Elderly woman and caregiver daughter

What is Memory Care?

If you’ve been providing care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia, you already know the journey you’re on can be emotionally painful, frustrating and stressful. Sadly, though you’re not unique in your journey — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 16 million Americans provide dementia care for their loved ones — you may still feel very much alone.

By choosing a senior living community like Edgewood Summit with a memory care facility as part of its continuum of care, you may be giving both your loved one and yourself an incredible gift. 

You may have questions about memory care, its advantages and its cost. We’re here to help answer those questions and any others you may have about memory care at Edgewood Summit.

What’s involved in memory care?

Memory care is a specialized setting designed to provide a safe and enriching living environment for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Highly trained staff and cognitive specialists work with residents and their families to ensure residents receive personalized attention and care. Typically, communities offering memory care also provide activities and programs tailored to each resident’s interests. Along with a private or semiprivate living space, amenities may include secure outdoor paths or gardens where residents can safely walk outdoors, housekeeping, linen and laundry service, three daily meals, and organized transportation to medical appointments and social outings.

Is memory care the same as assisted living?

Both memory care and assisted living provide a higher level of care for people whose health issues make it difficult for them to live independently and on their own. Usually, both assisted living and memory care provide residents help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and managing medications. However, memory care focuses specifically on people with dementia. Activities are tailored to those with cognitive impairments, and staff are specifically trained to provide care that minimizes the effects of the disease while maximizing a resident’s quality of life. 

Some senior living communities, including Edgewood Summit, offer independent living along with a continuum of care, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. The advantage of choosing this type of senior living community is your loved one can move directly into memory care, while you may choose to move into independent living. Because you’re living in the same community, a visit can be as easy as walking across campus. 

What are the differences between memory care and a nursing home?

A memory care facility is usually designed specifically for people with early-to-late stages of dementia and who struggle with cognitive issues. For example, the facility may be designed in a neighborhood model, where 8-12 residents live and have their own private spaces, but they share common areas such as a kitchen, living room and activity room. The memory care facility may have secure outdoor paths where residents can safely wander; hallways may be circular so residents can wander without the frustration of dead ends. 

A nursing home, on the other hand, is for residents who need assistance with high levels of all kinds of medical and nonmedical tasks of everyday living. Residents may not need to be in a hospital, but can’t be cared for at home. Nursing home staff can provide care 24 hours a day; residents also have access to healthcare professionals like physical and occupational therapists.

What are the benefits of memory care?

If you’re a caregiver, you know how difficult it can be to provide your loved one with the necessary care and attention they need. At a memory care facility, your loved one receives that personalized care, delivered by highly trained, knowledgeable team members. They also have access to community spaces to encourage socialization, along with ample opportunities to participate in group activities and events with other residents, all designed to improve their quality of life. They receive three nutritious meals each day, and housekeeping, linen and laundry service for their living spaces.

What is the cost of memory care?

The cost of memory care varies greatly from state to state. In West Virginia in 2021, the average monthly cost is $4,735, or $56,820 annually. Medicare, veterans benefits and private insurance may help pay for some costs; long-term care insurance may assist with some of the costs as well.

What’s memory care at a senior living community like Edgewood Summit?

At Edgewood Summit, our memory care team is trained in the Landmarks for Living® philosophy, which focuses on the whole person to maintain life and leisure skills, minimize memory loss, and maximize each day’s potential. Our staff is long-tenured, and we’re very proud of our high staff-to-resident ratio.

Edgewood Summit is Kanawha Valley’s only locally owned, not-for-profit continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Residents and their family members often tell us there’s no other community they’d rather choose than Edgewood Summit.If you’d like to learn more about memory care for your loved one, let’s connect. We’re always here to help.