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My husband was informed that his brother whom has dementia, level of care would be a "Locked Unit Assisted Living." We found an assisted living facility that keeps their doors locked and you must have a code for entering and exiting.


Not sure if Locked Unit Assisted Living actually means the same as Memory Care Unit or Not?

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I think it’s common for assited living to have unlocked but ALARMED doors. You need a code to come and go, if not, loud alarm goes off. My dad would set it off looking for his car and staff would retrieve him.

Memory care facilities are usually locked and alarmed. Punch in the code and an electronic lock disengages.
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AlvaDeer Sep 23, 2019
In my brothers facility there are five "cottages" each with seperate rooms, and in corners two rooms for residents. The Memory Care is seperate and locked at all times with entrance and exit checked. The cottages have open door policy until a certain hour, then they are locked, though there is always at least one worker in each cottage 24/7. In early a.m. door are unlocked and then it is sign in and sign out both in cottage and at main lodge if you are leaving facility. So you have to be able to accomplish those things, or it is memory care. Seems to me that this inbetween alternative might work for many residents. Some are quite capable in many ways, but may wander.
then of course you have the "levels of care" to negotiate. As in the needs of this elder. If they take own meds, come to meals in dining room, are fairly independent they are level one and so on up, with the costs added to the monthly rental dependent on that. Memory care is scary because seniors once reaching that level often know they have little time in their facility before the dread medicaid and transfer. In some places to a quite good place. In some places not.
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I agree. My husband and I visited this ALF and we did not find it any different than a Memory Care Unit. They care for residents there that have dementia and there are secured locked doors there.

However, the ED there feels like my BIL needs Memory Care Unit.
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My mother lives in an Assisted Living community with a Memory Care Facility in the parking lot, a different building entirely. The regular AL has unlocked exterior doors, a dining room, apartments with kitchenettes, etc. The Memory Care unit has locked exterior doors where the residents cannot get out and wander, and smaller rooms without cooking equipment of any kind. The MC is also considered 'assisted living' but with the added extra help that dementia and Alzheimer's residents require, including the locked exterior doors. The MC is about $2K a month more than regular AL, as there are lots more care givers there and everything is included (incontinence care, medication dispensing, etc). That's how it is in the place my mom resides in. I work in a different Memory Care facility (Anthem) that is also considered "Assisted Living" and operates the same way, sort of, with locked doors, etc. There are a few shared rooms, but most are private (all the rooms at my mom's MC place are private). This MC place charges for EVERYTHING, nothing is 'included' in the base price but the rent. But again, it's basically the same thing as my mom's place, just more expensive.

Like Isthisreallyreal said, you'd have to check the place out yourself to determine exactly WHAT it is, you know? I don't think there's an 'across the board' definition of "Memory Care" that's a one size fits all description.
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Honestly it completely depends on where he is. I have found no standard for AL, MC, NH they are all doing their own thing and calling it whatever they can under their licensing.

It is not even standardized in one city. You guys will have to go and see for yourselves or talk to someone at the facility that can help you understand what they mean by those classifications.
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Not sure what state your're in, but, from what I have learned in my state, MC units are classified by the state as Special Care Units and they are also considered Assisted Living, since, they are not Nursing Homes. I can't imagine any secure AL that wasn't MC, since, it's the safety of the resident that is being safeguarded. They are normally referred to as secure, since, often they are not actually locked, just monitored closely.
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No. Not really. Most "memory care", for which you will likely jump from 5,000 to 10,000 a month real quick, is much different. The rooms are usually shared. The medications are always given. There is much more staff and personnel to keep an eye on things, and often more highly trained.
A locked Assisted Living would allow free movement within the "cottage" or whatever that the person has a room or rooms in, but not access to come and go, which in any loss of memory is such a danger, a threat to the person and to the institution that is not recognizing they don't know limits.
So staffing and the rendering of care, the TYPE of care that can be given, etc. are the main differences.
I had not thought there was anything like this "inbetween" step, and think it makes a lot of sense.
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haileybug Sep 23, 2019
Thank you so much for responding. BIL's doctor says he can go to a locked unit assisted living, however, a facility we chose felt they could not accept him there due to them not being a "Memory Care Unit."
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Hm, maybe. Every modern apartment complex has some form of entrance security either with a key or a door code, a good memory care also has specialized staff and services that cater to those with dementia.
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Yes, generally those are synonymous terms for facilities that provide assisted living. I'm assuming the facility you found with locked exit doors complies with fire codes that require doors that will open within 10 or 15 seconds after an attempted exit (with an alarm sounding during that time).
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