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 Bel Air’s senior population continues to grow (15.65% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Bel Air, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased by 15.68% between 2014 and 2019. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (2.62% in Bel Air 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 Bel Air. 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 Bel Air, 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:
At Arden Courts of Pikesville, care is focused on seniors living with memory-related conditions. The friendly environment features cozy living spaces and secure outdoor areas, with visual cues helping residents move around freely and safely. The care team is trained in behavioral management and communication, providing the needed advice, orientation, reassurance and support. Individualized service plans are based on residents’ unique needs and include standard health services, such as hourly safety checks, vital signs monitoring and prompt attention to medical issues. The Engagement Therapy Treatment program incorporates life experiences, interests and cognitive and functional abilities in planned activities that maximize engagement and improve overall wellness. Daily routines also include light household chores that create a sense of productivity. Arden Courts encourages family involvement through special community celebrations, support groups and educational seminars.
The secure surroundings and accommodating staff make a good impression on family members. One writes, "My grandfather is at Arden courts in Pikesville. ... They were well organized, had a good facility and a great sense of optimism and humor. They do a wonderful job accommodating all my grandfather's needs and continue to go above and beyond to keep him and his family happy and comfortable.”
Located 20 miles southwest of Bel Air, Arden Courts of Towson is a specialized memory care community for seniors. Residents live in one of four self-contained houses. Each house contains its own living room, dining room, kitchen and full bath; shared community spaces include a wellness center, an arts and crafts studio and a beauty salon. A secure courtyard with walking paths and plentiful visual cues allows residents to stroll the outdoors safely while enjoying fresh air. Meals, housekeeping and laundry services are all provided, along with a variety of enriching activities. Staff trained in memory care techniques and professional nurses provide personalized, around-the-clock care. Additional health services include hourly health checks, regular monitoring of vitals and assistance with the activities of daily living and medication management.
Family members love the caring staff and the independence their loved ones have at the community. One reviewer writes, "Great physical set up and wonderful garden allows residents maximum independence ... Many staff are very warm and caring.” Adds another, "My mother is a resident at Arden Court Towson, and the Arden Court staff loves her and cares for her as if she were a member of their family.”
Atrium Village is a beautifully designed assisted living community in northeast Maryland that offers a variety of residence options, including a dedicated memory care neighborhood built to enhance the lives of seniors who have Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. A specially trained staff carries out personalized care plans for residents in a calming atmosphere that helps minimize confusion. The community has secure perimeters and offers a specialized daily program designed to encourage social opportunities and activities that best fit with each resident's interests and present abilities. Seniors dine on nutritious meals, receive regular wellness checks from an on-site nurse, get medication reminders and can access transportation to off-site appointments.
Visitors to Atrium Village note that the residents living there seem happy, the food is excellent and the staff is very professional. A resident's family member likes the meal choices and medical care provided and states, "They have lots of activities. I am pleased with the care they give my mom."
Blair House is a small, friendly senior living community not far from Towson Town Center, offering easy access to shops and restaurants as well as the convenience of proximity to Greater Baltimore Medical Center and St. Joseph's Hospital. Seniors reside in their own private rooms, which have the option of a private bath or a roll-in shower. Staff is available 24 hours a day to support residents with day-to-day tasks and personal care. Memory care services including legacy stories and personalized memory boxes help seniors stay mentally sharp and promote independence and cognitive health. Residents are encouraged to take part in crafts, exercise sessions, games and musical entertainment. The community has several beloved pets, and seniors are welcome to bring their own pets to stay with them. Nutritious meals are served daily, and snacks are available upon request.
Reviewers say the property is a "very clean, healthy and secure place." The property's secured grounds, which include walking paths, are something that residents appreciate. Residents also comment on the friendly community atmosphere that the property is able to offer thanks to its smaller size.
Brightview Bel Air is a premier assisted living and memory care community located close to the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and convenient city amenities. Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia receive innovative memory care in the community’s Wellspring Village. The neighborhood is designed with helpful cues to help residents function independently within the village-like environment. Plenty of comfortable common areas encourage peer interaction, including a cozy dining area for sharing delicious, chef-prepared meals. Social and wellness programs focus on improving brain health and cognitive functions through the Bright Minds lifestyle approach. Regular exercises, nutritious meals, medical monitoring, and social and cognitive activities keep residents physically and mentally active. Brightview’s Mind and Music therapy harnesses the power of music to manage challenging behaviors and trigger-happy memories.
Families praise the staff for helping loved ones adapt to the community and providing regular updates. "We have been so pleased with the care she receives and more importantly the kindness of the staff. EVERYONE there is so friendly and nurturing. … They have been excellent about communication regarding my mom and also any other pertinent information about the facility and residents,” says a resident’s daughter.
Brightview Perry Hall is tucked away behind a commercial center on U.S. Route 1, just steps away from medical offices and Perry Hall Marketplace. Its well-kept grounds feature an extensive, gated private park with relaxing wooded views that extend from the residential building’s main courtyard, which features a putting green, fire pit and walking paths with safety rails. Brightview’s Wellspring Village memory care neighborhood uses innovative care techniques that are individually tailored to promote self-reliance and a sense of fulfillment. Memory care residents benefit from the therapeutic Mind & Music program and other Vibrant Living activities based on five dimensions of wellness: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Cultural and Emotional (SPICE). The SPICE in Motion program, which is offered in partnership with BAYADA Health, provides evidence-based exercises that enhance mobility. Other impressive amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, cinema, sports-themed pub and fireside cafe.
A delighted loved one praises the community, writing, "Our mom’s two-year stay at Brightview Perry Hall has been wonderful, both enjoyable for her and family members that come to visit on a daily basis. Staff in all departments could not be friendlier in accommodating the residents… Dining services did a superb job when Covid hit this year.”
Brightview Perry Hall emphasizes resort-style amenities in its approach to senior living. The community has a wide range of options, from an on-site putting green and concierge services to a courtyard with fire pit and pub with billiards tables. There is also a full-service beauty salon and barbershop as well as a fitness center. Memory care is delivered via the Wellspring segment of the community. The approach works with music as a primary function of care, playing well-known tunes in the common areas. Residents can share their music preferences, which staff then incorporate into various activities. Each resident also has a care plan that conveys their needs and interests. Seniors are encouraged to participate in prescheduled activities around the community based on their existing interests.
Residents and their loved ones laud this community for the diverse range of activities offered to residents, including scheduled outings and hobby-oriented clubs. One writes, "I am very happy here at Brightview Perry Hall. They have card games, entertainment, exercises -- pretty much everything. I am very happy with the rooms too. They also have an activity room, entertainment, and exercise programs."
An award-winning community nestled in a peaceful residential neighborhood, Brightview Towson provides a high level of care in a relaxed setting, just a short distance from the Baltimore Beltway and I-83. Wellspring Village is a secure, specially designed neighborhood for seniors living with memory loss. It's equipped with relaxing common areas, helpful cues for daily tasks and indoor/outdoor activity spaces for an engaging environment that encourages stimulation and sociability. Available around the clock, the team assists with bathing, dressing and medication management as well as monitoring communication and keeping residents active through a full schedule of programming. The Mind & Music program brings joy to every day by helping spark memories and positive life events, improving mood and well-being. Residents can also enjoy three gourmet meals each day plus transportation to local shops, restaurants and places of worship.
Loved ones praise the comfortable ambiance and kind staff. "What she really likes about this place is the community," one granddaughter says. "She plays bingo and watches movies with the other residents. Her room is bigger, and she seems more comfy. The staff is also really friendly here."
Brightview White Marsh offers sweeping views of the Baltimore skyline, although the community itself is located in a quiet area. Amenities offered here include daily happy hours, well-landscaped grounds and an on-site library. Memory care is offered through the Wellspring Village component of this community. The Mind and Music program is an important part of the community's approach, piping music throughout the communal space via a sound system and working with residents on individual music preferences throughout their various activities. Common areas are designed to offer cues to residents on everything from navigation to medication reminders. Daily activities are offered as part of care plans, depending on residents' cognitive conditions and existing capabilities.
When asked what components of Brightview White Marsh they like best, residents and their family members note the positive environment, encouraging staff and array of activities. Memory care, especially the security components, is also a point of note, as one writes, "Memory Care Unit is as bright and clean and friendly as the regular assisted living areas, only safer..."
Charter Senior Living of Towson offers memory care as a specialized service, offering a custom-designed neighborhood specifically for its memory care residents. Resident safety is a priority, with measures such as a 24-hour GPS life alert pendant, slip-resistant flooring and wander guards. All living accommodations are also designed to maximize resident safety from accidents, and a nursing staff is available to offer aid 24/7. Charter Senior Living’s memory care program, Flourish, features socialization, cognitive enrichment activities and carefully prepared, nutritious meals for residents. The community provides regular laundry service, medication management and ample gardens with patios.
Residents of Charter Senior of Towson appreciate the friendly staff and their professionalism. As one visitor explains, "I have absolutely no complaints... and for me to say this says a lot about the people who are caring for my mom. The staff is wonderful and easy to work with. The Director, the RA's, the nursing staff are very friendly and personable and very accommodating. I would... give them five stars!”
Charter Senior Living of Woodholme Crossing offers assisted living and memory care services to seniors near Bel Air, Maryland. Seniors in the memory care program reside in a secure, specially designed neighborhood. In addition, residents have access to enriching activities and programs tailored to their individual needs. The dedicated and highly skilled staff at Charter Senior Living assists seniors with various everyday tasks, such as dressing, bathing and medication management. All residents can enjoy social and cultural activities that strengthen their bond with other residents. The nutritional needs of seniors are nourished through regular balanced meals. Activities include card games and board games, cooking demonstrations, fitness classes, devotional services and tech classes.
Residents appreciate the high-quality care offered at Charter Senior Living of Woodholme Crossing. One senior notes, "They are friendly, very caring when we talk to them and seem to understand what issues we are having at the moment.” Another agrees, saying, "The caregivers keep an eye out, make sure the people eat and help them as needed.”
The trained staff at Commonwealth Senior Living at Bel Air provides seniors with personalized memory care services throughout each stage of their Alzheimer's or dementia-related disease progression. Residents receive assistance with all aspects of daily living, such as grooming, dressing and bathing. The staff also incorporates aromatherapy, nostalgic connections and self-expression techniques into each resident's ongoing treatment plan to enhance their appetite, memory and communication skills, as needed. Housekeeping, linen and laundry services are also provided. Meals are served in the community's elegantly appointed dining rooms each day, and staff members provide transportation for residents to and from local doctor's appointments.
Family members appreciate the dedicated memory care space and attentive staff members in this community. One says, "They have a special unit for the memory care patients. My mom is quite advanced in her dementia, so she is in their special unit. They provide things for them to do to keep their hands busy."
Commonwealth Senior Living at Cockeysville is a senior living community offering assisted living and memory care lifestyle options. Its Sweet Memories program features personalized care plans based on individual health histories, ensuring residents receive all needed assistance and support while maintaining their independence and dignity. The specially trained and certified staff is on hand 24/7 to assist with personal care and document residents' daily lives through photos and short videos to be shared with family for constant connections. Private and companion residences are equipped with emergency call systems and full bathrooms, and living areas are furnished with an eye toward creating familiar, homelike surroundings. Routines and programs are structured to reduce daily anxiety and ensure stimulating engagement, including time for nutritious meals, engaging with life stations for fulfilling favorite tasks, and experiencing peaceful moments of aroma and music therapy.
Residents commend the community for its personable staff and its dedication to providing residents with compassionate care. One resident says, "The professionalism and care displayed by all employees [are] to be applauded. Excellent community on every level!"
Forest Hill Heights has an accessible suburban setting on Maryland Route 24 in Bel Air North, just steps away from a local bowling alley and Forest Lakes Shopping Center. It’s also less than 5 miles from UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. Its connected single-story apartment buildings are beautifully laid out on a 14-acre parklike campus, providing relaxing green views from any room. A 24-hour nursing staff and in-house geriatrician provide expert clinical care. Enhanced care options are available to residents with particular medical needs; related services include specialized and advanced nursing, diabetes management, oxygen therapy, mobility assistance and coordinated palliative and hospice care. The dedicated full calendar of activities for memory care residents features exercise sessions, crafting groups, writing exercises, themed games and evening music relaxation, among other physically, cognitively and socially stimulating pastimes.
People admire the Forest Hill Heights staff. "They genuinely enjoy caring for the residents and treat my mom like their own family," reports one resident's family member. "They engage her in daily activities, but also let her have time to herself when she wants. They are truly an inspiration to me, as it takes a special calling to care for dementia patients.”
Morningside House of Satyr Hill offers a comfortable environment for assisted living and memory care just northeast of Baltimore, Maryland. The community specializes in individualized memory care, providing well-balanced meals to promote physical wellness, technology options for enhanced socializing and staying in touch with family members, and scheduled group outings that keep seniors engaged with the local community. Menu options are created specifically to cater to the tastes of memory care residents, with careful consideration taken for preferences; family members are also invited to dine with residents. The perimeters of the community are secure to allow memory care residents to wander independently, promoting calm and comfort. Creative classes, game rooms, happy hours, holiday celebrations and on-site discussion clubs further aid with social interaction and cognitive health.
Reviewers praise Morningside's wide array of activities and creative menu offerings, as well as its aesthetically pleasing exterior. "We've been very happy with our aunt living in Morningside House of Satyr Hill," writes one family member of a resident. "We're very satisfied ... The staff is always friendly and smiling ... The food there is very good to excellent. Everyone is consistently helpful ... The landscaping is beautiful, everything is neat and kept clean, and the place looks great."
Located just north of Baltimore's Woodbury neighborhood, Noble Senior Living at Baltimore accommodates seniors seeking assisted living and memory care options. Along the Journey, the community's memory care program, focuses on facilitating familiar activities and close contact with family to promote positive moods and a welcoming living environment. Specially trained caregivers assist with personal care while creating respectful relationships with residents, learning their individual needs and providing comforting companionship. Regularly scheduled activities such as cooking classes and Bible study are designed to provide cognitive stimulation, and the community also offers fun social opportunities such as live entertainment and ice cream parties. Calming sensory activities are part of each day's schedule, allowing residents to relax with gentle hand massages, music therapy and personal time with friendly caregivers. The community's secure courtyard offers pleasing landscaping and safe walking trails for seniors who like to commune with nature.
The community is applauded for its personable staff and its commitment to the care of its residents. "The staff was fantastic and the administrator was wonderful," reports one visitor. "There were really friendly people there. They’re willing to work with you, very knowledgeable ... Overall, it was a very nice, very spacious place."
Sunrise of Pikesville is situated in the suburbs of Baltimore in a quiet area ideal for outdoor recreation and enjoyable scheduled outings. The pet-friendly community is home to a friendly dog and community cat that roam the common areas. Memory care is delivered via the Reminiscence program, which emphasizes a safe environment designed for easy navigation. The media and TV room in the memory care area is designed for those with cognitive conditions, and daily activities keep memory care residents alert and spry. Memory care residents can also receive assistance with daily activities and dining as needed. The community uses the validation method, which encourages staff to communicate with memory care residents using open-ended questions, direct eye contact and rephrasing. Staff members are also trained to match residents' emotions to make communication more effective. Activities offered include Zumba, music classes and current events discussions.
Reviews of Sunrise of Pikesville center on the relationships that residents cultivate with staff members and with one another. Of this, one reviewer writes, "I like Sunrise of Pikesville very much. They try to know what the resident’s background is... That way, they can meet new friends and mingle with residents of similar interests."
Set on beautifully landscaped grounds with an inner courtyard area that's ideal for relaxing and socializing, Symphony Manor offers seniors a vibrant lifestyle, compassionate care and healthy dining. The variety of care options within this pet-friendly community includes memory care for seniors living with Alzheimer's and dementia. Certified caregivers at Symphony Manor undergo dementia-care training that helps them identify and meet each resident's specific needs. Seniors in the memory care neighborhood are escorted to restaurant-like meal services in an elegant dining room; a private dining room is also available for taking meals with visiting friends and family. The community offers many daily scheduled activities, including fitness classes, puzzle groups, manicure appointments, aromatherapy sessions and movie showings. Seniors have their weekly laundry and linen services handled by housekeeping staff, and scheduled transportation is available for trips into the local community.
Reviewers often note how assisted living and memory care residents mingle in Symphony Manor's programs and events, and the staff's positive attitude is also commonly mentioned. "It's a remarkable place. It happens to be lovely, with cheerful rooms, a welcoming atmosphere and good food - but what makes it unique is the remarkable staff," says one resident's daughter. "Everyone is so caring dealing with our mother at this new time of life."
This assisted living and memory care community features a comfortable, intimate environment. Seniors living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia reside in a single-story, pet-friendly community that feels like a real home; its simple layout has no elevators or winding hallways, making it easy to navigate for those with cognitive issues. The specially trained caregivers at The Cottages of Perry Hall engage residents in structured daily activities that foster socialization, stimulate the brain and provide seniors with a sense of purpose while offering as much independence as possible. Residents are served tasty, healthy meals in an attractive, inviting dining room. Lovely, landscaped courtyards and patio areas make the community's grounds an enjoyable place for relaxation, and an emergency call system is installed in each residence for safety and peace of mind.
Visitors to The Cottages of Perry Hall are impressed with the level of care and attention residents receive from the well-trained nurses and aides. "The ratio of staff to residents is great," states one reviewer. "[E]ach cottage has a nice small community feel."
Woodholme Gardens is a senior living community located in Pikesville, Maryland. Residents in need of memory care services live in secured neighborhoods protected by 24-hour security, with specially trained and dementia-certified caregivers on hand to assist with basic tasks, help with navigation and provide gentle cues throughout the day. On-site chefs create customized menus based on residents' health and culinary interests, and residents receive eating support and table service that allows for calm and enjoyable dining. Daily schedules are lightly structured for controlled and positive experiences; fitness sessions and active dancing classes provide physical stimulation, and craft projects, quiet puzzles and lively discussion groups enliven the mind. Woodholme Gardens also creates ample opportunities for residents to explore independent activities, such as pruning flowers in the secure garden or engaging in relaxing breathing sessions in one of the comfortable sitting areas.
Residents and their families praise the community for its welcoming environment and caring, compassionate staff. "The entire process has been professional, caring and an extremely positive experience," says one family member. "My father is feeling happy, safe and secure. The entire team has been simply outstanding."