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5 Main Differences Between Assisted Living and Memory Care

senior lady and granddaughter looking at a photo album together while on the couch

Whether you’re searching for senior living options or have a loved one who could benefit from a helping hand in assisted living or memory care, there’s a lot of information to sort through. 

Both options offer higher levels of care than independent living, but there are key differences between the two. Here, we’ll discuss memory care vs. assisted living, so you can make a confident decision on the level of care required to give you or a loved one the highest quality of life. 


  1. 1. Degree of independence 

At Freedom Plaza, assisted living is much like independent living. You can still come and go as you please, have plenty of time and freedom to pursue your passions, and have full access to all community services and amenities. All assisted living floor plans are well-appointed and have safety features to promote an independent lifestyle. Residents are given a Life Safety pendant alert system to move confidently throughout the community and their home without help. 

Memory care neighborhoods are designed with features to protect residents with cognitive impairments. Freedom Plaza features suites and studios designed to reduce confusion and create a safe, comfortable homelike environment, and our memory care neighborhood is secure and easy to navigate for residents who may wander. Residents in memory care enjoy time outdoors in enclosed courtyards, a flexible schedule, and access to appropriate community amenities. 


  1. 2. Type and amount of care

When it comes to memory care vs. assisted living, the primary difference is the level of care received. Assisted living provides tailored help with activities of daily living (ADLs) required to live a high-quality life. Activities include dressing, bathing, personal grooming tasks, and moving safely around your home and community. Medication management is also available for those who choose to receive this additional assistance. While caregivers are available whenever residents need them, the goal is to provide just the right amount of care to help them lead an independent lifestyle. 

Memory care is a type of assisted living that provides help with daily activities, plus specialized, round-the-clock care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The memory care neighborhood at Freedom Plaza features a staff with dementia-specific training and 24/7 nursing care as necessary. While independence is encouraged whenever possible, our staff members are always there to provide compassionate, dignified dementia care. 


  1. 3. Offered activities 

There are abundant programs, activities and events in assisted living that can enrich your retirement. From taking a dip in our heated pool and browsing the internet in our business center to tending the resident gardens and attending group fitness classes, there’s always something to do in assisted living at Freedom Plaza.

Memory care offers dementia-specific activities designed to engage and stimulate residents with cognitive impairments by appealing to each resident’s unique history, likes and dislikes, and hobbies. Activities may include brain games, music therapy, and other specialized programs. Freedom Plaza uses industry-leading, personalized dementia care that also promotes dignity, boosts sense of pride, and celebrates victories in day-to-day activities, big or small. 


  1. 4. Dining experience 

While all residents at Freedom Plaza dine on meals made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and can request menu options that accommodate special dietary needs, the dining atmosphere of memory care and assisted living is much different. Assisted living residents enjoy meals in a variety of vibrant dining venues and a plethora of menu options to suit any taste. 

Memory care offers a more intimate dining experience with a relaxing atmosphere that reduces distractions to help focus on eating, but still encourages socialization for more engaged and joyful mealtimes. Residents also benefit from specialized diets to help them dine on nutritious food that also stimulates their appetites.  


  1. 5. Cost of care

According to the Genworth Cost of Care survey, a comprehensive analysis to help older adults estimate long-term care expenses, the average national monthly cost for basic assisted living services is around $4,635. 

The cost of memory care varies from person to person, and can range anywhere from around $5,000 to more than $10,000 a month. This is because dementia care provides round-the-clock supervision, highly personalized experiences and services, and a high staff-resident-ratio.

The rising cost of senior care is a big reason many older adults choose to move into senior living communities with Life Care contracts like Freedom Plaza as younger seniors. They can enjoy the abundant perks of senior living right now and gain peace of mind knowing they have priority access to a full continuum of health care, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, at predictable rates if they ever need it. 

With 7 out of 10 adults requiring some form of long-term care as they age, the predictable rates offered by Life Care can save you a substantial amount of money and help stretch your retirement budget further.


Explore the Benefits of Life Care and Experience Freedom Plaza Firsthand

The only way to truly experience the wonderful retirement lifestyle at Freedom Plaza is by booking a visit! Contact our senior living representatives online or RSVP to one of our community events to learn more about our Life Plan Community in Sun City, FL.