Choosing a care facility for my elderly loved one


There are many questions that arise when it comes to looking after our ageing loved ones once they reach the stage where they are no longer able to look after themselves. One of the most frequent, and possibly, most important questions is: “What kind of facility should I look for”. 

The answer wholeheartedly depends on the type of care your loved one needs. If your loved one is at a stage where they want to scale down and are looking for a simpler way of life, the facility will be quite different to needing full-time medical support as one example.

Types Of Facilities Available

  1. Retirement Village – Usually cater to those individuals over 60 years of age who want to scale down in home size, have people of similar age close-by, and be close to medical facilities. Retirement villages are usually built close to hospitals or have their own private care facilities within the premises. Some may also have communal facilities including a restaurant as well as frail care on site.
  2. Assisted Living – For individuals who require assistance with tasks such as dressing or preparing meals, but do not need skilled medical care yet. These communities are similar to a retirement village, but residents can choose to still have their own apartment on site, or a suite within a larger building or even share an apartment to help reduce costs. Along with 24-hour staff, typical assisted living services include dining, housekeeping, laundry, recreational activities and transportation.
  3. Senior Living Homes – Senior living homes have many faces, but typically cater to those individuals that have started needing medical care more frequently. The facilities are also more “scaled down” and provide rooms to their residents, as opposed to their own homes or apartments. Think of these facilities as a large hostel with communal facilities including a restaurant, staffed kitchen, bathrooms, TV room, dining hall and usually also includes a medical wing. Not all senior living homes are equal, and some may also cater to include frail care and dementia care units.
  4. Specialised Dementia Care Facilities – As with senior living homes, specialised dementia care facilities also have many faces, but typically have facilities similar to senior living homes, but only cater to elderly who have a dementia related disease. Dementia care facilities need to have uniquely trained staff that understand the disease and how to properly take care of the residents in their care – medically, emotionally and cognitively. 

Biggest Difference Between Senior Living Homes Versus Specialised Dementia Care

Both senior living homes and dementia care facilities cater to the needs of our senior loved ones, with the one difference that dementia care facilities focus specifically on dementia care in addition to elderly medical care, and or frail care. This includes, but not limited to catering to dementia patients dietary requirements (to help boost brain functions); providing mental stimulation as well as exercise and also provide companion care – a trusted person who is there for them every day (which may or may not be a nurse as well).

About Livewell

Livewell is a specialised dementia and Alzheimer’s care facility with a big focus on memory care in addition to physical and medical care. The facility was created to embody the feeling of being in one’s own home. Residents live in their own suites and have the freedom to move about as if they are staying in their own home – supervised of course. All activities and care revolve around memory – and each resident has a programme created uniquely for their needs including, but not limited to a special companion carer, memory stimulating activities and even their dietary requirements. Residents may also live with spouses, and the facility is pet-friendly.

Should you be considering a specialised dementia or Alzheimer’s care facility for yourself or a loved one, speak to one of our trained family advisors for assistance.

Join the conversation



Arrive as family, live with dignity and purpose.

Since 2011, the Livewell Group has been at the forefront of dementia and Alzheimer’s care in South Africa. We are motivated by a personal and heartfelt concern for the dignity and care of our elders and our efforts continue to be encouraged by the strong market need for specialised individual care.

Let Us Call You Back

Refer to a Friend

Do you know someone who might be interested in finding out more about Livewell or needs assistance with their loved one who has dementia?