Chances are you or someone you know and love will require some form of assisted living care in the future. It’s important to understand the differences in care between Assisted Living versus Memory Care Units, and the accommodations each may include. Mercy Crest wants to inform everyone so that they can make the best decision when it matters the most. Let’s talk about standard Assisted Living VS Assisted Living Memory Care Units.
Assisted Living provides a community for seniors who do not require skilled care nursing. At Mercy Crest Assisted Living residents can benefit from our 24 hour 7 days a week nursing staff. Memory Care units are similar to Standard Assisted Living Care; the residents in them are still generally mobile and capable. But they need a few extra measures of care and safety in order to really ensure health and safety. Seniors in Memory Care traditionally suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.These specialized care units are designed to provide as much independence, in mind and body, as can safely be managed.
Our Memory Care Unit and Staff
Our Memory Care Unit has a variety of 10 rooms, studio apartments or 1 bedroom. Also, it offers a lower staff-to-resident ratio than the majority of our facility. This helps create consistency and familiarity for the residents to ensure more one-on-one attention. In addition, there are emergency alert systems in every room and Mercy Crest staff are present in the Unit 24/7. Our attendants, specially trained in memory loss care and Dementia, will redirect anxiety and confusion to help residents maintain calm and collected. More consistent care leads to overall feelings of validation and happiness. The Unit itself also has a community living and dining area for socializing. There is also access to the Activity Center and Courtyard if residents want to enjoy the gardens.
Security and Safety
This Memory Unit is a more secured area compared to the rest of the Mercy Crest Assisted Living. While residents have access to the main communal areas, activities and courtyard, there is no risk of getting lost while trying to go get dinner every day. They can simply walk to the easily accessible dining room for fresh meals straight from the kitchen upstairs. If a resident wants to take a walk outdoors, a member of our 24 hour staff will accompany them.
The programs established for these residents are centered on memory enhancement. The Olfactory sense has a direct connection to how the brain recalls memory. For this reason, we’ve installed a convection oven in the communal dining room, to allow for comforting baking aromas to waft through the halls.
Music therapy is especially effective at helping those with memory loss. Generally, it helps them feel more grounded and centered. According to Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D., in this article, “Research suggests that listening to or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Musical memories are often preserved in Alzheimer’s disease because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease.”
Is the Memory Care Unit right for your Loved one?
We developed the Memory Care Unit because we saw an opportunity to serve our community better. Our entire focus with the Memory Unit at Mercy Crest is to make residents more comfortable. We want them to be happy right where they are. This doesn’t mean forcing them into the present time. This practice can be disorienting, depressing, and scary. It’s important to understand that Alzheimer’s is not a mental disorder but a physical one that completely changes the brain. We can’t force health on the brain any more than we can on other organs. All we want to do for them is make sure that these individuals feel validated, valued, and loved–all while keeping them physically safe. It’s part of our Mission at Mercy Crest to serve every resident with the utmost care. We honor their lives by respecting them as whole, complete, individuals.
We hope this helped you understand the difference between standard Assisted Living VS Assisted Living Memory Care Units. To speak to someone about yourself or a loved one becoming a resident, please call our front office at: (479) 478-3000.
If you feel your loved one needs more extensive care, read our last article on differences between Nursing Homes and Assisted Living. It may help you find the best fit for your needs.