairments. Modern diagnostic techniques, all-encompassing treatment approaches, and therapies are provided to patients in order to alleviate symptoms, promote independence, and enable them to live complete lives.
Conditions of Memory Loss We Treat
We offer you all the assistance required to comprehend a recent diagnosis and handle memory loss problems. Among the ailments we handle are:
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
On formal cognitive testing, mild but measurable alterations in thinking ability are indicative of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). You will notice these changes, and your friends and family will too. People with MCI can still perform daily tasks, nonetheless, including driving, handling prescriptions, and cooking. Similar to other types of cognitive impairment, mental cognitive illness (MCI) results in issues with thinking, language, memory, and judgment that go beyond the typical aging-related challenges.
Your future risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease may rise if you have MCI. Our medical professionals can advise you on the appropriate course of action if you suspect that you have MCI or another form of memory loss.
The term "dementia" describes a state in which a person's capacity to carry out routine tasks and activities is diminished due to cognitive deterioration. Even while you might have a particular type of dementia, no one is ever given a diagnosis of "dementia" in its broadest sense without also knowing what kind they have.
Certain types of dementia may be treatable and are brought on by underlying medical issues. There are therapies and drugs available to help manage symptoms, but some forms of cognitive impairment are a progressive condition that will worsen with time.
Dementia with Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent type. An estimated 5.8 million Americans are anticipated to have Alzheimer's disease each year, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Alzheimer's affects memory and judgment-related areas of the brain, just like other types of dementia.
Doctors refer to two forms of abnormalities caused by the disease as plaques and tangles, which cause harm to brain cells. Protein aggregates and strings called plaques and tangles can seriously harm a cell by obstructing intercellular communication.
Although the exact etiology of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown, the most prevalent risk factor is age: 32% of persons 85 years of age and older have dementia. Studies indicate that while environmental and lifestyle factors may also be involved, there appears to be a genetic component in some families. Continuous progress in research and treatment is enabling people to lead more fulfilling lives.
Signs of Memory Loss & Dementia
Everybody gets forgetful occasionally. Particularly as we become older, it's common to misplace items, forget to make a monthly payment, or accidentally use the wrong word. It is crucial to recognize the warning signs of dementia and related disorders if you or someone you care about is exhibiting new or worsening memory loss or cognitive impairment symptoms.
Following are a few typical indicators of memory loss disorders:
We suggest seeing one of our primary care physicians first if you're worried about your memory or understanding and haven't spoken to a doctor yet. Our primary care physicians can assist you in finding solutions promptly since they have vast experience in identifying and managing a wide range of medical issues. Your primary care physician will put you in touch with one of our neurologists directly if your care requires more specialization.
It might be depressing to consider that you or a loved one may be suffering from dementia or memory loss. You may find it difficult to get your loved one to go to the doctor, or you may be inclined to put it off. It's critical to receive a diagnosis as soon as possible so that your doctor can start creating a customized treatment plan that can help minimize or even eliminate symptoms.
In order to determine a precise diagnosis, medical professionals will need to review your medical history and administer cognitive tests that measure your reasoning, thinking, direction, and attention span. In order to assess your language, memory, movement, and balance, we will also do a neurological test.
It may be necessary to order advanced brain imaging studies and blood testing to see whether any other medical disorders are the cause of your symptoms.
It might be difficult to diagnose diseases like Alzheimer's disease and other similar ailments. Physicians need to be on the lookout for subtle indicators and trends that coincide with the disease's usual loss of function and skills. We'll work to get you prompt answers and start creating a treatment plan that enables you or your loved one to live fully, regardless of what is causing your symptoms.
If memory loss disorder is your diagnosis, we will help you learn everything there is to know about it and collaborate with you to develop an effective treatment plan. Our community activities, educational programs, and support groups provide you and your family with ongoing resources.
Treatment for Dementia & Memory Loss
Memory loss symptoms can be brought on by a wide range of medical disorders, some of which are treatable. These include drug side effects, alcoholism, head trauma, stress, mental disorders, sleep difficulties, hypothyroidism, and B12 deficiency. We'll suggest treatment for the ailment producing your symptoms if your doctor finds that one of them is the reason behind your memory loss.
Our skilled group of neurologists, neuropsychologists, and other professionals are proficient in diagnosing, treating, and providing assistance to people suffering from memory loss. Treatment for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, is largely focused on changing lifestyle habits and prescribing drugs.
Cholinesterase inhibitors are most frequently used by doctors for dementia. These medications function by raising the brain's concentration of a chemical messenger that is in charge of memory and judgment.
In order to address symptoms like depression, agitation, or difficulty sleeping, doctors may sometimes recommend additional drugs.
The most recent clinical trials offer hope to many of our patients and their families. We work hard to learn more about memory loss and how to best treat and eventually cure it. We've investigated how intranasal therapies for a range of cognitive diseases can enhance memory. For additional details regarding our clinical trials, kindly visit the Center for Memory and Aging.
Rehabilitation & Assistance
We provide exercise classes, several specialized programs, and rehabilitation services like physical, occupational, speech, and music therapy to assist you or a loved one manage symptoms, avoid falls, and lead a healthy life.
Patients and their carers can learn how to simplify daily tasks, manage changing behaviors, and reduce the risk of accidents and falls at home by working with our skilled therapists. We also assist patients and their loved ones in creating healthy coping mechanisms and preparing for the dementia's progression.
We also provide skill workshops and psychological services to assist families and caregivers with ongoing education and support.
As we age, getting the correct help can make a big difference. As an example, a senior can have nutritious food that is simple to reheat and save the mental and physical strain of meal prep by having someone drop over meals once a week. Similarly, someone who has just finished their morning's routing and getting dressed and might be feeling frustrated and worn out can gain from the increased energy they receive when someone is there to assist with those daily tasks.
Adults seeking extra assistance with personal care, household chores, or medical management frequently find their way to senior living communities.
But how can you decide which senior living facility is best for you or a loved one? First, you need to be aware of your possibilities. The four types of senior living communities are memory care, assisted living, independent living, and skilled nursing. Family members may not always recognize the distinctions between skilled nursing and assisted living, but they do exist and should be taken into consideration.
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The primary distinction between assisted living and nursing homes is the kind of care offered within the community. For senior citizens who want more help or support with daily duties, assisted living is a fantastic choice. For elderly people with complex medical needs, a skilled nursing or healthcare community—formerly known as a nursing home—offers more all-encompassing support.
What you need to know about these two options for senior living is provided here.
Assisted Living: What Is It?
Community living in a non-clinical setting is provided by assisted living facilities. They can also help with incontinence, diet and nutrition concerns, and some medical support services. A qualified nurse conducts a thorough, individual assessment for every resident in the majority of assisted living facilities, and caregivers are available on-site or around-the-clock.
Elderly care providers and other medical specialists, like chiropractors and dentists, frequently see patients on-site. In fact, a few assisted living facilities now include wellness rooms or physical and occupational therapy under the direction of certified nurses.
Furthermore, for individuals experiencing cognitive impairment, several assisted living organizations provide dedicated memory care units. A memory care solution is the greatest option for someone with dementia, whether it be Alzheimer's disease or another kind, since family members can receive additional support and education and staff members are trained in best practices of care.
It's crucial to enquire about the kinds of care the community provides, particularly if a loved one suffers from a chronic or progressive illness. Many assisted living homes offer a continuum of care by partnering with skilled nursing facilities or providing an on-site nursing home for residents whose support needs alter. Some assisted living communities offer varying degrees of care and support depending on what each resident needs.
As with assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, assisted living places include personal care, laundry, and light cleaning. Additionally, there are restaurants on the premises that provide three daily meals, including dishes specifically designed for guests with medical issues like diabetes. Furthermore, both varieties of residential substitutes come with safety features including emergency pull cords.
Assessing Whether Assisted Living Is Necessary
An excellent option for a senior who need extra assistance with their activities of daily living (ADLs) is an assisted living complex. Toileting, grooming, showering, and clothing are a few examples of these actions. Moreover, socialization possibilities are offered by assisted living homes through activities, programs, and outings that facilitate interacting with neighbors and discovering the local area.
It could be a good idea to look into assisted living if you or a loved one:
Who Qualifies For Assisted Living Benefits?
Anyone who needs assistance with daily activities like dressing and bathing or who has health issues would be a great fit for an assisted living community. With the exception of a few daily duties, many seniors who choose assisted living maintain their independence. Some assisted living residents really come and go on their own schedules, drive their own cars, and prepare some of their own meals.
Residents of assisted living facilities enjoy increased independence and a renewed sense of peace of mind because of individualized care plans. Communities are active and diverse because each resident has specific requirements and interests.
Assisted Living Communities' Cost
The cost of assisted living facilities varies based on location, features, and services. Most communities have a monthly fee that includes almost everything, such as transportation, activities, meal plans, and large apartments.
Generally speaking, assisted living facilities are far less expensive than nursing homes but more expensive than independent senior residences.
A Skilled Nursing Facility: What Is It?
A nursing home, also referred to as a skilled nursing facility, offers the best care available outside of a hospital. A nursing home is where many elderly people go after a hospital stay, surgery, or other operation. Seniors with significant medical ailments who require round-the-clock care are taken care of in nursing facilities.
Residents may even be completely incontinent, confined to bed, or dependent on G-tube feeding for nourishment, but they still receive expert care. Residents frequently stay for a brief period of time to recuperate from surgery or a hospital stay. In other instances, residents stay for an extended period of time in order to receive comprehensive 24-hour healthcare interventions.
Every patient's treatment is overseen by a qualified physician, a nurse is on duty around-the-clock, and additional medical staff, including speech, physical, and occupational therapists, are also available. Medical equipment often found in hospitals, such X-ray scanners and electric beds, is also present in many nursing homes. These clinics also frequently provide adults of any age with short-term rehabilitation services so they can go back home.
Assessing Whether a Skilled Nursing Facility Is Necessary
A senior may decide to move from their house or an assisted living community to a nursing home if they require continuous medical care. A skilled nursing facility is built to address specific medical needs, be they more intricate rehabilitation requirements, straightforward pain care, or everything in between. ADLs are not the only tasks that residents in skilled care facilities require assistance with.
A Skilled Nursing Facility Can Help Whom?
For those whose medical needs necessitate full-time care and access to services more akin to those of a hospital than a home, a nursing home may be the best option. After a serious infection or when a senior is frequently admitted to and discharged from the hospital, some families decide to move their loved one into a nursing facility.
Seniors who might otherwise spend a lot of time in the hospital may find more stability in skilled nursing facilities since they offer comprehensive care. In addition to offering palliative care to elderly individuals who are approaching the end of their senior living journey, some nursing facilities also provide hospice services.
But, if a senior just requires basic care, like physical therapy and medication management, or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like dressing, bathing, or using the restroom, a nursing home may be overly restrictive and pointlessly increase expenses.
The Price of Skilled Nursing Institutions
Because of the type of care they provide, skilled nursing facilities are usually more expensive than assisted living communities. It's crucial to remember, though, that almost all assisted living facilities are approved to take part in Medicare or Medicaid financial assistance programs. As long as a qualifying hospital stay occurs first, Medicare will pay for the majority of skilled nursing stays at 100% for the first 20 days and 80% for days 21 through 100.
What Differentiates a Skilled Nursing Facility from Assisted Living?
In essence, assisted living communities are meant to resemble homes more than skilled nursing facilities, which are meant to be more like hospitals. Within the senior living continuum, both of these senior living options are essential. It's also possible that you or a loved one needs a brief stay in a nursing home to recuperate from a hospital stay before going back to assisted living.
Kind of Care Provided
Providers and Facilities
Residences and Schematics
Family and Friends
Selecting Appropriate Care for Your Special Someone
You and your family have time to carefully consider and arrange your senior living options if your loved one is not in the hospital and won't be leaving soon. Understanding the variations among communities helps speed up the process by allowing you to swiftly reduce the number of options on your list according to the level of care your loved one needs.
Speak with your loved one's doctor if you're unsure about the kind of assistance or care they require. Additionally, make sure your loved one is included in the conversation so they can have control over what happens next and may share their struggles with you so you can work through them together.
Get more about assisted living, which is a very popular senior living option because it emphasizes increased independence and mental clarity. Download our free guide, "The Complete Guide to Assisted Living," to learn more. You'll discover additional information about this kind of senior living option, such as prices, tips for touring, and moving into a community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What distinguishes a nursing home from assisted living?
A skilled nursing facility (SNF), also referred to as a healthcare community or "nursing home," provides 24-hour skilled nursing care. Care that can only be given by certified medical professionals, such therapists or nurses, is known as skilled nursing care. Wound care, IV management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are some of the services that fall under this category. These professional nursing services are not provided by assisted living facilities.
Is a nursing home a type of assisted living?
Nope. Skilled nursing facilities, also referred to as SNFs or healthcare communities, were once known by the outdated name "nursing home." Skilled nursing services are offered by a skilled nursing institution. Assisted living facilities provide 24-hour caretaker support, but they do not provide specialized services such as IV or wound care.
What distinguishes competent nursing from assisted living?
The kind of care offered is the primary distinction between skilled nursing and assisted living. SNFs, or skilled nursing facilities, offer skilled nursing care—a type of treatment that can only be given by certified medical experts, such as therapists or nurses. Assisted living facilities don't offer round-the-clock professional care; instead, they frequently employ nurses or offer outpatient therapy services on site.
At some point in a loved ones life, help and support from friends and family may not be enough. It takes a toll on everyone involved and a facility that offers most or all of the long-term care services they require may be necessary.
Board care homes and long term care homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities are examples of facility-based long-term care services.
While some facilities merely offer lodging and housekeeping, many additionally offer medical and personal care services. For those suffering from dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, numerous facilities provide specialized programs. Bridgeway Senior Healthcare wants to help you to understand the difference.
What Are Board & Care Homes?
Board and care homes are small, private establishments that typically house 20 or fewer people. They are sometimes known as group homes or residential care facilities. Rooms might be shared or private. Personal care, meals, and round-the-clock staffing are provided to residents. Typically, on-site nursing and medical services are not offered.
What is Assisted Living?
Those who require assistance with daily care but not as much as a nursing facility can get can live in assisted living. The number of inhabitants in assisted living facilities might range from 25 to 120 or more. There are usually a few "levels of care" available, with greater levels costing more for the residents.
Most residents of assisted living facilities live in private flats or rooms with shared spaces. Many services are available to them, such as three meals a day, aid with personal hygiene, help with medicine, help with housework and washing, round-the-clock staffing, security, and monitoring, as well as social and recreational activities. The specific arrangements differ between states.
What is a Nursing Home?
A variety of health and personal care services are offered by skilled nursing institutions, sometimes referred to as nursing homes. More so than other assisted living facilities, their offerings are centered around medical care. These services usually consist of three meals a day, round-the-clock supervision, nursing care, and help with daily tasks. There are further rehabilitation options offered, including speech, occupational, and physical therapy.
Some patients spend a brief period of time following their hospital stay at a nursing home. They return home once they have healed. But since they have chronic physical or mental health issues that necessitate round-the-clock care and monitoring, the majority of nursing home patients are there to stay permanently.
What Are Continuing Care Retirement Communities?
Often referred to as life care communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) provide several service levels all in one place. Numerous of them provide competent nursing care, assisted living, and independent housing (houses or flats) all on the same site. Programs for recreation and healthcare are also offered.
Where you live in a CCRC is determined by the services you require. When their independence is no longer possible, they either move into an assisted living facility or, occasionally, stay in independent living units and get home care. They can go into the CCRC's nursing home if needed.
It may be time to move into a senior living community if you or a family member is having trouble maintaining an independent lifestyle. However, how do you determine the proper amount of care? More precisely, what is the difference between skilled nursing and assisted living?
Despite their frequent confusion, skilled nursing and assisted living are not the same. While skilled nursing offers a higher standard of care in a medical setting, assisted living offers support for everyday activities in a residential setting.
Assisted Living: What Is It?
Assisted living is a long-term housing option for senior citizens who still require extra help but do not require critical medical care. The staff at an assisted living complex is on hand to assist with personal hygiene duties like eating and taking a shower. Living as autonomously as possible is recommended for the inhabitants, nonetheless.
By organizing activities, trips, and other chances for residents to interact with one another, assisted living facilities also encourage social interaction. It is up to the residents to create their own timetables and decide what activities they want to take part in.
What Kind of Care Does Assisted Living Provide?
Employees in assisted living facilities assist residents with their daily living activities (ADLs). ADLs, or activities of daily living, are essential to living a healthy and productive life. They include self-care duties like:
Personnel further offer support for instrumental activities of daily living, or IADLs. Even if they are less necessary, some tasks are nonetheless significant. Some instances are:
What Kind of Services Does Assisted Living Offer?
A wide range of amenities and services, including physical and mental health, spirituality, and social interaction, are provided by assisted living homes with an emphasis on holistic aspects of senior wellbeing. Most towns provide:
What Is the Price of Assisted Living?
Assisted living is typically a more cost-effective senior living choice because its inhabitants don't require as much intense medical support as those in skilled nursing communities. An assisted living community costs somewhat more than $5,500 per month, whereas a nursing home in Concord, New Hampshire costs $8,000 per month. In an assisted living facility, this monthly charge covers costs like:
Whichever room you choose will have an impact on your monthly price. Larger spaces usually have higher costs. The layout with a private bath will cost more if your community provides individual or communal restrooms, for example.
Does Medicare Pay for In-Home Care?
Assisted living is often not covered by Medicare. Certain long-term care insurance plans do, however, have restricted coverage.
Assisted Living Communities' Floor Plans
Many senior citizens worry that their privacy and independence will be compromised when they move into senior care. But living in an assisted living community is a lot like living in an apartment or condo, with the exception that help is always there at the touch of a call.
Assisted living facilities provide a cozy, homey environment. Private or semi-private apartment-style homes are available in these neighborhoods. The bedrooms in each living area usually have their own bathrooms, and residents are welcome to furnish their own living spaces to make them feel more like homes.
Assisted Living Communities' Benefits
Do you have trouble staying on top of home chores? Do you require assistance getting dressed and having a shower in the morning? If so, assisted living facilities offer a reasonably priced option to staying in one's own home as you age. Moving into an assisted living facility has several benefits.
Who Qualifies For Assisted Living Benefits?
Assisted living facilities cater to senior citizens who wish to keep their independence but find it difficult to do so at home. An appropriate candidate for assisted living might be someone who:
Skilled Nursing: What Is It?
In addition to offering all the amenities of an assisted living community, skilled nursing facilities, often known as nursing homes, offer round-the-clock medical care. Many senior citizens who have experienced a major medical incident, such as a heart attack or stroke, check into skilled nursing facilities. They require round-the-clock care to keep stable even though they are too well to stay in a hospital.
Assisted living facilities do not require the same staffing levels as nursing homes. A registered nurse (RN) works at least eight hours a day, and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are on duty round-the-clock in certified skilled nursing communities.
What Kind of Care Does Skilled Nursing Provide?
You can receive long-term or short-term skilled nursing care. For post-acute care, which usually follows hospitalization, an injury, or surgery, short-term stays are planned. As a result, the main focus of care is rehabilitation with the intention of going home.
But for most residents of skilled nursing facilities, the community serves as their long-term residence. Help with ADLs and IADLs is provided to long-term residents, usually to a higher degree than assisted living residents need. They also receive close supervision and sophisticated medical care.
What Kind of Services Does Skilled Nursing Offer?
While chef-prepared meals and other luxuries are certainly beneficial to skilled nursing patients, staff attention is mostly directed toward medical treatment. Therefore, the majority of professional nursing communities offer services like:
What Is the Price of Skilled Nursing?
Generally speaking, skilled nursing is the priciest type of senior care because its residents need more assistance. A nursing facility in Concord, New Hampshire, costs about $8,000 a month. This amount covers rent, food, utilities, and other costs in addition to care-related costs.
The community will determine how much you should anticipate to pay each month. That also relies on whether you select a semi-private or private room, though. Private rooms generally cost approximately $1,100 more than semi-private accommodations.
Does Skilled Nursing Qualify for Medicare?
In contrast to assisted living, most long-term care insurance policies, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, will pay for skilled nursing home care as long as certain requirements are satisfied.
If a resident enters the facility following a qualifying hospital stay, they can anticipate full Medicare coverage for 60 days in the event of short-term rehabilitation. The resident will be assessed for daily coinsurance after two months.
Skilled Nursing Communities' Floor Plans
One may liken residing in a skilled nursing community or nursing home to an extended hospital stay. Although most rooms are semi-private, residents may have private or semi-private housing.
Unless they are too sick to dine in, residents eat in a shared dining hall. Additionally, communities provide its inhabitants with a calendar of daily programming that is published. However, people who are unable to physically attend group events have activities transported to their rooms.
Benefits of Integrated Skilled Nursing Communities
In the event that your health is deteriorating or if you have recently gone through a life-altering incident like a heart attack or stroke, a competent nursing community can offer you the round-the-clock medical care you require. Moving to a community of trained nurses has several benefits.
Who Is Able To Gain From Expert Nursing Care?
For senior citizens who require more intensive medical care than assisted living staff can offer, skilled nursing residences are established. A career in skilled nursing might be a choice for someone who:
How to Select Between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living
Even if you are aware that it is no longer safe for you to live independently at home, you could find it difficult to decide between assisted living and skilled nursing/nursing homes.
Generally speaking, a skilled nursing community is the ideal option if you or a family member needs daily rehabilitation services or round-the-clock nursing care for a chronic medical condition.
An assisted living facility, on the other hand, is a more suitable and cost-effective elder care option if all you require assistance with is basic IADLs and ADLs, such as cooking and cleaning.
At a CCRC, get nursing home care and assisted living services.
Many older folks fear that their existing community won't be able to accommodate their evolving demands when they move into assisted living. Thankfully, continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, offer a range of services including skilled nursing, memory care, independent living, assisted living, and rehabilitation to ensure that you always have the support you need.
Every care level in a CCRC is intended for people at various stages of life.
While memory care is intended for those with dementia and other cognitive impairments, independent living is for healthy, energetic adults who desire to live a maintenance-free lifestyle.
The knowledge that you won't ever have to leave a CCRC gives you a sense of security. Your community will assist you in smoothly transferring to a higher level of support if and when your health changes.
We know there are a lot of questions that come up for spouses, kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews when they start looking for quality care for their loved ones.
Understanding the true nature of a memory care center is crucial from the outset.
Assisted living is not the same as memory care. Although memory care sections are available in some assisted living facilities, their operations will differ from those of the assisted living section. This is due to the fact that individuals who experience memory loss, regardless of whether they have dementia or Alzheimer's disease, require specific care.
As a result, compared to standard long-term care facilities, memory care institutions and homes will have slightly different layouts. Here are five things you should know about a quality memory care facility before you start looking for memory care for your loved one.
YOUTUBE EMBED: https://youtube.com/shorts/RlX3EEYym_o?si=Vz3rSUnbg_GGxiY2
#1 - It’s NOT the Same As Assisted Living
A memory care institution differs from a typical assisted living home, as we have already discussed.
The assisted living facility's residents live and move around it just like they would in a neighborhood or apartment complex. They receive a flexible activity schedule that they can choose from, attend meals whenever they want, and are not required to check in with personnel on a regular basis. This is because they don't require the same amount of care as people with memory loss because their cognitive function is still fairly intact.
#2 - Employees Have Special Training
Residents with dementia and Alzheimer's disease are the focus of our staff training at Bridgeway Senior Healthcare. This indicates that the staff members are knowledgeable about memory loss problems, how to support a person experiencing them, and even how to help enhance memory loss and overall functioning. Staff members with specific training in these areas ought to be present in any memory care complex.
#3 - Staff Members Check in Frequently
A memory loss disease might cause you to forget to eat, drink, or use the restroom. It's likely that you will occasionally become disoriented and lose your sense of location. You won't get why you're not living in your former home and why you can't just walk out of the facility whenever you want. Staff members at memory care centers therefore frequently check in on their residents. They make care to consistently show up for meals. They monitor their hydration levels. They make sure the seniors are getting fresh air, exercising, and socializing in addition to helping with any incontinence difficulties. This raises the need for staff to monitor residents more closely and, in the end, enhances their quality of life while maintaining their safety.
#4 - Daily Routines & Activities Are Adapted to Memory Loss
While regular activities like bingo and three meals a day are offered by all assisted living facilities, a memory care facility's daily schedule will be different. This is because the demands of those who suffer from memory loss vary in this regard.
Instead of working hours, we at Bridgeway Senior Healthcare work in time blocks. This is because, rather than a strict routine, our residents frequently require more flexibility. We divide our time into four or five distinct time slots for meals, exercise, and other pursuits. Instead of the schedule determining what the residents need most of the day, we let them make that decision.
This offers a much-needed sense of independence to someone who lives in their long-term memory, as many people with memory loss do. It also provides them with comfort and security.
#5 - The Amount of Residents Is Limited
Compared to regular assisted living homes, memory care facilities often have a much smaller resident population. This maintains the highest feasible staff-to-resident ratio, which is important because individuals with memory loss need more attention.
We only allow 24 people to live in our house at once. Our residents genuinely think of each other as family, and we do the same. By keeping the population small, it is ensured that residents may form relationships and get to know one another while still getting the best care available.