If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's, you have probably been advised to have them stay in a memory care center rather than an assisted living facility. Obviously memory care centers are specially designed for seniors with memory problems, but just how do they actually differ from a standard assisted living center? Take a look.

More Specialized Staff Training

While staff at an assisted living facility may be familiar with memory struggles like dementia and Alzheimer's disease, these conditions are not their focus. The staff at a memory care facility, on the other hand, will have received extensive training to help them better care for and communicate with their memory-challenged residents. Your loved one's needs will be better met as a result, and changes in their condition are less likely to be overlooked.

Secure and Memory-Friendly Layouts

There are always concerns about patients with memory trouble wandering off and getting lost. Memory care facilities are designed so that the residents cannot leave without anyone knowing about it. The doors are usually locked from the inside. The layout is often designed to help residents better remember where they are and where they are going. For instance, different hallways may be painted different colors so the residents can remember they live down the blue hallway or the pink hallway. There may be fewer halls and more open areas so residents do not get lost or confused.

In-House Cognitive Therapists

Most memory care facilities employ therapists who specialize in memory care and use tactics like music therapy, animal therapy, and aromatherapy to help keep your loved one be calm, happy, and healthy. Assisted living facilities usually lack these more specialized services, so your loved one would have to attend appointments off-site, which can be challenging to plan.

Services for Families

Having your loved one develop problems with dementia and Alzheimer's disease can be challenging for you and for other family members, too. Memory care facilities often offer support groups and even therapy sessions for the families of their residents. Attending some of these sessions can help you better interact with your loved one and provide the care they need during this challenging time.

Memory care facilities go above and beyond for their residents, providing many specific services and benefits you won't see at the average assisted living facility. If your loved one struggles with memory, this is likely the best place for them.