The Elite Collection

Memory Care vs. In-Home Care for Dementia

When dealing with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of memory loss, it can be tough to know whether you should choose Memory Care or in-home care for dementia. 

On one hand, you have the familiarity of home, and on the other, you have a space designed specifically for those with memory loss, with support from highly trained associates. This blog post will explore your Memory Care options, including information on providing memory support at home and moving to The Élite Collection by Silverstone and Watermark.

What is a Memory Care Community?

A Memory Care community features a layout with design cues and safety features — including keycard access and secure patios and gardens — that help your loved one feel calm and secure while providing an appropriate level of social interaction and activities. Professionally trained associates are available 24/7 to meet the mental and emotional needs of residents and to help with activities of daily living, manage medication, and provide meals, transportation and housekeeping. Memory Care communities also maintain a higher associate-to-resident ratio than other levels of care. 

The best Memory Care communities include therapies and activities for residents. These structured programs often require specially trained associates and aim to reduce cognitive decline, promote positive reminiscence and comfort residents. These therapies can include:

  • Reminiscence therapy — Sensory or visual cues from the past can help seniors reconnect with positive memories. Memory Care communities may be well-stocked with old magazines, classic films and music from earlier periods.
  • Sensory activities — Appealing to all five senses encourages memories and exploration. Aromatherapy may bring back memories of baking Christmas cookies or mowing the lawn, while diverse textures can evoke a wedding dress, a beloved pet, or the buttons on a military uniform.
  • Art or music therapy — Creative expression can be soothing and feel productive. Music therapy may include listening to a favorite song or playing basic instruments. Some residents may retain their musical ability even after significant memory loss. Visual expression — like painting and drawing — are ways to express emotion safely and creatively.
  • Touch therapy — Associates are often trained in hand and arm massage techniques to increase human contact and reduce stress. 
  • Pet therapy — If your family member is an animal lover, well-trained cats and dogs may visit the community to provide companionship and comfort.
  • Light therapy — Communities often feature controlled lighting to mimic sunrises and sunsets to relieve symptoms of sundowning or late-day confusion.

What is In-Home Care?

In-home care allows seniors to remain in their own homes while receiving assistance from professional caregivers who can help with activities of daily living like bathing, eating, getting dressed, medication management, housekeeping and more. Typically care can range from a few hours a week spent providing companionship, preparing meals and housekeeping to round-the-clock supervision.

While home care aides are usually trained in the nuances of issues related to memory loss, they usually aren’t licensed to provide medical services. 

Choosing Between Memory Care and In-Home Care for Dementia 

Now that you understand the difference between Memory Care and in-home care for dementia, which one is right for your loved one? To help you decide, here are some factors to consider:

  • Stage of dementia — If your loved one has mild or moderate dementia symptoms, in-home memory support can be a good option, as long as you can tailor caregiving tasks and responsibilities to meet their specific needs.
  • Availability of quality Memory Care — Some cities and towns may have limited memory support options or the community you have selected may be full. In this circumstance, providing in-home care until an appropriate Memory Care community becomes available is a good alternative.
  • Caregiver management — A good in-home agency will interview you and your loved one and find caregivers who will match your loved one’s needs and personality.
  • Isolation — Even with caregivers coming to your home on a regular basis, your loved one can become socially isolated. For some, being with other people their own age may be more beneficial.
  • Emergency planning — How will you handle an illness, medication reaction or other emergency that requires going to the doctor, hospital, or urgent care? These disruptions can also be very disturbing to someone with memory loss

Discover Care That’s Beyond Compare

The Élite Collection by Silverstone and Watermark, delivers compassionate, specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss. To learn more about all our levels of senior care, or for help deciding what’s best for your loved one and your family, explore our communities here.

November 5, 2022


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