The Benefits of Shared Living for Seniors Living with Dementia

Close up of two senior women smiling

Navigating the journey of dementia care for a loved one is undoubtedly challenging. Families often find themselves overwhelmed when caring for one who is living with a progressive disease.

While there are programs and medications that can help treat some of the symptoms, the individual’s declining health and cognitive impairment will continue.

One common challenge for many families is trying to reconcile the reality of financial considerations so their loved one can benefit from a memory care community.

However, many are unaware of an option that could allow for both. Shared living for seniors is one possibility that can make memory care more affordable.

The many advantages of memory care communities

In the early stages, remaining at home is a possibility. But eventually, there may come a time when the level of care needed is more difficult to provide. The services of a memory care community can create a higher quality of life along with several benefits, including:

  • A safe home in a comfortable and secure environment
  • Assistance from staff with dementia training
  • Opportunities for social interaction
  • Healthy dining and assistance
  • Activities tailored to meet the individual’s preferences and abilities
  • Specialized therapy programs

What is shared living for seniors?

Some memory care communities offer the option for families to choose between a private room for their loved one or shared accommodation with a roommate. Either option is usually located in a smaller memory care neighborhood, which may be part of a larger community. This can make it easier for those living with dementia to navigate.

Shared living for seniors can include apartments, which may have separate bedrooms with communal living space, but typically there will be two beds in the same room.

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The benefits of shared living for seniors living with dementia

The advantages of sharing space for those living with dementia can be many. We’ve included a few here:

  • A sense of social connection
  • Encouraged participation in activities
  • Increased socialization while minimizing isolation
  • Reduced impact of sundowning
  • Relieved feelings of loneliness
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and enhanced sense of well-being
  • Support for family members

The financial benefits of shared living for seniors

The cost of memory care can depend on the residence, amenities, the individual’s personal health care needs and even the geographic location. While the cost for this type of specialized care is typically at the higher end of senior living, in-home dementia care can also be more expensive than care in a community.

While the costs can range, the option of shared living for seniors can make a real difference. If sharing a living space would work well for your loved one, this can often make it possible to pay for the specialized care.

The services, programs, meals, amenities and care are the same regardless of whether your loved one lives in a shared or private room. But shared living will typically cost less than a private apartment and the savings are often significant.

Shared living vs. at-home care

When considering the costs of memory care, remaining at home and arranging for professional care may seem like a good option. However, it does come with challenges you’ll want to consider:

  • Professional care: Professional dementia care at home might not always be available in your area, or it can be prohibitively expensive if full-time care is needed. Memory care communities provide round-the-clock professional support.
  • Caregiver burnout: If a spouse or other family member provides care, it’s essential to understand the physical and emotional toll of caregiving. Eventually, the individual with dementia will need around-the-clock supervision, and knowing how to interact or respond can weigh heavily. Respite care can also be challenging to find but caregivers need breaks. Memory care communities alleviate this stress by providing well-trained and professional attention.
  • Lack of socialization: Those living with dementia who remain at home may face social isolation, which can intensify symptoms. Shared living offers a community of peers, fostering a sense of belonging and improved social interactions.
  • Safety concerns: Adapting a home to meet the safety needs of someone living with dementia can be costly and complex. Wandering can occur during any stage of dementia, increasing the risk your loved one could become lost and unable to return home. Memory care communities are designed with these concerns in mind.

Making the shared living decision

Choosing a memory care community for your loved one is a significant decision. It’s essential to visit various communities, talk to staff and residents and understand the services and programs offered.

Memory care communities that offer shared living for seniors provide a viable, cost-effective and compassionate solution for families facing the challenges of dementia care. By choosing a community that aligns with your loved one’s needs, you can ensure they receive the best possible care while enjoying the benefits of companionship, safety and professional support.

Discover life at a Northbridge community

If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a family member, we hope you’ll visit one of our communities. You’ll find a maintenance-free, activity-filled and engaging lifestyle to help support your wellness goals.

You’ll also discover many benefits in a Northbridge Senior Living community, including our Signature Program S.T.A.R. Club (Sharp Thinking, Active Residents) – which offers our residents several activities to participate in with others, including:

  •  Daily exercise group
  • Walking club
  • Tai Chi & yoga
  •  Nutritional classes
  • Library and book club
  • Museum outings
  • Artists in residence program
  • Multi-generational music
  • Genealogy Generations

We’re here to answer any of your questions. Please contact us if we can provide further information or if you would like to schedule a personalized tour. Download our complimentary Family Decision Toolkit.


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