As our loved ones get older, they may need assistance with everyday living. Deciding how to care for seniors experiencing Alzheimer’s or dementia symptoms can be especially overwhelming. While an assisted living home may offer some basic assistance with elderly care, a dedicated nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients will have staff who specialize in caring for patients experiencing symptoms of dementia, and who can offer more complex medical attention. If you are considering around-the-clock professional assistance for elderly family members, a great place to start is by reading a comparison of the different options for elderly Alzheimer’s assisted living care and understanding what they offer. Then you can choose the best care homes for dementia.
Assisted living facility vs. a nursing home
Type of Care
Assisted living homes offer their residents more independence than nursing homes. Most residents live in their own rooms or with a roommate. Most of these facilities have a place where residents can gather and socialize, in-house laundry, parking, and other facilities available to residents. Staff generally aid with day-to-day tasks residents are no longer capable of performing.
A nursing home specializes in delivering medical care for residents with medical needs. They will also try to promote physical and social independence for seniors.
Because of the degree of care and supervision seniors with Alzheimer’s need, a nursing home will generally have a physician, PA, and/or NP who can offer specialized care for dementia patients. Staff will typically be trained in handling behavioral and medical needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s.
The caretakers in an assisted living home may only visit the facility or a specific patient once a week or only if they are needed. A nursing home will feature round-the-clock service, with trained staff available at all hours should a problem arise. Most nursing homes will also have more medical facilities and supplies available because their residents are generally in need of more medical care.
Because they offer far more specialized care, nursing homes cost more per month. Some nursing homes can average $10,000 or more per month.While nursing homes may offer more comprehensive medical care, their staff may not be trained specifically in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s, who can often present with behavioral challenges some facilities aren’t trained to manage in a safe and effective way. A home specializing in Alzheimer’s care will be able to tend to this more effectively.
Additionally, a typical nursing home may not offer specialized programs to help keep residents’ minds active and stimulate their memories. In short, many nursing homes offer medical treatment, but only a specialized care home like Millennium Memory Care offers programs that help loved ones with dementia stay mentally active.
Sensory stimulation programs
Studies show that engaging dementia patients in activities that positively stimulate the senses can reduce agitation, restlessness, and even help them sleep better. Creating a pleasant daily life that is both independent and sociable helps patients feel connected to the world, to their own senses, and to the people around them.
The MMC Sensory Stimulation Program offers residents the opportunity to engage in activities that engage the senses, plus movement activities. Millennium Memory Care’s staff gets to know each resident, their faculties, and what activities have the most positive impact on their memory and mood. Each activity is then designed to elicit positive memories associated with smell, sight, touch, taste, and sound, as well as movement cues. A resident might enjoy smelling flowers in the morning before enjoying a cup of their favorite tea, tackling a puzzle, or doing arts and crafts before an afternoon of karaoke! It depends on the individual.