non pharma memory care

Memory Care Facility vs Nursing Home

Making the Best Decision for Your Loved Ones

Weighing the pros and cons—and measuring the differences—between memory care vs nursing homes can feel like a massive undertaking. But if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia and might require full-time care in the near future, the time is right to begin investigating your options. We know this can be an emotional time for many families, which is why we want to help you make an informed decision. Both memory care facilities and nursing homes offer care and treatment for those with memory loss; however, there are important differences between the two. In this article, we will highlight the attributes of nursing homes and memory care facilities so you are prepared to make the best choice for your family member. 

What is Memory Care? 

Memory care facilities offer a safe, healthy environment for those living with memory loss (like Alzheimer’s or dementia) and 24/7 care. At a memory care community, the focus is on enhancing the lives of people living with various forms of dementia and making sure they are happy, healthy, and able to live their lives to their fullest potential. 

With such a profound emphasis on the loss of memory that may come with aging, there are several key factors that separate a memory care community from other kinds of facilities, like nursing homes.

What You Can Expect from Memory Care

Memory care or nursing home? That’s a loaded question. One that deserves deliberate consideration. With that in mind, here are a few things you can expect from a specialized memory care community.


Medical Excellence

The staff at memory care communities, like The Moments, are trained to deal with any memory loss-related behaviors, like confusion, wandering, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, and more. They all receive continual, on-the-job education that gives them the knowledge and skills they need to ensure the safety and comfort of all our residents. At The Moments, we go beyond just a pharmaceutical approach to memory care and also use sensory design methods to support our residents’ well-being

Memory-Enhancing Activities

Memory care communities also provide specialized, memory-enhancing activities designed just for their residents. For example, at The Moments, our programming calendar includes animal therapy, movement, and fitness classes, and even an Adventure Club that plans fun outings outside of our home for our residents. 

Safety and Security 

People with memory loss are prone to wandering. Memory care facilities are designed to be safe and secure for their residents. At The Moments, every detail of our community was designed with our residents’ comfort and safety in mind. All our exterior doors operate on an electronic system that silently alerts staff, if a resident attempts to exit. Our community allows residents to feel a sense of freedom, while also keeping them as safe as possible. 

Layout Designed to Reduce Confusion

Memory care communities are often built architecturally to help ease residents’ confusion. At The Moments, we set out to design the foremost memory care home in the country. We offer residents odor-free air quality, natural lighting, unrestrained access to the outdoors, and visual and textual aesthetics. 

Privacy in Memory Care vs Nursing Home 

Many memory care facilities value residents’ privacy. At The Moments, our residents live in their very own individual suites. At many nursing homes, on the other hand, many rooms are shared rooms with other residents. 

Calming Environment

An additional benefit of a memory care community like The Moments is the calming, therapeutic environment we provide for our residents. From our hospitality standards, to our customized dining program, every aspect of our community has been carefully curated to give our residents a particular level of comfort that can only come from a home-like, less-clinical setting. 

What is a Nursing Home? 

A nursing home is generally defined as a private institution that provides residential accommodations and healthcare, typically for the elderly. There is no federal definition of a nursing home, so nursing homes vary greatly from state to state in what they offer for residents and their level of care. 

However, most nursing homes are not built, designed, or staffed to specifically care for residents who experience memory loss. Nursing homes are an excellent option for elderly people who require some medical assistance but are not suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

Nursing Home with Memory Care

Some nursing homes have wings or units dedicated to memory care. If you live in an area that does not have a memory care community specifically for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, this can be the right choice for your family. However, sometimes these wings and units can be isolating for the residents, which makes a specific- memory care community a more ideal option for your loved ones’ overall wellbeing.

Similarities in Memory Care vs Nursing Homes

Both nursing homes and memory care facilities typically provide 24-hour care, supervision and three daily meals. Staff will also help with the activities of daily life, commonly referred to as the ADLs, at both nursing homes and memory care facilities. Both nursing homes and memory care homes typically provide housekeeping and laundry, offer social activities, and medication management.

However, the crucial difference between nursing homes and memory care communities is that at a memory care facility, every detail is catered to residents who are living with memory loss. This makes a huge difference in how residents are cared for. 

How To Decide Between Memory Care vs Nursing Home

If your loved one is suffering from memory loss of any kind, a memory care community is most likely your best option to ensure they receive the care they need on a day-to-day basis. However, an elderly person with serious medical needs who does not have issues with their memory can probably benefit from a nursing home. 

At The Moments, we specialize in caring for residents with every kind of memory loss, from early-onset cases to people diagnosed with other kinds of dementia, like Lewy Body Dementia or advanced Parkinson’s disease. 

If you still aren’t sure if memory care or nursing home is the right choice for your loved one, we encourage you to talk with your family and medical providers. You can also reach out to us at The Moments in Lakeville, MN to learn more about our memory care home.


Our resident specialist will give you a private tour of The Moments Memory Care Community and answer any questions you may have.

Safety Protocols

Our HVAC system was uniquely designed to deliver six complete air changes per hour which means clean air, safer air, throughout the building. Our resident rooms have individual fresh air and filtration above the windows, both designed to increase safety and sanitation levels.

Our normal protocol includes rigorous daily disinfecting of resident rooms and common areas. During every shift, staff disinfects doors, handrails and other common areas.

Meals have shifted from community gatherings to small group, socially distanced meals that are served in shifts, tables and chairs are sanitized after each seating.

ALL residents and staff are tested bi-weekly, at a minimum and take temperature checks are conducted daily of all residents.

Anybody – staff, caregivers, residents, vendors – who enters The Moments will pass through the ENTRY where Far-UVC lighting will inactivate surface-level viruses and bacteria

Additionally, prior to each
shift staff:

  • Undergo a health
    screening, temperature
    check and contact risk
    evaluation surveys prior
    to entering the building
  • Are required to wear a
    facemask and goggles
    at all times
  • Constantly conducting
    thorough handwashing
    and hand sanitization
    during their shifts

Essential caregivers/visitors
are required to:


  • Undergo a health
    screening, temperature
    check and contact risk
    evaluation surveys prior
    to entering the building
  • Wear masks during
    their visit
Published On: April 16, 2021