Models of Memory Care

There are some things that you should consider when searching for the right memory care facility. First, consider whether the facility is freestanding or incorporated with another type of long-term care facility. As an example, there are a lot of memory care facilities whose only purpose is to provide care to those with memory care needs. There are also a lot of assisted-living communities that have a special section specifically to help those who are suffering from some sort of memory care issue. These special sections would be locked and the staffing would be different from that of the rest of the facility, and it should be focused on memory care issues exclusively.

It's worth noting, however, that there is a much bigger community outside those locked doors who would serve those who do not have issues with memory care. This type of situation would likely work best for a couple where one person has memory care needs and the other only needs help with the activities of daily living. 

The next thing to take into consideration is whether or not the memory care unit is part of a bigger facility. In many situations where this is true, everyone there would be co-mingled no matter what cognitive abilities they possess. This may also be true for those facilities that focus their attention and care on those with memory issues exclusively. Conversely, there may be some facilities that do group individuals together based on cognitive ability, so those with minor issues would be in one group, and those with more severe issues would be grouped together. The groups may be separated from each other and treated as a separate community of people, or they may be co-mingled together in a lot of ways during the day but segregated by ability at the end of the day.

In closing, the two models of memory care are those facilities that are standalone or those that are a part of a larger long-term care facility, and whether or not those people are grouped based on cognitive ability or are co-mingled regardless of ability. Keep these distinctions in mind as you explore the right type of facility for you.