The 6 Best Memory Care Facilities

How to find the best residence for a loved one with memory issues

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Memory care facilities provide specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They can be part of a larger community that also has independent and assisted living areas, or they can be a stand-alone facility. Memory care facilities assist residents with activities of daily living (ADLs), housekeeping, transportation, meals, and recreational activities. 

The best memory care facilities offer 24-hour care and have licensed nurses to address residents' needs and assist with medications; they also have an abundance of daily activities to partake in and calm and inviting common areas. We compared 15 memory care facilities throughout the U.S. based on cost, location, and services provided so you can choose the best one for your family member.

The 6 Best Memory Care Facilities of 2021

Best Overall : Westbrook Senior Living

Westbrook Senior Living

 Westbrook Senior Living

Why we chose it: We chose Westbrook Senior Living as best overall because of its beautiful, brand new facility that has all the amenities your loved one needs to feel at home.

What We Like
  • New and attractive facility

  • Montessori-based memory care program

  • Daily activities provided

What We Don't Like
  • Small town, 45 minutes from Chicago

  • Cost is slightly higher than average for Illinois

Westbrook Senior Living is located in Streamwood, Illinois, and has assisted living and memory care options. We like that it is a new facility, opened in 2020, so it is clean and well maintained.  We found that it has everything needed to live a full and active life. This facility has a designated memory care unit, fitness facilities, and many outdoor patios and courtyards for you to sit and relax as you visit with your loved one. 

We liked that they use a Montessori-based philosophy for caring for those with cognitive decline or dementia which incorporates sensory activities and encourages residents to participate in tasks that cater to their abilities, interests, and preferences. The activity program is robust and led by qualified professionals, and the care staff is available at all times to address residents' needs. 

The cost for Westbrook Senior Living memory care units starts at $2,375 per month but may be higher depending on how much assistance your family member needs. This includes all meals, housekeeping, utilities, and more along with the licensed care staff and nurses who are available 24 hours a day. The cost is quite reasonable compared to other areas of the country but may be higher than neighboring memory care facilities. Overall, we were impressed by the facility and its amenities. Westbrook has many communities throughout the country, they are reliable, and have many positive reviews.

Best for Private Rooms : Brookdale North Scottsdale

Brookdale North Scottsdale

 Brookdale North Scottsdale

Why we chose it: We chose Brookdale North Scottsdale as best for private rooms because of its spacious floor plans and many private amenities available.

What We Like
  • Large floor plans

  • Clean and bright facility

  • 24-hour security

What We Don't Like
  • Limited outdoor areas

  • Expensive

Brookdale communities are located throughout the country and have an excellent reputation for attentive staff, clean facilities, and a full activity program. We chose Brookdale North Scottsdale in Arizona as best for private rooms due to the large floor plans and secure memory care unit to ensure your loved one is safe and comfortable in their new home. 

Brookdale offers a daily activity program that consists of fitness classes, small group activities, movie nights, and community outings. The chef-prepared meals are healthy and well-balanced, and residents can eat in their rooms or in the dining room. The care team is available 24 hours a day and can help with all tasks such as bathing, dressing, and ambulation. 

The residence is close to doctors, hospitals, and shopping; it is easy and convenient to visit your loved one, and there are some outdoor areas to sit in. Compared to other facilities, it does not have as many outdoor amenities, but the luxurious building more than makes up for it. It is on the expensive side and starts at around $7,200 per month for a memory care room, and prices vary depending on services needed. Brookdale North Scottsdale is rated 4.6/5 on Caring.com, and many reviews praise the staff and facility for their excellent care.

Best for Affordable Rates : Canterfield of Tallahassee

Canterfield of Tallahassee

 Canterfield of Tallahassee

Why we chose it: We chose Canterfield of Tallahassee as best for affordable rates as it offers all the amenities of more expensive facilities at a lower cost.

What We Like
  • Offers all three levels of care

  • New building with secure memory care unit

  • Less expensive than other areas of the country

What We Don't Like
  • Limited outdoor space

  • No therapy on-site

Florida is a great place to look if you’re searching for a luxury memory care facility at a reasonable price. Canterfield of Tallahassee, which opened in 2019, is located in Tallahassee, Florida, and is designed to feel like a hotel, not a retirement home. The building has 91 units, and 20 of them are in a locked memory care wing. Floorplans are spacious and bright, and common areas are clean and tastefully decorated.  Although there is limited outdoor space, there are enough activities and amenities indoors to keep your loved one occupied. 

We like that they take a community approach to memory care and have the same staff daily, so residents are familiar with the caregivers and feel comfortable in their surroundings. The nursing and care staff are available 24 hours a day, and all meals and housekeeping are included. Prices start at $3,100 per month for a memory care room and vary depending on the level of care required. Canterfield of Tallahassee is rated 5/5 on Caring.com but has limited reviews since it is fairly new.

Best for Low Staff to Resident Ratios : Belmont Village Rancho Palos Verdes

Belmont Village Rancho Palos Verdes

 Belmont Village Rancho Palos Verdes

Why we chose it: We chose this beautiful community as best for staff to resident ratios as it offers a high level of care for its memory care residents with a 6:1 ratio.

What We Like
  • High-end facility

  • Self-contained memory care unit

  • Licensed nurses and therapists on site

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If you’re looking for a high-end facility that offers everything your loved one needs and more, Belmont Village Rancho Palos Verdes in California is a great choice. The award-winning memory care facility focuses on life enrichment and making the environment as comfortable and accessible as possible to promote residents' independence. Belmont Village has both an assisted living and a locked memory care unit, and reviews online state that staff is attentive, caring, and work hard to keep residents busy throughout the day. With the outdoor heated pool, chef-prepared meals supervised fitness center, and daily group activities, there is always something to do. 

Belmont Village Rancho Palos Verdes is one of the most expensive facilities on our list. Memory care costs around $10,300 per month, and this varies based on individual needs. According to Caring.com, the residence has a 6:1 resident to staff ratio, which helps ensure that everyone’s needs are being met promptly, and they offer assistance with daily activities like bathing, dressing, meals, and housekeeping. Belmont Village Reviews is rated 4.7/5 on Caring.com and reviews mention things like “beautiful community” and “great food.” 

Although Belmont Village is expensive, it has more staff and services than other facilities and it works hard to meet each person's individual needs, which is why it came out on top for this category.

Best for Hospice Care : Serenity House

Serenity House

 Serenity House

Why we chose it: We chose Serenity house has best for hospice care as it is designed specifically for end of life. This small home-like facility has on-site hospice staff to make your loved one as comfortable as possible in their final moments.

What We Like
  • Hilltop Santa Barbara location

  • Large rooms with patios that allow for visitors

  • On-site hospice staff

What We Don't Like
  • Limited number of beds, may be a waitlist

Serenity House is an end-of-life option as it has an inpatient hospice facility, which provides care until the time of passing. Many memory care or assisted living facilities outsource their hospice services to an external agency and therefore do not have a designed hospice wing. Serenity House, located in Santa Barbara, California has everything you need under one roof, including 24-hour care, registered nurses, hospice physicians, therapists, bereavement counselors, and more. Its program is designed for those in the final stages of hospice, and the large rooms and inviting patios allow for many family members to visit. 

Hospice services are usually covered under Medicare and private insurance plans. Room and board at Serenity House are not covered, but they offer subsidized care through a sliding fee scale for qualified patients. Serenity house is designed to be a home-like facility; therefore, there are fewer beds than other assisted living facilities. Note that there may not be any beds available when you are looking to transfer your loved one, so you may be waitlisted until a spot opens. 

Overall, if you live near Santa Barbara and want a positive hospice experience for your loved one, Serenity House is one of the best.

Best for Resident Programming : Grand Oaks Assisted Living

Grand Oaks Assisted Living

 Grand Oaks Assisted Living

Why we chose it: We chose Grand Oaks Assisted Living as best for activities due to the wide range of on-site activities as well as community outings for residents.

What We Like
  • A variety of activities for all interests

  • Located beside John Hopkins Sibley Hospital

  • Large apartments

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

When searching for facilities with various activities to keep your loved one busy throughout the day, Grand Oaks stands out because of its robust activity program. The program includes mental fitness games, relaxation and fitness classes, music, art lectures, and current event discussions. 

Grand Oaks won the 2020 Silver National Quality Award from the American Healthcare Association and is rated 5/5 on Caring.com. It has limited reviews online, but they state that the facility is bright and cheery and is conveniently located. It is located in Washington, D.C., and is next to the John Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital.  Licensed nurses and care staff are available 24 hours a day to assist with ADLs and daily tasks and there is both an assisted living and secured memory care wing. 

Grand Oaks is more expensive than other facilities on our list due to its location and variety of amenities provided. Monthly fees for memory care are $9,500 a month and vary based on services needed. Overall, if you’re looking for a facility that offers a continuum of care, many activities, and a tasty meal program, Grand Oaks is a great choice.

Final Verdict

When looking for a memory care facility for a loved one, location, cost, activities available, level of care available, and quality of service are all important factors. We found that the best facilities are often more expensive but have large private rooms, 24-hour care, licensed medical staff available at all times, and a beautiful and inviting building. 

Memory care is not usually covered through Medicare, but some of the costs may be covered by long-term care insurance. When choosing a facility, your budget, desired location, and level of assistance your loved one needs must be assessed.

Compare Providers

Memory Care Facility Why we chose it Cost  Location Caring.com rating
Westbrook Senior Living Best Overall $4,900 Streamwood, IL 4.8/5 
Brookdale North Scottsdale Best for Private Rooms  $7,200 Scottsdale, Arizona  4.6/5
Canterfield of Tallahassee Best for Affordable Rates $3,100 Tallahassee, Florida 5/5
Belmont Village Rancho Palos Verdes Best for Low Staff to Resident Ratio $10,300/month Rancho Palos Verdes, California 4.7/5 
Serenity House Best for Hospice Care  Varies; some services covered by Medicare  Santa Barbara, California Unavailable
Grand Oaks Assisted Living Best for Resident Programming $9,500/month  Washington, D.C.  5/5 

FAQs 

What Services Do Memory Care Facilities Provide? 

Memory care facilities provide residents with assistance with all ADLs and daily activities such as bathing, dressing, meals, housekeeping, and entertainment. They often have a secure memory care unit with shared or private rooms, so residents are safe and comfortable. 

When Should You Consider a Memory Care Facility? 

If your loved one is dealing with memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease and has difficulty living alone, it may be time to consider a memory care facility. Having 24 supervision and assistance with daily tasks relieves the stress from caregivers and ensures the patient’s needs are met. 

How Much Do Memory Care Facilities Cost? 

Memory care facilities often charge a monthly fee that can range from $3,000 to over $10,000. This includes monthly rent, meals, housekeeping, daily assistance, and supervision. Memory care facilities employ licensed medical staff to oversee services, administer medications, and address other medical needs. 

Why Is Memory Care So Expensive?

Memory care includes 24 supervision and high-level assistance with daily tasks. There is often a lower staff to resident ratio than assisted living facilities, which means your family member gets the prompt attention they need. This increases the monthly rate as it requires more staff and one-on-one attention. 

What Is the Average Length of Stay in a Memory Care Facility?

Residents can live in a memory care facility for as little as a few months to many years. Some facilities also offer respite care, which means a resident can check in for a few weeks when their primary caregiver cannot assist them at home due to a vacation or other obligations. Some memory care facilities offer in-house hospice services so residents can remain in the facility until the end of life. 

How We Chose The Best Memory Care Facilities 

When comparing 15 memory care facilities, we looked for communities that offer a variety of different activities and have aesthetically pleasing grounds and living options. We searched Caring.com for highly-rated facilities and asked highly regarded home health therapists for their personal recommendations through interviews with the companies they work for. The best memory care facilities offer a secured memory care unit, varying levels of care, and many different amenities to keep your loved one happy.

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