If your loved one is struggling at home alone, an aged care facility can provide everything they need to
maintain their health and independence. But, aged care facilities are all different in terms of assistance,
support, and amenities. If you are looking at nursing home alternatives, you might come across the
terms assisted living, memory care, or residential care. There are certain differences to be aware of so
that you can decide which might suit your situation best.
Residential Care Facilities.
Residential care facilities are small private facilities, usually with 20 or fewer residents, staffed round the
clock, providing home-based services to seniors not needing 24-hour nursing care. These facilities
provide meals and offer assistance with personal grooming, toileting and so on. Rooms may be
individual or shared, and bathrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms are usually shared as well.
Assisted Living Communities.
Assisted living communities such as Healesville Aged Care facility provide round-the-clock caregiver
assistance with activities such as grooming, bathing, mobility, and medication management. Nurses
oversee resident care plans and liaise with doctors. Communities are vibrant and contain shared spaces
for residents. There are plentiful events, and meals are served in a shared dining room.
Memory Care Communities.
Memory care communities offer specialised care in an environment designed to increase the quality of
life during cognitive decline. Most of them are found within assisted living communities. These facilities
provide around-the-clock support in a secure environment which does not compromise independence.
Residents eat together and benefit from various activities throughout the day.
Comparison between Residential Care Facilities and Assisted Living Communities:
Assisted living communities are usually larger than residential care facilities. Residential care facilities
have furnished rooms which may be shared and shared bathrooms. Residents in assisted living
communities live individually and benefit from lots of shared space, such as libraries, cafes, and
computer rooms, which are not usually available in residential care facilities. Residential care facilities
and assisted living communities both provide caregiver support for daily activities. Assisted living
communities engage licensed nurses for individually tailored resident care who are accessible 24/7.
Some assisted living communities provide physical, occupational, and speech therapy too.
Residential care facilities provide only limited activities such as bingo, or movie nights whereas assisted
living communities offer a multitude of activities, classes and excursions. They also often provide
exercise programs and have on-site fitness centres, and even swimming pools. Assisted living residents
may also benefit from hair salons and optional housekeeping and laundry services.
Residential care facilities are of course less expensive than assisted living communities. But the extra
cost is probably worthwhile for a comfortable, stress-free lifestyle that will allow your elderly relatives
to remain healthy and active long into the future. Choosing the best senior care facility means
understanding the options and then selecting the community that provides the best solution for the
situation. If dementia is a factor in your situation, selecting an assisted living memory care community
will make sure your loved one is in a safe, comfortable, and appropriate specialised environment.