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The Differences Between Assisted Living and Memory Care

The moment you realize your loved one isn’t safe living on their own can be difficult and raise a lot of questions. How do I keep them safe while allowing them to live their best life? What is the right senior living option for them? As you start to consider how best to support them, it can be hard to know if you should choose assisted living or memory care. But when it comes to memory care vs. assisted living, there are some specific differences you should consider. This blog post will show you the benefits of assisted living and memory care and how each is different.


What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities promote and encourage independence by helping your loved one with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)  — bathing, getting dressed, eating and more.


What Is Memory Care?

People whose dementia affects their day-to-day living are safer and have a higher quality of life in a memory care community where staff members are trained in dementia care. Memory care communities can also provide opportunities for your loved one to socialize and do other things they enjoy.


Memory Care vs. Assisted Living

The main difference between assisted living and memory care can be found in these five areas: 



  • Assisted living: Assisted living communities may offer safety features like in-room emergency alert systems, emergency alert bracelets for residents and daily check-ins.
  • Memory Care: When providing dementia care, communities place an increased emphasis on intuitive layout to help prevent confusion. Communities also feature increased security with locked entrances and exits, along with other wander prevention tools like keypad entries, obscured exits, and doorbells signaling entering and exiting.


Staff Training

  • Assisted living: Staff members have experience supporting residents with day-to-day tasks, and are well equipped and trained to provide 24/7 person-centered care.
  • Memory care: With a higher staff-to-resident ratio than assisted living, memory care gives residents more one-on-one attention throughout the day. The staff knows how to effectively and compassionately prevent and manage difficult dementia behaviors, such as wandering and aggression. They also understand the balance of encouraging residents to stay as independent as possible while helping maintain cognitive skills, a sense of self and quality of life.


Activities and Therapies

  • Assisted living: At Heritage Senior Living, our communities offer a full calendar of events, including exercise and art classes, intergenerational activities, movie nights, special guests and presentations, book clubs, games and outings. 
  • Memory care: Memory care features both group and individual memory care activities and therapies specially designed for seniors with memory loss. Heritage Senior Living offers innovative activities and therapies including:
    • A Measure in Time, our music and memory program that enables many residents to converse and socialize again and to regain a sense of self.
    • Multisensory rooms that use light, sound, scents, and music to initiate sensory stimulation in the brain to create a calming and soothing environment.


Amenities and Services


Heritage Senior Living assisted living services and amenities vary by location, but could include:

  • Pub areas for gatherings
  • Patios/courtyards
  • Movie theaters with club seating
  • Warm-water pools
  • Salons
  • On-site markets
  • Pet-friendly apartments


Heritage Senior Living memory care services and amenities include:

  • Full-time licensed nurses
  • Personalized nutrition and dining programs
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Coordinated activities
  • Secured building access for resident safety
  • Interior garden courtyard


We Specialize in Personal Care

When it comes to memory care vs. assisted living, regardless of which one you choose, our specially trained staff is on hand 24/7 to provide compassionate, individualized care while ensuring your loved one’s unique needs are met. To find the right option for your loved one, learn more about our memory care and assisted living communities by contacting us here