Assisted Living vs. Memory Care in Alpharetta, GA

March 28, 2017

If nationwide trends hold true, nearly 70 percent of people in Alpharetta, Georgia, over the age of 65 will need to seek care from an assisted living or memory care provider at some point in their life.

Alpharetta residents who need help with multiple activities of daily living (ADLs) will benefit from assisted living. Those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, or age-related cognitive decline will benefit from memory care. However, many find themselves in a gray area that makes it hard to determine exactly which type of care will benefit them most. Crabapple-Living-Room-resized.jpg

What’s the Difference?

Assisted living and memory care both provide care and specialized programming for seniors in luxury apartment-like communities. In fact, some assisted living communities have wings or floors dedicated exclusively to memory care. Aside from similar settings, however, assisted living and memory care are very different senior living options.

Assisted living is tailored for seniors who need some help with ADLs such as dressing or bathing but are otherwise able to live independently and come and go as they please. A few perks of assisted living include:

  • Tiered care plans to meet individual needs of seniors
  • Safe, secure communities
  • Engaged living programs that offer social, fitness, and recreational activities
  • Meals, snacks, and nutritional support are included
  • Private apartments, beautiful grounds, and a range of amenities
  • An emergency call system
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Transportation

Memory care, on the other hand, is specifically designed to meet the needs of seniors with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. In addition to services offered in assisted living, memory care also includes:

  • 24-hour supervision in a secured environment
  • A Cognitive Care Training Program to help slow memory loss and cognitive decline
  • Staff with specialized training to prevent or address behavioral disturbances
  • Meals and nutritional support for people with dementia
  • Help with ADLs
  • Counseling and support for family members

Some senior living providers enable residents to transition from assisted living to memory care as the need arises. Arbor Terrace at Crabapple in Alpharetta, for example, offers assisted living and 24-hour dementia care for Evergreen Memory Care.

What’s Best for You?

No two people experience the progression of dementia or age-related cognitive decline in the same way; the progression can span anywhere from a few months to a decade or more, research shows.

What’s more, mild cognitive impairment is fairly common in older adults, affecting about 3-5 percent of people older than 60 and 15 percent of people older than 75. For many of these people, research shows, mild cognitive impairment does not progress into Alzheimer’s or dementia.

That means it’s difficult, if not impossible, to predict what the care needs of individuals with dementia or age-related cognitive decline will be in a few months, let alone in a year or two.

Fortunately, these decisions don’t have to be made in a vacuum. Senior living providers, including Arbor Terrace at Crabapple, can conduct care needs assessments that will help develop recommendations for what’s best for you or your loved one now, as well as in the future.

Exploring Options

There are multiple options for assisted living and memory care in Alpharetta. There are communities that provide assisted living, communities that provide memory care, and communities that provide both.  

Senior living communities that provide both assisted living and memory, known as continuing care retirement communities, might be the best option to ensure that your or your loved one’s care needs can be met both today and in the future without a disruptive move to a new community.

However, the first step in exploring assisted living and memory care in Alpharetta is to clearly define your or your loved one’s goals, needs, and priorities. From there, you’ll be able to narrow your choices down to communities that match your needs and expectations—and your budget.

Deciding between assisted living and memory care in Alpharetta can be a daunting challenge.

Remember, you’re not alone. Assisted living and memory care providers can help determine exactly what type of care will most benefit an individual today, and they can help predict what the future might hold. From there, an experienced senior care counselor will help put together an individual care plan that matches both needs and budget. To learn more, contact Arbor Terrace at Crabapple.

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