What Is The Difference Between A Memory Care Facility And A Nursing Home?


You may start noticing some serious memory problems with a loved one. You may have visited a physician, and your relative got diagnosed with a health issue. These signs may signify that the right time to seek specialized care. As their caretaker, you may have limited options when it comes to taking care of your loved one. It’s often you either take them to a memory care facility or a nursing home. But which option is most suitable for your patient? What do facilities like Gardens Memory Care offer that nursing homes don’t?

Let’s learn the difference between a memory care facility and a nursing home. This will help you make wise decisions when choosing the right place for your kin.

What Is A Memory Care Facility?

A memory care facility provides full-time support to people suffering from memory loss. Most dementia and Alzheimer’s patients go to memory care centers for assisted living. The facilities are a haven for those at the risk of wandering and getting lost when left alone. They get a clean and conducive environment where the chances of loneliness are slim. Some of the unique qualities that define a memory care facility include;

Professional Caregivers

Memory care facilities offer skilled nursing services. They may exist within a larger institution. Some memory care facilities are next to nursing homes, residential care facilities, or assisted living centers. Nursing homes with a memory care branch enjoy popularity. Patients find it easier to switch over when the need arises.

Staff at memory care facilities have the skills to handle dementia-induced behaviors in the elderly. Wandering, aggression, hallucinations, and confusion are good examples. Caretakers at a memory care facility have the necessary skills to support the patients in their daily activities.

Enhanced Security Features

Wandering is one of the most prevalent characteristics of a memory loss patient. Memory care facilities are designed with that in mind for resident’s safety. Doors, windows, and gates may have electronic gadgets that alert caretakers of exit attempts. Other facilities paint their walls and doors in similar colors to camouflage them. This trick minimizes the exit attempts by patients. Memory care staff keep the residents safe and secure while maintaining a sense of freedom within the facility.

Memory care facilities are homely and friendly. Compassionate nurses handle patients with love. Residents enjoy social activities designed to help them stay fit and beat boredom. These may include social outings, fitness classes, and games.

What Is A Nursing Home?

A nursing home specializes in offering healthcare to very sick residents. They also take care of those suffering from mobility issues. The facilities offer personalized attention to individuals in need of continuous medical care. Those unable to perform activities like personal hygiene or taking medicine get help.

Nursing homes provide residents with meals, laundry services,  socialization, housekeeping, and security. They are a perfect choice for patients with medical conditions other than Alzheimer’s and dementia. While some nursing homes have memory care wings, they are not as effective as stand-alone facilities. The security features in a nursing home are not as advanced as those in a memory care facility. This makes it unsuitable for those with dementia and at the risk of wandering.

How Do I Decide Between A Memory Care Facility And A Nursing Home?

Deciding where to take your elderly loved one can be confusing. It is more confusing in the early dementia stages when the patient can still make some right decisions. Some suffer from noticeable memory problems but do not have other health problems. In such a state, the patient is best suited for a memory care facility. That is where they receive daily care, including memory-enhancing activities.

If your relative suffers from a condition other than memory loss, check them into a nursing home. These conditions include mobility issues, chronic diseases that need supervision, and round-the-clock care. Patients of all ages suffering from acute diseases or injuries can get short-term care in a nursing home. It’s also a viable option for those recovering from a recent surgical procedure.

Nursing homes provide care to patients who need help in daily living and medication. Some may offer wound care, physical and occupational therapies. Patients get all meals, laundry services, and personal hygiene services from caretakers.

You can now differentiate between a memory care facility and a nursing home. We have also looked into the services offered in each option. This should help you make an informed choice when deciding the right place to take your loved one.

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