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The Difference Between Memory Care and Assisted Living - By Gene Guarino

(upbeat music)

- Hey, this is Gene from the Assisted Living Network.

We're going to talk about memory care

versus assisted living.

You know, a lot of times,

people who are not in this industry,

they're a little confused in regards

to the difference between the two,

so, let me explain to you what that difference is.

First of all, whether it's assisted living

or memory care,

we are typically dealing with older people,

the elderly.

Now again, when we say elderly or older,

everything is relative.

I'm in my, I have to say, late 50s now,

but as I get older, I feel younger than ever.

But the reality is, we're all getting older.

We're all aging.

The average person who might be living in assisted living,

might be in their 80s.

82, 85, something like that.

They're there because they need help

with their activities of daily living.

And that help, a lot of times,

is on the physical side.

They're not able to get dressed or bathed,

or eat, or take their medication on their own,

or they just simply need some help,

or they want the comradery of other peers their own age.

But again, it's a physical thing.

They're there for a reason.

They didn't come there for a vacation,

and they didn't come there

because they have memory care issues.

That's different.

We're going to go there next.

But assisted living is something

that people go to and use if they need it

from a physical standpoint.

A lot of times, people go into it

and it's a, what we call, it's based on an incident.

There's something that happened.

Maybe they fell, they went to the doctor,

and when they went to the doctor,

they took an x-ray, and said,

"There's no breaks in your hip,

"but somebody needs to watch mom.

"They need to watch dad."

Then, that caseworker at the hospital or the doctor's office

is gonna talk to the family,

and say, "You know, mom, she's been living on her own,

"Doing just well, fine, up until this time,

"But she fell, and she's probably gonna fall again.

"She needs somebody to watch her more closely."

And then, they start to go through

what the options are.

And one of the options is,

the kids provide the care.

Now, most of us are not geared

towards being a caregiver to our parents.

It's just not something we're comfortable with

or we were gifted with.

Some of us are.

Now, if that's you, that's fantastic,

but if it's not you,

don't feel guilty.

It's okay.

There are people that we can hire

that can come into the home one-on-one to take care of mom.

But if we want to do it more economically,

we can bring mom or dad into a home,

residential assisted living

or a big box facility, for that matter,

to be taken care of 24/7,

with the added benefit of having

a group of peers around them.

They're a family in this home

or home-like setting.

But memory care,

memory care is more of the mind.

It's more, yes, they are typically older,

but instead of being 82, 85, they might be 72 or 75.

So, they might be younger,

and they've been diagnosed typically

with some memory issues, some dementia,

and there's 80 different types of dementia.

People don't realize that.

Long, long time ago,

if somebody lived to be older,

and they had an issue in their mind,

people just thought they were crazy.

They put them into converted mental institutions

that we used to call nursing homes,

and that's where that all began.

But, now that we understand this better,

there's dementia, there's memory care,

and dementia, there's 80 different forms of that.

Now, tell me you haven't forgotten

your glasses sitting on top of your head at some point,

or looking for your car keys

when they're in your hand as you're talking.

That's some form of dementia, if you will,

but that's not what we're talking about.

We're talking about something where

somebody truly needs help.

At the end of the day, they start to forget

even where they are, or why they went there.

Now, we've all had little memory lapses,

but I'm talking true diagnosed memory care

and dementia issues.

Now, if somebody needs that kind of help

to protect themselves,

maybe the end of the day,

they get in their car and they start to drive,

and forget where they live or where they're going,

or why they came to wherever it is that they are.

They need help just to protect themselves.

One of the differences is

within regards to memory care and dementia,

is the home that they live in

or the facility they live in,

is what's called a lock-down facility.

Now, lock-down means not bars on the windows

and guards at the door,

it's simply they can't just walk out the front door.

They can't just turn a knob and go out.

There's probably some type of a combination code

on a memory, on a magnetic lock on that front door

if it's a residential setting.

So, they may have a card that they have to swipe,

but some kind of system that

only somebody who is all there

and not struggling with dementia or memory care

will remember that combination or have that card

or the ability to get in and get out.

So, a lock-down facility.

So, when we talk about residential assisted living,

the one thing that would be different,

is that lock on the front door,

that's a magnetic lock with that combination.

It's also gonna be tied to

the sprinkler or the fire suppression,

the smoke detectors, the emergency equipment

that would be there,

so if the emergency equipment goes off,

those locks, the memory care lock,

that door itself on that magnetic lock would release,

so somebody could go out and get to safety.

So, that is the one physical difference

in regards to the house, and the caregivers

are gonna be trained a little bit differently.

Frankly, most states don't require a lot of training at all,

and let alone,

a lot of training for memory care or dementia.

We do additional training for our caregivers

to make sure that they're properly trained

regardless of what the state requires.

So, when we say some additional training,

the state might require literally four hours or eight hours

of additional training on top of being a caregiver.

That care, that training,

is going to be based on how somebody with memory care issues

or dementia thinks.

How they cognitively behave and what causes them to be

uncomfortable, or something to that effect,

and what gives them comfort.

So that training itself is more on how to work with them

on that one-on-one basis,

and in that group home.

The other difference between

assisted living and memory care,

memory care units tend to be smaller.

Instead of 10 or 12 or 15 people in a single family home

like we do with residential assisted living,

it's probably gonna be eight people or less.

Eight people or less in that home,

is a good number for memory care and dementia.

So, we talked about a couple of things.

The house itself is slightly different.

That lock-down facility with that magnetic lock

with the combination.

Two, the caregivers have a little different

level of training, where their focus is on

behavior as much as it is on their personal,

physical health needs.

And then, the third part is that,

in those homes themselves,

people tend to move in sooner, younger.

They may be there longer.

So, when you think about that from a business standpoint,

if I have somebody who's with me,

they move in earlier,

and they're there longer,

and there's a third key.

They also tend to pay more,

because it takes a little more qualification for that home,

the number of people in the home is smaller.

So, because of all of those reasons,

we can tend to charge more

for the memory care or the dementia.

So, depending on where you live,

if you're getting into this business

of residential assisted living,

that may be the best opportunity for you.

To have less people in the home,

but charging a higher rate.

They move in younger,

and they're there for longer.

The difference between assisted living and memory care,

I just wrapped it up for you and kind of laid it out.

But, if you'd like to learn more,

just let us know.

This is Gene from the Assisted Living Network saying,

do good and do well.

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