Home Care Versus Memory Care: Important Differences
Deciding between in-home care versus a memory care community residence can be challenging. Making such a decision will depend on the type of care that a senior needs. While a senior is in the beginning stages of memory loss they may not need much support. But one whose memory loss has progressed into the later stages will require more assistance.
Some seniors prefer to stay at home as long as possible, making in-home care a more comfortable or easier choice. But, sometimes, this is just not feasible or in their best interest.
There are many differences between in-home care and memory care. To learn more about the two most common options for those suffering from memory loss, continue reading.
What are Memory Care Communities?
Memory care communities are designed to provide memory loss seniors a safe, nurturing environment. While some seniors may still be quite independent, being part of a memory care community guarantees they will receive the help they need.
For instance, most memory care communities offer help with daily tasks, housekeeping, medical services, and transportation. There are usually activities scheduled each day, giving seniors a chance to socialize, enjoy their days, and maintain friendships.
At a memory care community such as The Kensington Place Redwood City, seniors will have a chance to live independently yet still receive as much assistance as needed.
In this type of memory care community, seniors will benefit from psychiatric and psychological services, physical therapy, rehabilitation, exercise classes for life enrichment, and a nurse on-site 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Pros of Memory Care
- It can be more affordable if 24/7 supervision and care is needed
- Family members can more easily enjoy their relationship with their senior loved one with peace of mind that they have help in providing well-rounded care
- Family members will not have to worry about hiring individual caregivers or services
- Seniors will have a chance to socialize every day, providing important engagement and connectivity to slow down memory loss and maintain as much mobility and quality of life as possible
- Seniors will have a safe living environment
- There is no burden about maintaining a home and its property
- With a full on-site staff, care can quickly adapt as medical, physical, cognitive and spiritual needs change, compared to having fewer resources on hand quickly with in-home care.
Cons of Memory Care
- Your senior loved one may be reluctant to move out of their home
- You need to do thorough research to find the right memory care community
- You will need to plan and coordinate the steps of helping your loved one relocate
What is In-home Care?
In-home care allows seniors to remain in their own homes while receiving help from caregivers. A senior’s family will typically hire a caregiver to come to their home a few days a week or even daily. How often depends on how much assistance the senior needs.
The caregiver will help a senior with daily tasks, such as personal care, laundry, cleaning, and meal preparation. If a senior needs to run errands or go shopping, a caregiver will also provide transportation. In-home care can also include medical services, such as from a nurse or physical or occupational therapist.
While the main reason a family hires in-home care is to provide their senior loved one with assistance and supervision, sometimes they may also hire someone for companionship.
Pros of In-Home Care
- The senior will be able to stay in their own home
- The senior can receive one-on-one care
- The senior and their family can choose each of the caregivers they hire
- If the senior requires minimal care, it can be more cost-effective
Cons of In-Home Care
- If 24/7 care is required, it can be expensive
- Scheduling and planning can be a lot of work on family members
- The senior becoming socially isolated is a concern
- The senior may be more at risk of falls and accidents if not under enough supervision
- It can be overwhelming to maintain the seniors home and property
Key Differences Between Memory Care and Home Care
While memory care and home care both help seniors with memory loss, they have some important differences. Understanding these differences may make it easier to decide which type of care would be in their best interest.
The main difference between the two is the location in which the senior resides. With in-home care, the senior will stay in their home while only one or a small group of caregivers comes to them. However, memory care requires a senior to move into a memory care community, where they will have their own room and more access to a variety of caregivers and other seniors giving them more resources, opportunities for connection and amenities, which wards off boredom and isolation.
A senior may receive less medical care if they choose to stay in their own home. While some caregivers can provide certain types of medical assistance, medical care will not be as extensive as an assisted living facility. With memory care, on the other hand, a senior will have access to physical and occupational therapy, psychological services, and skilled nursing staff.
Socialization and social activities are different as well. Seniors living in a memory care community will typically socialize and maintain relationships daily and participate in life enrichment activities. A senior may not be able to socialize as much if they opt for in-home care, potentially leading to social isolation.
The cost of in-home care and memory care will be different. There will likely be a preset cost sheet to help you predict and plan financially at a memory care community, but with in-home care, there can be more drastic variability depending on the level of care and services hired to meet a senior’s needs.
Assessing the Specific Needs of Your Loved One
In the beginning stages of memory loss, seniors typically only need minimal help. Maybe they need an occasional reminder or some extra assistance around the house. In this situation, in-home care would make sense.
However, as your senior loved one’s memory declines, they may require more assistance. If they need someone to be with them for most of the day, it may be beneficial to look into a memory care community.
Create a list of all of the things your senior loved one needs help with during the day, week, and month. You can then determine how much of this can be taken care of by you and other family members to help you decide between home care versus memory care.
After creating a list based on your senior loved ones’ needs and how much additional help they will need after you and your family have done all you can, you should be able to see which type of care they require.
Finding the Right Care for Your Loved One
While it can be challenging to decide the best type of care for your senior loved one, knowing their needs will be met may make you feel better. At The Kensington Place Redwood City, we make our residents feel at home. We provide a safe, comfortable, and enriching environment.
We offer innovative, tailored care environments for those with varying levels of memory loss. Our specially designed “neighborhoods” — Connections and Haven — allow each resident to receive a spectrum of care.
- Connections is a cozy, intimate neighborhood for residents experiencing early-to-middle stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Here we help them maintain as much independence as possible, making the most of their strengths while providing the assistance they need.
- Haven is a soothing and peaceful neighborhood for residents with middle-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, designed for residents who are showing more advanced signs of memory loss. Within Haven, we maximize comfort, minimize agitation, and soothe compassionately with the goal of helping seniors live with meaning.
If you have any questions about our exceptional memory care community, please give us a call to learn how we can help you and your family.
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