Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's, is a serious, growing problem. In fact, 1 out of every 10 adults over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s dementia. As Apex’s senior population continues to grow (34.78% growth between 2013 and 2018), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Apex, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by a staggering 146.56% between 2013 and 2018. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 24.96%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is slightly higher than the rest of the nation (7.52% in Apex vs. 6.46% in the U.S.).
To help families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of cognitive impairment find the support and care their loved ones need, we applied our unique methodology and spent dozens of hours researching senior living communities in Apex. In addition to an overview of the communities’ best features, this guide highlights the best memory care facilities in the city, and gives information about pricing, types of care provided, residents’ reviews, and more.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 83% of all caregivers are unpaid family members, relatives, or other friends, and nearly half of all care is for older adults with some form of dementia. Caregiving, especially when it involves Alzheimer’s or dementia, is extremely exhausting and time-consuming, leading many caregivers to feel isolated and overwhelmed.
As a loved one continues to progress through the stages of dementia and his or her cognitive abilities continue to decline, behavioral problems, safety, and general care often become more than one caregiver can handle. This is when it’s important to find extra help, and residential facilities that have specialized memory care programs are often the best solution.
In addition to providing a safe environment, memory care programs seek to delay or halt cognitive decline while providing the opportunity for a social, independent lifestyle.
To choose the best memory care facilities in Apex, our team of researchers started by using our unique methodology to develop a list of contenders. We further refined the list in the next phase of our process by completing hands-on research for each one of the companies that we developed. Finally, we compiled online reviews from residents and families and wrote summaries of each facility that made it through our selection process.
Overall, our team:
Located just a block away from the UNC REX Hospital, Brighton Gardens of Raleigh is an assisted living and memory care community. The apartment-style community offers residents assistance while also providing plenty of amenities, such as a coffee shop, a large landscaped garden complete with pathways and a library to unwind in. Residents are served three meals a day as part of the Sunrise Signature Dining program, and memory care residents receive specialized care in the Reminiscence neighborhood. Memory care accommodations are fully secure and allow residents to retain their own autonomy by offering simple hallways and common areas so they can safely wander and interact with each other. In addition, Life Enrichment Managers offer memory skill-building activities designed to meet the cognitive levels of each individual resident.
One visitor of Brighton Gardens of Raleigh noted the "food was wonderful" and said the "the location was very convenient." He further commented that the "facility itself was beautifully designed." Another visitor wrote the "dining area was pleasant" and the "staff was lovely."
Brookdale Cary focuses entirely on memory care. Staff members are trained to assist with Alzheimer's and dementia care, using a signature program called the Clare Bridge program. This person-centered program pairs residents with others who have similar cognitive needs. Residents develop a sense of purpose while staff strives to protect them through a safe, secure community. Through the Clare Bridge Daily Path, residents participate in daily activities with a structured routine to help with cognitive needs. Staff is always on hand to assist as needed, including helping with activities of daily living. Brookdale Cary is a secure environment with keypad entry, a screened lanai and a protected courtyard and garden. Residents have a beauty and barbershop on-site to help with personal grooming needs. The community also has a therapy room and a community kitchen.
Many visitors notice the cleanliness of Brookdale Cary. One child of a resident said, "My mother's care has gone really well. It is an excellent, clean place, and it is very inviting. She seems to like it pretty much, and we like it. Her room has a nice window and a view of the courtyard."
Brookdale MacArthur Park is a luxury assisted living and memory care community that emphasizes personalized care. Residents have access to a landscaped patio, three restaurant-style meals per day and a TV room where they can chat while watching regular programming. Seniors are often found enjoying a game of billiards in the game room, catching up over coffee in the bistro or basking in the sun on the porch. Memory care residents are treated in their own wing and follow the Clare Bridge Place program, which aims at creating structure and engaging activities to keep residents with dementia safe and stimulated. The goal of the program is to create "Daily Moments of Success" for each memory care resident.
Reviews of Brookdale Macarthur Park are positive, with one visitor commenting that it was "a very well-run community." They added the staff "seemed to be engaged in the patients" and "they seemed conscientious." A family member wrote "we are very happy with it," explaining "the staff was great."
Brookdale Wake Forest offers both assisted living and memory care services. This pet-friendly community has multiple floor plans to choose from, giving residents a home-like environment to live in. The memory care community follows the Clare Bridge program. This comprehensive memory care program includes the Clare Bridge Daily Path, which creates a structured schedule of activities to create a routine while ensuring daily needs get met. It also includes the Clare Bridge Dining Program, which encourages independence in the dining experience. Staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, to assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, and a nurse is on staff to provide assistance with medical needs. A secure, gated community gives residents freedom and independence while providing a high level of safety.
The smaller size and individual attention given at Brookdale Wake Forest are what many family members notice. One reviewer stated, "All of the staff is wonderful, and they know the families. It's a smaller set up which is perfect for dementia patients."
Cambridge Hills Assisted Living is located in beautiful Pittsboro, NC, and is locally owned and operated. The community is committed to delivering the highest level of care and attention to its residents. The Cambridge Hills staff is comprised of caring and compassionate professionals who create a warm, secure environment and deliver a wide variety of services. Its goal is to enhance the quality of life for all of its residents with individualized care plans. The community does everything in its power to exceed the expectations of its residents and their families.
Reviews of Cambridge Hills Assisted Living are positive with one family member writing that it is "The team is positive, responsive, and committed to the welfare of their residents. Of course, the most important indication of the quality of care provided is seeing my mom's expression of contentment."
Chatham Commons is a warm and inviting community located just blocks from downtown Cary. Its friendly caregivers, spacious rooms and well-appointed common areas provide residents with a homelike atmosphere. The community's memory care wing includes special safety features that enable residents to maintain active and independent lifestyles in a secure setting. Specially trained caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with medication reminders, mobility and activities of daily living, including bathing, grooming, housekeeping and laundry. In addition, an on-call physician is available 24 hours a day. Scheduled activities, such as crafts, games and holiday parties, are planned daily to promote socialization as well as emotional and physical well-being. Scheduled transportation is available, and well-balanced meals are served in the dining area daily.
Residents and loved ones appreciate the peaceful and caring environment the community offers. One reviewer commented that she was "very thankful for the peaceful life that this environment provides. The staff is friendly, loving and attentive ... staff follows procedure very carefully and watches over the residents with dedication."
Chatham Ridge Assisted Living is a state-of-the-art senior living community that specializes in caring for residents with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Memory care residents live in the secure Horizons neighborhood, which showcases a bright, home-like environment with several comfortable common areas. They receive customized care that is monitored by a registered nurse, and certified nursing assistants and personal care staff are available around the clock for prompt assistance. Healthy chef-inspired, dietician-designed meals are served three times per day, and three daily snacks are also available to promote proper nutrition. Each resident suite features an en suite bathroom, and weekly housekeeping and laundry services ensure a safe, clean environment.
Many reviewers note the engaging environment in this community, including one who said, "When you first walk in, you see a pristine, decorated & welcoming facility. Resident pictures adorn the walls & sometimes their 'works of art' are on display. Residents are walking around the halls & seem very happy. The staff is very personable & caring. There are countless activities for the residents to participate in."
Located just minutes from downtown Raleigh, Elmcroft of Northridge is uniquely designed to meet the needs of residents dealing with Alzheimer's disease and other memory loss conditions. With the community's easy-to-navigate floor plan and calm atmosphere, residents can feel at home from day one. Staff members are specifically trained to provide memory care support and assist with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and medication management. They're also trained to overcome communication issues and effectively work with residents struggling with disruptive behaviors due to memory loss. Elmcroft of Northridge uses the Best Friends memory care approach to create individual care plans based on each senior's abilities, interests and background. Residents can take part in scheduled daily activities and enjoy many on-site amenities, including a billiard room, library, bistro and beauty salon.
Residents and family members compliment the staff's communication skills. One family member commented, "We have been very pleased with the care my mother-in-law is receiving at Elmcroft. From the quarters, to the cafeteria, to activities offered, to the health care and staff, it has been the best we have encountered … The staff is wonderful at communicating with us."
Falls River Court provides memory care services in a caring and supportive environment. Staff is on hand 24/7 to assist with activities of daily living, ensuring residents take their medication on time and have help getting ready for the day. A dining team works with residents and their families to create menus that meet their dietary needs and tastes. The fully secure community provides residents freedom to explore as they see fit. The embrace Memory Care program offers an individual daily routine as well as memory care activities and programs. A secure courtyard allows residents to spend time outdoors safely when they wish, and a library and a beauty salon are available for residents to use. The community is pet-friendly, so residents can bring their pets with them when they make Falls River Court their home.
Residents and guests often comment on the helpful staff at Falls River Court. One stated, "The staff was great, very helpful, very nice, and would do anything to help. The rooms seemed pretty spacious. It was very homey and very comfortable."
HeartFields at Cary features Five Star Senior Living's proprietary Bridge to Rediscovery program, an award-winning Alzheimer's and dementia care program. This innovative program is based on Montessori methodology and focuses on giving memory care residents a safe, nurturing environment where they can enjoy positive experiences. Each resident has a customized plan based on their preferences, life experiences and habits as described by the resident and their family members. Through occupational and recreational therapy, books and activities, this program seeks to restore as much functionality as possible. In addition to its dynamic memory care program, this pet-friendly community offers all-day restaurant-style dining and housekeeping and personal laundry services to promote a maintenance-free lifestyle. The community keeps residents engaged through regular game and movie nights, social outings and participation in committees and clubs. Secured outdoor areas with walking paths let residents safely enjoy the weather, and on-site security and keyed entry systems prevent wandering.
Many residents and their family members speak highly of the care provided in this community, including one reviewer who said, " Everyone is caring and compassionate. The staff shows that they are very concerned about her well-being."
Morningside of Raleigh provides spacious apartment homes to residents who need a little help with activities of daily living. This community provides both memory care and assisted living services. For memory care residents, the Bridge to Rediscovery program delivers personalized attention to each resident, with recreational activities and occupational therapy designed with their unique needs, likes and dislikes in mind. Seniors of all care levels have access to all-day dining or the option to cook in their own kitchens. A large activity center hosts many activities throughout the week, with both social and recreational options to consider. Morningside of Raleigh also has a full-service barbershop and beauty salon for its residents to use. A secure patio and garden area provide the option to spend time outdoors without risk of wandering or other safety concerns.
The unique memory care approach at Morningside of Raleigh often stands out to visitors. One remarked, "I liked their philosophy about how they deal with their memory unit. It really felt like a home. They had a lot of activities like chair yoga, lectures, and shopping excursions. They also had barbecues for the holidays."
Spring Arbor of Apex, an assisted living community, offers unique cottage-style accommodations for seniors in the memory care program. Seniors live independently with constant access to assistance and lots of socialization opportunities. The activities calendar is full of daily events designed to encourage participation and keep seniors mentally active and stimulate the senses. Apartments are equipped with K4Connect smart technology that empowers seniors and improves access to services. Many rehabilitation services are available on-site, including, physical, occupational, respiratory and speech therapy, so those seniors that need help regaining skills can work with the right mix of professionals without the stress and disruption of an off-site trip. The community's wellness program, Wise and Well, encourages physical activity and exercise, taking a holistic approach to memory care the includes physical, social and cognitive care.
Residents and visitors to Spring Arbor of Apex routinely comment on the cleanliness of the community and helpful staff. One reviewer mentioned, "Many residents were out of their rooms" and the staff was, "very friendly & smiling." Another reviewer gives the food a thumbs up and says, "They have a lot of activities for the people there."
Memory care residents at Spring Harbor of Raleigh experience a wellness-focused lifestyle within its specialized community program that's specially designed for the challenges of living with Alzheimer's and dementia-related diseases. The community's enclosed courtyard allows residents to socialize outdoors safely, while the on-site therapy sessions let seniors receive ongoing personalized care. Three freshly prepared meals and snacks ensure that all residents' nutritional needs are met, and scheduled transportation to off-site appointments and events lets seniors remain involved in the local community under close supervision. A religious center and fitness room keep seniors spiritually and emotionally healthy, and the on-site beauty salon helps them look and feel their personal best. Pets are welcome in each Spring Harbor of Raleigh individually climate-controlled room, letting residents continue to live with their closest companions.
Reviewers praise the Spring Harbor of Raleigh staff members, with one saying, "The entire staff is wonderful, but there are a few that are downright super special! Sam and Loreal always make us feel like we are the most important thing to them, and they make mom feel like she is truly their family as well."
Located conveniently close to Duke Raleigh Hospital and WakeMed Raleigh Hospital, Sunrise of North Hills is an assisted living and memory care community. Memory care residents live in the renovated Reminiscence Neighborhood where they receive individual attention based on the extent of their memory loss. Life Enrichment Managers address residents' mental and emotional needs via Validation Therapy, which creates stimulating experiences within calm and relaxed settings. The memory care wing is secure, and residents have access to an outdoor patio with seating and pathways to meander along. The community also features a library and a putting green for all residents to enjoy<strong>.</strong>
Reviews are generally positive for Sunrise at North Hills, with one family member commenting they are "so grateful for the warmth and skilled guidance that we received." Another family member described the community as a "family atmosphere" and remarked that they were "very happy with staff and facilities."
Sunrise of Cary is a pet-friendly assisted living and memory care community that provides a wealth of amenities for residents. Its proprietary Reminiscence memory care program promotes residents' socialization and independence. It features carefully designed neighborhoods with resident suites near common living and dining areas to enable seniors to navigate the community without aid. The on-site life enrichment manager is trained in special memory care techniques, including validation therapy, and caregivers are available around the clock to assist with scheduled and unscheduled needs. The community fosters an engaging environment through daily physical fitness, social, creative, educational and spiritual activities, as well as group field trips and resident-sponsored clubs that cater to a variety of interests.
Many reviewers commend the service their loved ones receive at this community, including one who said, "I brought my mother to Sunrise about a year ago. The people here are wonderful, and I couldn't be more happy. I was really concerned when I needed to find a place for her so quickly. They helped with the process including a move across country."
Close to downtown and within walking distance of Crabtree Valley Mall, Sunrise of Raleigh sets the standard for engaging senior living in its Reminiscence neighborhoods for residents living with Alzheimer's, dementia and other forms of memory loss. Its caring staff provide a safe, secure, yet stimulating, environment that firmly focuses on the individual and their ever-changing needs. Resident suites are situated near living and dining areas for ease of navigation and socialization. The community's memory care services feature activities led by life enrichment managers trained in Validation Therapy and other special memory care techniques. Sunrise staff strives to enrich each resident's life through family events and the continuous development of new programs.
Reviewers give the facilities and staff high marks, including one who said they specifically chose Sunrise because of the staff. Another resident's family member commented that, "not only is the facility extremely nice and clean, the staff seems to truly care and they take every measure to care for and protect the patients."
The Reserve at Mills Farm is a luxury community that features independent living, assisted living, memory care and respite care. The community features a continuum of care so that residents can age comfortably in place in an upscale setting that provides all the support and amenities they need and more. The community utilizes A Daily Living Program, which explores the interests of every resident to create a large activities calendar. Chef-prepared meals as well as gorgeous sitting areas with classic touches, such as a fireplace, on-site bistro and bar perfect for happy hour meetups, are available to all residents. The secure memory care neighborhood utilizes the Pathways to Discovery program to help seniors maintain their autonomy via a mixture of art, music, life skills and physical therapy.
One family member stated they put a deposit down after the tour describing it as an "amazing new community" and stating that the amenities "sold us because our Mom is still very active." Another reviewer wrote that the community offers "fantastic amenities and technology packages in a historic setting."
Located just west of Raleigh, Waltonwood Cary Parkway is a family-owned and operated community with a family-oriented, resident-focused atmosphere and various levels of care to suit individual needs. Family comes first at Waltonwood, from treating residents like family to encouraging residents' loved ones to remain an integral part of their lives by participating in outings and events. Memory care residents in its Montessori-based dementia program benefit from caring support staff who participate in specialized dementia training to ensure the highest level of care. An on-site nurse manager monitors residents' service plans to support health and wellness goals, and a memory care life enrichment coordinator creates a calendar of activities to encourage social interaction. Waltonwood's priority is to provide a full continuum of care that enables residents to age in place in a safe, secure and peaceful environment.
Reviewers often comment on the homey, family-like environment, including one reviewer who said, "When we walked in, we were made to feel like family from the very first hello." Another reviewer raved about the clean, modern facilities, amazing food and engaging activities, and said, "They treat the residents like family and are a blessing to their profession."
Waltonwood Lake Boone is a family-owned and operated community that offers luxurious accommodations in a warm and inviting setting. Unique features, such as color-coded walls and memory boxes installed outside each apartment allow for easy navigation. The community takes a Montessori-based approach to memory care services that focuses on overall physical, intellectual and emotional well-being. It uses special techniques, such as its Sensory Room to stimulate memory in a relaxing, non-stressful manner. Caregivers are available 24 hours a day to assists with activities of daily living, such as grooming, mobility, and medication assistance. They also encourage residents to participate in various daily activities, such as book club, Forever Fitness and gardening. Residents can also enjoy many on-site amenities that include a movie theater, billiard table, craft room, library, fitness center and lounge.
Residents and loved ones like the homelike setting this community provides. One reviewer stated, "I really liked the staff at this facility. The facility itself is new, light, and bright. There's a lot of natural light, and even in the memory care. We liked their space; it feels like home.
Situated on 22 acres of landscaped grounds that include hiking paths and a fishing pond, Woodland Terrace is a luxury senior living home that provides independent living, assisted living, and memory care lifestyle options to residents. The sparkling lake equipped with a stunning fountain offers a glimpse into the upscale living offered at Woodland, which is exemplified by the many additional amenities such as hiking paths, community gardening, happy hour at the bar, cottage patios, chef-inspired meals and the Art of Living well activities program. Memory care residents are situated in the secure Arboretum neighborhood and offer a person-centered approach to care. Residents are escorted to all meals and activities and can take day trips as well as participate in the aquatics program, music and memory program and gardening program.
One spouse stated her husband is "extremely well taken care of" and described the staff as "friendly and caring." A different reviewer stated, "the grounds and property are well kept" and described the staff as "always friendly and accommodating."