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Is Memory Care Considered Skilled Nursing?

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A senior man in memory care laughing with a nurse.

As your loved one ages, you may want to consider moving them into a senior living community. These communities offer a variety of living arrangements, support services, and social activities that can help your loved one maintain their independence and well-being.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a condition like dementia, you may hear the terms “memory care” and “skilled nursing.” However, these services are not considered to be the same.

Memory care is a specialized assisted living community for older adults with dementia or memory loss. Skilled nursing care provides short-term or long-term care for individuals who require a high level of medical attention

While a person can receive one or both types of care, they are different.

What Is Memory Care?

Dementia is a progressive group of neurodegenerative disorders that lead to the damage or death of cells in the brain. It’s a complex condition affecting memory, critical thinking, behavior, and more. It often poses unique challenges and can impact a person’s ability to care for themselves to the point where they require professional care.

Memory care communities are specialized residential environments staffed with a team of trained and experienced caregivers. In memory care, your loved one lives in a home-like, structured environment that caters to their unique needs.

Imagine a safe, calm, stimulating, and engaging environment that accounts for your loved one’s cognitive decline and improves their quality of life. That’s memory care—a community that fosters an environment where individuals can live their lives with dignity and respect.

How Memory Care Helps

Memory care’s primary focus is more than just comfort and safety. These communities are designed to give your loved one an environment that improves their quality of life. Rather than just managing their symptoms and treating medical conditions, memory care aims to provide a home tailored to support your loved one in a way that truly matters.

Memory care staff undergo specialized training to understand the unique challenges of cognitive decline and provide the appropriate support. The communities offer activities and therapy programs to stimulate cognitive function, provide structure, and help residents maintain a sense of self.

In memory care, your loved one can live somewhere with:

  • A personalized care plan that adjusts to their needs
  • A safe and secure environment
  • Therapeutic activities that stimulate and engage
  • Support services for families

Your loved one receives a holistic approach to treating their unique needs and capabilities in these communities.

When Is It Time to Move to Memory Care?

How can you tell if your loved one needs memory care? Dementia and other forms of memory impairment can be complicated. Learning the signs that a loved one could benefit from a move to memory care is essential.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Frequent falls or injuries
  • Increased confusion and disorientation
  • Inability to perform personal care tasks
  • Wandering
  • Personality or behavioral changes

If you notice these signs, it might be time for a move to memory care.

An older adult man in a memory care facility sitting on a chair smiling and having a conversation with a nurse.

What Is Skilled Nursing?

Skilled nursing is advanced care provided by licensed nurses and other healthcare professionals. Rather than focusing specifically on dementia or memory impairment, skilled nursing offers support for:

  • Wound care
  • Intravenous (IV) therapy
  • Rehabilitation services like physical or occupational therapy
  • Post-surgical recovery
  • Administering specific medications
  • Monitoring and managing chronic health conditions

Skilled nursing focuses on medical care and rehabilitating patients so they can return to their everyday lives independently and safely. It’s a form of comprehensive medical care tailored to a person’s specific needs.

This care can be offered in hospitals, a person’s home, and a memory care community.

Can Memory Care Help Your Loved One?

If a loved one shows signs of cognitive decline, contact our team at The Legacy at South Plains. Our team is here to support you and your loved one in this transition. Book a tour with us today and take the first step towards getting your loved one the care they deserve.

Written by LifeWell

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