What Does a Secured Assisted Living Unit Entail?

Author: Lauren Thomas

Reviewed By: Brindusa Vanta

A secured assisted living unit entails a specially designed environment for seniors living with dementia or other cognitive conditions. This type of unit can be part of an assisted living facility or a standalone facility, catering exclusively to those requiring enhanced security and oversight. Rules for secured assisted living units vary from state to state, but many require facilities to feature high-security locks, monitored access and fully enclosed outdoor common areas.

What Does a Secured Assisted Living Unit Entail?

Secured assisted living units, which may also be called memory care units or Alzheimer’s care units, accommodate older adults living with mild, moderate and advanced dementia. As dementia progresses, everyday activities such as cooking and taking care of errands become challenging or even dangerous. Secured assisted living units address these challenges by providing one-on-one assistance and 24-hour monitoring in a safe environment.

In most cases, seniors with memory impairments benefit from transitioning to secured assisted living units soon after their diagnosis. This allows them to choose a facility that meets their needs and lifestyle preferences. It also prevents them from experiencing confusion and stress from moving when their condition progresses.

What Benefits Do Secured Assisted Living Units Provide?

Secured assisted living units provide a variety of benefits. These include:

  • Specialized activities: Secured assisted living units have tailored activities for those with memory loss, including brain games, familiar routines and age-friendly fitness activities to help residents retain as much cognitive and motor functioning as possible.
  • Dementia-friendly environment: Facilities often have disguised exit points to minimize wandering. Many also have quiet areas with reduced visual and auditory stimulation and secured outdoor recreational areas. Some communities also feature town-center designs or use visual cues to support familiarity and self-direction.
  • Personal care services: Depending on the state, many secured assisted living units have specialized caregivers who have training to recognize and manage dementia-related behaviors. Caregivers provide personalized assistance with daily living activities, companionship and escorts to meals and activities.
  • Advanced safety and security: Secured assisted living units have monitored entry points, security gates and video surveillance.

How Do Rates in Secured Assisted Living Units Compare to Standard Assisted Living Rates?

In general, secured assisted living units charge 20-30% more than standard assisted living facilities for specialized care. Nationally, as of 2023, assisted living rates come in at a median of $5,350 per month, meaning residents in secured assisted living facilities expect to spend from about $6,420 to $6,955 for residential services.