All American Assisted Living at Hillsborough
Blog Hero

Is Memory Care Considered Skilled Nursing?

Schedule a Tour

In the realm of community care, there are several options one may consider for their loved one. To find the most suitable space it’s important to identify the level and focus of care provided between communities.

No, memory care isn’t considered skilled nursing. While there are some similarities between the two, their focus and level of care are different. 

Memory care provides long-term care to individuals experiencing various levels of cognitive decline through assistance, therapeutic activities, and a safe environment designed especially for their needs.

Skilled nursing is often utilized for a temporary period. It offers intensive medical care and rehabilitation services for individuals recovering from illness, surgery, or falls.

What is Memory Care?

Memory care is a specialized form of long-term care tailored specifically for individuals who are experiencing various levels of cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease.  

The primary focus of memory care is to provide a safe environment through a personalized approach to care. We work to provide our residents with the most suitable level of care based on their stage of cognitive decline, needs, and overall well-being.

Who is Suitable for Memory Care?

Memory care is most suitable for individuals experiencing cognitive decline that impacts their daily living. Residents may require assistance and supervision to confirm their safety and well-being. 

Families consider memory care for their loved ones when they can no longer safely live independently. With reduced cognitive abilities comes a lack of awareness, leading to wandering, confusion, and memory loss concerning daily responsibilities.  

Memory care communities offer a range of services and amenities designed to enhance the quality of life for residents. These include:

  • Personalized Care Plans: We recognize that cognitive decline is a unique experience for each individual, which means residents require a care plan tailored to their specific needs.
  • 24/7 Assistance and Support: Our staff are trained to handle the complexities that come with caring for individuals experiencing cognitive decline. This includes monitoring their behavior, wandering, confusion, and aggression under a supervised lens that confirms the safety of your loved one and other residents.  
  • Therapeutic Activities: Programs like music therapy, art classes, and physical and cognitive exercises help to stimulate cognitive function, and provide a welcoming environment that encourages social connection.
  • Safe Environment: Resident safety is a high priority. Individuals experiencing cognitive decline have an increased risk of wandering and injury due to falls. Our memory care environment is designed with wide hallways and handrails to provide extra support, helping to reduce the risk of falls and injuries. 
  • Assistance with Daily Living: Some residents require assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and medication management. Our staff can provide the most suitable level of support for residents based on their needs. 

What is Skilled Nursing Care?

Skilled nursing care provides a high level of medical care provided by licensed healthcare professionals including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.

Skilled nursing is generally provided for short-term care that’s often aimed at those experiencing chronic illness, requiring wound care, intravenous therapy, or rehabilitation after surgery or injury.

Skilled nursing communities offer a comprehensive array of medical services and amenities for residents that include: 

  • Medical Care: Including administration of medications, wound care, and intravenous therapies.
  • Rehabilitation Services: Physical, occupational, and speech therapy to aid recovery.
  • 24/7 Medical Supervision: Continuous monitoring by licensed healthcare professionals.
  • Specialized Therapies: Treatments like respiratory therapy and nutritional counseling.
  • Assistance with Daily Living: Similar to memory care, skilled nursing also provides help with routine activities.
A memory care staff connecting with one of the residents.

Key Differences Between Memory Care & Skilled Nursing 

There’s some overlap between memory care and skilled nursing, but what makes these communities different is their demographic for care.

Focus & Level of Care 

The primary distinction lies in the focus and level of care provided. 

Memory care emphasizes creating a supportive environment tailored to individuals experiencing cognitive decline. It focuses on safety, socialization, and assistance aimed at providing support to help enhance residents’ quality of life. 

In contrast, skilled nursing is more medically intensive, providing treatments and therapies aimed at rehabilitation and medical stabilization.

Eligible Residents

Memory care is ideal for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease who require long-term care in a safe and supportive environment as they engage in daily activities.

Skilled nursing, on the other hand, caters to individuals needing intensive medical care and rehabilitation, often for a short-term period following hospitalization.

Services & Amenities

While both memory care and skilled nursing facilities offer assistance with daily living activities, their services differ because of their unique focus on care. 

  • Memory Care: Therapeutic activities are designed to stimulate cognitive functions, the environment is designed to prevent falls and wandering, and includes personalized care plans focusing on the individual needs of residents. 
  • Skilled Nursing: This program offers comprehensive medical care and rehabilitation services, and specialized skilled therapies, and is overseen by medical supervision.

When to Consider Memory Care 

The progressive nature of most cognitive impairments means that there may come a time when your loved one will no longer be able to live safely in an independent space. Memory care is designed to provide assistance and supervision to residents so that families and caregivers can remain comforted that their loved one is cared for.

There is no “exact” time when memory care should be considered. An important factor to keep in mind is prioritizing the safety, health, and overall well-being of your loved one.

Some signs that suggest your loved one may be ready for memory care include: 

  • Increased Wandering: Frequent wandering or getting lost, even in familiar places.
  • Aggressive Behavior: Sudden mood changes or aggressive outbursts that are difficult to manage at home.
  • Difficulty with Daily Tasks: Struggling with basic activities like cooking, bathing, or dressing, or medication management due to increasing forgetfulness. 
  • Caregiver Burnout: When the caregiving responsibilities become overwhelming, and the caregiver’s health is affected.
  • Safety Concerns: Instances of the loved one leaving the stove on, forgetting to lock doors, falling frequently, or having unexplained bruising or injuries.

Schedule a Visit

Understanding the differences between memory care and skilled nursing is important for making informed decisions about your loved one’s care. 

Connect with our team at All American Assisted Living at Hillsborough to schedule a tour of our memory care community.

Written by kaplan

instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax