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What is Memory Care?
Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 11:54 PM
Joined: 10/9/2019
Posts: 41

What is "memory care"?
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:45 AM
Joined: 5/12/2018
Posts: 83

Hi Twills.  Memory care is a facility that deals specifically with Dementia and/or AlIzheimer's related diseases in patients.  Much different than a skilled nursing facility or a regular Rest home.  

I'm hopeful others will post on exact details but that is the skinny on it..  


Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 2:37 AM
Joined: 10/9/2019
Posts: 41

OK that makes sense.  Thanks.
Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:57 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10400

Here is a link that describes Memory Care for patients with dementia.  It is also important to know that these specialty care units are also locked to keep patients from wandering away.  Many have outside gardens and  walking pathways, but the grounds are secure to keep their residents safe.  Here is the link:


MN Chickadee
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:50 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 954

It is an umbrella term for care specializing in housing people with dementia. The actual type of place can vary by region or company. Some nursing homes have memory care wings, which is a locked unit in a skilled nursing facility (think typical nursing home.) These usually have a registered nurse on 24/7, some other types of memory care don't have one over night. Some are stand alone facilities, where only people with dementia at various stages live. Some are assisted living places that have a memory care component you can add on for wander guard, more reminders for meals etc. Some are more of a group home type setting. The general idea is that the people working in any of these places have training specific to relating to someone with dementia and that the care, activities, and daily life are geared to what a PWD can handle.  

To give you an example, my loved on is in a stand alone memory care facility. Everyone has a bedroom and eats meals in the common dining room. She is in one of two buildings that house 16 residents each, all with dementia. It doesn't feel like an institution or a house, something in between. It is locked, there is a fenced in court yard. An activities person comes daily to lead exercise, arts and crafts etc. Some people are active and busy, some are wheel chair bound and need to be spoon fed. There is a huge range of abilities. There are 3-4 aides in each building during day time hours who deal with bathing, toileting, cleaning, feeding, and keeping track of everyone. Less staff on the 11 pm - 7 am shift. There are 1 or 2 nurses on 7 days a week during the day, and on call at night. 

Rescue mom
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 11:22 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1336

Good answers here. I’d say memory care (MC) is for people who need reminders, or persuasion, to do basic activities like bathing, taking meds, eating, socializing, etc..  (also known as ADLs, I think)

In Assisted Living, IME, residents know they need to do those things. They may need help physically to do them, but they are self-directed enough to know what should be done, and can ask for help if needed. Their brain works, although the body fails.

MC residents do not know/remember they should do those things. Their brain does not work right, even though the body is relatively OK.

The ALs IME also handled more physical medical issues than MC. MC was more about the failed brain function.

I have seen facilities where there is some “blending” of AL and MC, but the details of what’s done —and staff expertise—can vary greatly, depending on the facility.

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:34 PM
Joined: 10/9/2019
Posts: 41

Thank you, that makes sense.
Posted: Friday, October 11, 2019 9:44 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17825

two good MC to look at to understand what they are;

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 8:15 AM
Joined: 6/3/2019
Posts: 56

Thank you for posting the link to Abe's Garden and Hearthstone. Abe's Garden in particular looks so wonderful. I wish there were a place like that in our area, Northern VA, for my Dad when it is time. All of our LOs deserve a place of beauty, serenity and dignity that seems evident on the Abe's Garden website from the pictures, testimonials and every carefully considered detail of their campus, resident rooms, activities. But just knowing about it gives me a benchmark to evaluate other places. They also have a very good booklet about how to evaluate memory care facilities on their website.
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