It is never an easy decision to choose to move into a care facility, but the earlier you start the easier it will be to move when a plan is in place. You and your loved one may already be in the early stages of a conversation and that is good because you don’t want to wait until for an emergency to make these important decisions. Start the conversation by asking your loved one if they want to move at all or stay in their home for as long as possible. Ask them about their financial situation and what type of place they would like to live in if they need to move. Go over the type of activities that they love and the level of independence they want to maintain.

After having these conversations, you will get a good idea of the type of future your loved one envisions for themselves and you can choose between assisted living or a memory care facility. But that is the difference between the two? Keep reading to find out which option is better for your loved one.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is an excellent option if your loved one if Alzheimer’s or dementia is not a concern. Most of these types of facilities are for seniors who are generally healthy and independent but could benefit from some assistance. Memory Care Assisted Living is perfect for seniors that can and still want to live independently in an apartment or in shared accommodation with other seniors.

A type of arrangement like this would have a trained staff member and possibly a nurse on site to provide the necessary assistance. These staff members can help with medication, dressing, eating, and bathing. While individual residents may only need occasional help, staff are usually on-hand 24-hours a day.

Layout of Assisted Living

The typical layout of assisted living centers includes a shared dining area and a space for social events. Typically, all social events are posted in common areas in the facilities, so residents are made aware of them. In Memory Care Assisted Living facilities there are also clinics for physical therapy and pain management.

Cost of Assisted Living

You can expect to pay base rent at a Memory Care Assisted Living facility. This rent typically includes three meals per day and housekeeping. Other times laundry and transportation are included, but each facility is different, so you have to ask specifically about the cost breakdown. You can expect to spend anywhere from $3,200 to $8000 per month depending on the level of care you need and the area of the country you live in.


Memory Care

Memory care is a distinct form of Assisted living in that Dementia Memory Care facilities are long-term care centers that employ skilled nursing. These nurses specifically cater to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other memory problems. Memory care may be housed in an assisted living facility, but they usually have 24-hour supervised care on a separate floor or in a different wing.

Layout of Memory Care

Many memory care communities provide activities that are stimulating and can help to slow memory loss. These activities help dementia patients enjoy the highest possible quality of life and keep them engaged in the community.

As the residents are experiencing confusion and memory loss, most dementia memory care centers employ stringent security precautions to keep residents safe. Many doors and stairwells are locked to keep residents from wandering out of the facility. They also take measures to limit tripping hazards and screen people who come into the facility. There is an emphasis on what is called an ‘intuitive layout’, that is designed to prevent confused residents from hurting themselves and getting lost.

Cost of Memory Care

As you can imagine, *Dementia Memory Care* facilities give your loved one specialized care and there is a higher staff ratio on hand. Because of this memory care facilities usually cost 40% more than assisted living facilities. You can expect to pay at least $5,000 per month, but again, costs vary widely depending on the needs of your loved one and that area of the country you live in. You can also look to Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits to help you cover the cost of living at these facilities.


Most memory care units will give residents highly structured daily routines that are designed to help them reduce their stress levels. These facilities also offer secure outdoor common areas so that residents can enjoy the fresh air and interact with one another.

Seniors diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease will need more and more help overtime and that is why the staff at Dementia Memory Care centers will help a resident maintain proper nutrition and work with you to help your loved take part in activities that might spark past memories or improve their mood.

What Memory Care and Assisted Living Have In Common

Even if your loved one is still independent and isn’t at the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, you will want to select an assisted living facility that provides memory care. That way, if your loved one needs to be transferred to memory care in the future, it is a seamless transition. This is important because moving can be extremely stressful for seniors and staying in a similar environment can help alleviate disorientation.

Which is right for you: Memory Care or Assisted Living?

For seniors who are generally independent but need help with the basic requirements of daily life like meal preparation, cleaning or eating, assisted living is the best choice. This type of facility will give your loved one the help they need to keep living a full and healthy life. These facilities are like homes away from home, but better as they give your loved one a built-in social network and numerous social activities.

If your loved one struggles with behavioral or cognitive issues they may be better off and happier and safer in a memory care program. Memory care, while more expensive, is designed to meet your loved one’s needs. As a family member who is a primary caregiver, you will get much-needed peace of mind when moving your loved one into a well-staffed memory care facility.

Always do your research and take a careful look at what each facility has to offer you and your loved one.