In a previous article we took a look at the big scope answer of the question, “what is an RCFE?” Then we looked at one of the sub-categories of RCFE, Assisted Living. So we know that an RCFE is a facility that is non-medical, and provides care for the elderly. Today we’ll look at one of the biggest slices of that category pie, Memory Care.
Just like Assisted Living is often times tied to “big” and “corporate” in the RCFE world. Memory Care is often also connected to the corporate scene. Many “AL’s” (assisted living facilities) have Memory Care unit’s attached to them. Sunrise calls their Memory Care a “special neighborhood for the memory impaired.” Brookdale is known for its Clare Bridge Program for Alzheimer’s Care and Dementia Care.
Memory Care units are sometimes stand alone, but often times are part of a larger facility “complex.” Memory Care units are purposefully laid out to serve people with dementia and are often times “secured units” to prevent residents from wandering outside of the facility. A very helpful configuration is often times a rectangle shaped building with a courtyard in the middle. This is to help give residents the opportunity to move around freely without the feeling of being locked in.
The cost of Memory Care is usually higher then assisted living. Average Assisted Living costs can be about $3,800 a month and Memory Care usually starts at about $5,400. Though the cost is greater, the care is much more comprehensive. Those with dementia often need constant supervision and care. Compared to the average cost of 24 HR care at home ($12,000-$15,000 per month) Memory Care is a bargain.
Memory Care usually excels in programing that is purposeful in engaging those with Dementia. As Dementia progresses, difficult behaviors often increase. Dementia creates confusion about reality and circumstances. It’s hard to accept someone “helping you to bed” when you are convinced that it’s 7am and are “ready for breakfast.” Both leisure and therapeutic programming can be tailored to assist in creating routine and stability for someone suffering from dementia.
Memory Care units often have a greater caregiver to resident ratio then their Assisted Living counterparts. Local Memory Care facilities in the Orangevale and Roseville area have ratios that range from 8-15 residents per caregiver.
What kind of person might be the most happiest in a dedicated Memory Care facility? People suffering from dementia unfortunately have very few options. A Memory Care facility that has good programming and is staffed by loving people is often the best care solution for those suffering from dementia.