The words dementia and Alzheimer's are often used interchangeably. However, these terms do not mean the same thing. You'll need to understand the differences between each term so that you can understand the type of memory care that your loved one needs.
It's possible for a patient to have both dementia and Alzheimer's, but it is also possible or a patient to only have dementia. Alzheimer's Disease is a common cause of dementia. Dementia is a series of symptoms that affect the memory, thinking and social abilities of a patient. This can have a strong impact on mental functioning. There are various other conditions that can cause dementia, including vascular, Frontotemporal and Parkinson's disease.
Those with dementia struggle with memory, speech, focus, concentration, reasoning, judgment, and visual perception. A common issue is when someone with dementia struggles to remember faces. Millions of Americans suffer from dementia.
Alzheimer's is a particularly severe form of dementia because it gets progressively worse and there is no known cure. It's a condition that usually afflicts those who are 65 years or older, but it can affect anyone. It results from plaques and fibers building up in your brain and blocking signals. This process also destroys nerve cells in the brain.
Memory Care Vs. Assisted Living
If your loved one is struggling with Alzheimer's or dementia, an assisted living facility might not be enough and he or she might instead need memory care. They will usually need the extra care that comes from a memory care unit. These are also referred to as Special Care Units or Alzheimer's Care Units.
A memory care unit is much more intensive than an assisted living facility. A patient receives a greater degree of care from a memory care facility. In many cases, you'll find a memory care facility within an assisted living facility. However, there are some memory care facilities that are standalone services.
Services Offered By Memory Care
Your loved one will receive assistance 24 hours a day by a staff that is trained specifically to help patients with dementia, Alzheimer's or any other memory-related condition. In addition to the services offered by assisted living, memory care also uses techniques to stimulate memory. While you may not be able to stop cognitive decline that is the result of either of these conditions, you will be able to improve the quality of life for your loved one.