Difference Between Memory Care & Skilled Nursing

Over time, caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can become difficult. Researching care options for you or your loved one can leave you with the feeling of uncertainty since most transitions deal with misconceptions of losing independence. The need to ensure good health care and finding the perfect living arrangements for you or a loved one is vital. As a family member or caregiver providing care to a loved one, you should explore different short or long-term care options before dementia progresses to the final stages. Are you considering memory care or skilled nursing services for a loved one? We hope to minimize any confusion by explaining the difference between the two.

Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled nursing is defined as “a special facility or part of a hospital that provides medically necessary professional services.” While these both apply to senior citizens, they are very different and require different approaches and services to ensure that the maximum quality of care is provided. Meal preparation, non-medical assistance, and senior care are just some of the services provided as at a skilled nursing facility. According to Family Assets, skilled nursing facilities, “have specialized staff such as speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation specialists, audiologists, among others. These medical professionals are not typically staffed in a memory care facility. Skilled nursing care is typically provided for rehabilitation patients that do not require long-term care services. This type of care is also referred to as post-acute care, in that it typically is provided following an emergency hospital stay.” When trying to find the best option for you or a loved one, consider a skilled nursing facility that has a variety of programs and care plans to make sure your personal care needs are met.

Memory Care

Memory care is a form of long-term care that is established to meet the needs of a person with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other types of memory issues. The main focus of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is to be able to communicate with them by understanding their behaviors and personalities. This disease can cause the individual to act differently and become anxious or aggressive. Although most skilled nursing facilities may have memory care services, a memory care facility will only help people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Services provided in a memory care facility are similar and just as effective in a hospital or nursing home setting. Memory care can be cared for in a skilled nursing setting but memory care facilities that specialize in it have the benefit of an entire staff trained to care for the unique needs of those seniors. The objecitve of memory care facilities is to provide a safe indoor and outdoor setting for hobbies, recreation and quality time with pets and loved ones. Some facilities also have private apartment options that give individuals an independent lifestyle with 24-hour nursing is available.

Spring Hills Senior Communities provides memory care in an assisted living facility that goes beyond supervising residents. Good memory care stimulates the mind. Our Vice President of Community Start-Up & Training, Heather Tussing, explained that “At Spring Hills, we lead the way in providing value-based healthcare. Whatever your individual situation calls for, our holistic approach is focused on providing you with options to best suit your needs.” To learn more about the different options we offer, please click here.