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 Boston’s senior population continues to grow (12.99% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Boston, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased 2.7% between 2013 and 2017. However, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group increased by 5.07%, showing that while Alzheimer’s is a serious concern in the region, the associated deaths have decreased recently. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (2.97% in Boston 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 Boston. 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 Boston, 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:
Nestled in the historic town of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Allerton House is full of traditional New England charm. From its appealing colonial facade to its landscaped outdoor spaces, this senior living facility combines a homelike environment with first-rate care. Certified resident care assistants are on call around-the-clock, providing services such as medication management and grooming assistance. For aging seniors, social and cognitive well-being are just as important as physical health. Allerton House meets social needs with well-designed community areas that encourage new friendships, such as the outdoor courtyard, pub, country kitchen and salon. To keep seniors mentally stimulated, they offer life-enriching activities, ranging from trivia nights to ballroom dance classes and concerts held in the courtyard. Allerton House also schedules local transportation, ferrying seniors to doctor appointments and nearby Boston attractions, including the Boston Public Garden and the New England Aquarium.
The quaint colonial charms of Allerton House receive plenty of praise, with reviewers complimenting the "wonderful amenities" and describing the facility as "beautifully decorated." The facility's diverse activity schedule also draws notice, with one relative commenting, "They really get my nana up and moving, while also challenging her cognitively!"
Benchmark Senior Living at The Commons is a continuing care community offering LifeCare and an impressive array of luxurious amenities. On-site, residents can spend an afternoon relaxing in the indoor heated pool and spa, taking an exercise class in the fitness center or getting their hair styled in the beauty salon. The country store and ATM make it easy for residents to buy personal goods without leaving the property, and the library, community garden and outdoor walking paths provide ample spaces for residents to pursue their unique interests. In the Harbor memory care wing, a highly trained nursing staff provides personalized dementia and Alzheimer's care using stimulating programs, such as Engagement Boxes and Journey Stations. Dining includes mealtime monitoring, and residents are encouraged to select their preferred meals from a nutritious, varied menu. The community also facilitates caregiver support groups to help family members feel connected and informed.
Loved ones compliment the facility’s caring, attentive staff, tasty food and varied menus. One family member says, "The staff at this community are nice, friendly and helpful. They are always there when someone needs assistance. The food is good and they have nice choices.”
Located just minutes from Harvard Square, Cadbury Commons provides a vibrant, active environment for seniors living with memory disorders. Its unique Morningside memory care program designs individualized service plans, taking into consideration residents' past careers, hobbies, and personal interests so as to foster dignity, independence and self-worth. Seniors engage in a variety of structured daily activities, such as brain games, musical therapy and on-site entertainment. Physical activity is also encouraged, and exercise programs are tailored to residents' physical and cognitive capabilities. The Morningside community includes a designated activities area, an outdoor courtyard and a sitting room that encourages socialization. At mealtimes, Cadbury Commons offers a changing menu of traditional and seasonal favorites, which residents help design, and during the summer, the facility grows many of its own vegetables and herbs.
According to family members and friends, residents receive exceptional care at Cadbury Commons. They also remark that the facility has a good overall reputation. In the words of one resident, "The staff is wonderful; they are very friendly, very courteous, and competent, and they seem to be good with people. They give everything. Everybody knows your name and they treat you well."
Serving the Greater Boston area, NewBridge on the Charles has a world-renowned memory care program for seniors living with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The building was designed to make life easier for individuals with memory impairments and includes elements such as enhanced lighting, looping hallways, and color-coding to facilitate navigation and improve comfort. Residents benefit from eight hours of daily therapeutic programming with an emphasis on the expressive arts. Seniors can also enjoy time outdoors in the facility's enclosed courtyard and secure garden. Other on-site amenities include a kosher bistro, an art studio and walking trails. NewBridge on the Charles also offers innovative intergenerational programs, that let seniors connect with children and young adults.
Visitors describe NewBridge on the Charles as beautiful and clean, with plenty of open space. In the words of one reviewer, "While here, you feel like you're away on vacation with its wood setting, complete with a three-mile path for residents and visitors to use. The common areas inside are very beautiful, with unique artwork everywhere."
Prospect House Assisted Living & Memory Care in Revere features a variety of secure apartment-style residences for seniors in need of help with daily living activities or cognitive enhancement. Licensed nurses and skilled medical professionals provide 24/7 staffing with efficient yet sensitive care. Residents have plenty of opportunities and space to interact and unwind in beautifully furnished lounge areas, game rooms, patios and gardens. Three chef-prepared meals provide nourishment for the body and mind with tasty seasonal selections and restaurant-style service, and a cafe bistro is available with healthy snacks. An innovative memory care program, Reflections, helps residents with dementia remain physically, mentally and emotionally fit with creative arts, fitness programs, socials, games and outings. Prospect House is located within minutes from beaches, shopping venues and cultural attractions.
Residents and visitors are impressed with the clean, spacious facilities and excellent food at Prospect House. They note that the staff shows consistent commitment to interacting with residents on a deeply personal level. Residents enjoy the opportunities to stay active and engaged with their peers, and one commented: "I really love the activities and our exercise group. I like my apartment, the people who live in my community, and I especially like it when I can dance here."
Located in a serene setting in Brighton, Massachusetts, Providence House Assisted Living helps seniors lead purposeful lives in a secure, homelike environment. Its Beechwood Memory Care Program is managed by a team of skilled, caring professionals and provides comfortable, stress-free living that focuses on physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual and social needs. The 24-hour care staff is specifically trained in the habilitation model of care and equipped with the expertise required for dementia care. Specially designed with environmental cues that enhance familiarity, the dedicated memory care neighborhood features a country kitchen, private dining room, hair salon, gardening area, walking paths and gazebo. Residents engage in purposeful activities that explore their skills and provide them with a sense of accomplishment. The wide array of pastimes include musical entertainment, pet therapy, wellness and fitness programs, religious services and educational programs.
Online reviews mention the variety of interesting activities offered and how these keep the residents active and engaged. Families also gave positive comments about the care and pampering their loved ones receive, with one reviewer saying, "They make sure the residents are well kept and groomed. They have a mini spa and beauty shop for the residents as well."
Nestled on three acres of land alongside beautiful Jamaica Pond, Rogerson House offers residents a continuum of senior care services in a peaceful urban oasis. Designed to promote security, positive moods and independence, the building maximizes natural light and features warm, welcoming common areas conducive to socializing. Rogerson House offers almost 300 hours of therapeutic programming each week, including yoga, discussion groups, personal fitness training, and art, music and pet therapies. Seniors also benefit from the community's attractive, well-manicured outdoor spaces, such as paved walking paths, flower gardens and a greenhouse. The facility arranges numerous off-site excursions so residents can enjoy Boston's many cultural, dining and entertainment opportunities. Rogerson House is just minutes away from world-renowned medical facilities.
Residents appreciate the ease of the admission process and the staff's attention to detail. One facility visitor remarks, "From what I saw the community is well maintained. Everything looked nice and clean. My tour went very well. This is a lovely community."
The Residence at Melrose Station provides a range of senior care services in a setting reminiscent of an upscale boutique hotel. Its innovative Reflections Memory Care program is led by certified dementia practitioners and uses a non-pharmaceutical approach to supporting seniors with cognitive challenges. The program aims to slow and sometimes improve symptoms of dementia through learning, exercise, mindfulness, tai chi and rehabilitation. The Residence at Melrose Station offers seniors a multitude of amenities, including a library, fitness room and anytime dining at the on-site restaurant. The facility employs professional chefs who craft delicious, nutritious meals using farm-to-table ingredients. Seniors enjoy the security of emergency call systems, and a 24-hour staff is available when assistance is needed.
Visitors love this facility's luxurious atmosphere, and one reviewer describes it as being like a five-star hotel. She says, "They had a rooftop patio deck, outdoor decks, and areas where the residents can do vegetable planting. They have a happy hour every afternoon where they put out appetizers for all the residents and cocktails, and what I tasted was very good."
Located a quick walk from the scenic Memorial Park and within one mile of the shops and restaurants along downtown's Main Street, The Residence at Pearl Street offers seniors a convenient setting nestled on five acres of beautiful, landscaped grounds. The historic building's timeless architectural details enhance the facility's luxurious feel, and the specialized Reflections Memory Care neighborhood includes a secured outdoor garden courtyard and comfortable, light-filled common area spaces and sitting rooms. Through the anytime dining program, residents can eat whenever they please in the spacious, elegant dining hall adorned with rich accent colors, large windows and hanging light fixtures. An abundance of on-site amenities include multiple shared living rooms, beauty salon, media room and library. Additionally, the staff of friendly, caring and highly skilled Certified Dementia Professionals help residents engage in mentally, emotionally and physically stimulating programs. The Residence at Pearl Street strengthens its programming through collaborations with notable health care leaders, including Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and McLean Hospital.
Family members praise the caring, attentive and supportive staff for enhancing residents’ quality of life through stimulating activities. One reviewer says, "It was the staff that finally convinced [Mom] to attend cooking classes, exercise time and weekly trips on the bus … She felt like she was treated like a queen.”
The Residence at Vinnin Square provides independent living, assisted living, and memory care services in an upscale facility in the seaside community of Swampscott. Its layout, décor and furnishings reinforce a sense of familiarity and comfort among residents. This facility’s Reflections Memory Care program is based on a <strong><em>4 Pillar Engagement model - social, emotional, cognitive, and physical -</em></strong> developed by on-site certified dementia professionals, as well as a collaboration with Brigham & Women’s Hospital, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and MGH. Residents in the memory care neighborhood of this community enjoy amenities that include a secure outdoor recreation area, exercise areas and a dining room featuring our signature <strong><em>musical breath</em></strong> program. A full calendar of social, educational, recreational, and cultural activities add fun and inspire socialization. In addition, residents are encouraged to volunteer within the surrounding community, as they’re able to foster a sense of independence and self-sufficiency. This premier facility embraces an atmosphere of peace and comfort that enables residents to thrive.
Family members of seniors at The Residence at Vinnin Square commend the facility for having a staff that, "has a passion for caring [for] seniors ... making sure their life is full.” The comforting atmosphere and varied activities available to residents also earned the community accolades.
The Residence at Watertown Square blends modern amenities with the security of assisted living and memory care services. Led by certified dementia professionals, the facility takes a whole-body approach to memory care, incorporating learning, mindfulness, exercise, rehabilitation and tai chi to improve overall brain health. Residents stay active through the community's full calendar of activities, which includes recreational, educational and cultural pastimes and events. The facility boasts a variety of exciting amenities, such as an on-site bistro, a media room, beauty salon and several spacious common areas designed for socializing with neighbors or visitors. Apartments include emergency call systems, and the facility has staff available around-the-clock to assist with residents' needs. The Residence at Watertown Square provides transportation for local appointments and other errands.
Visitors love the atmosphere at The Residence at Watertown Square. In the words of one reviewer, "They had nice, jazzy music in the lobby and nice public areas for entertainment inside the building. I liked the location very much. It had an urban atmosphere and really good access to services."
Seniors looking for individualized care in a vibrant community setting can find it at Traditions of Dedham. Led by certified dementia professionals, the facility's non-pharmacological memory care program is designed to help slow or improve memory loss symptoms using techniques that include learning, physical exercise, mindfulness, rehabilitation and tai chi. Through the community's many engaging activity offerings, seniors can try their hand at gardening, express themselves through hobbies, such as painting or learn a new computer skill. At mealtimes, Traditions of Dedham aims to create a fine dining experience. The facility's professional chefs craft delicious entrees using fresh ingredients, and breakfast is always made to order. Residents have access to the community's on-site amenities, which include a bistro, media room and hair salon. Off-site transportation is also available.
Visitors are generally impressed with Traditions of Dedham, finding it to be a clean, pleasant community. One reviewer who was particularly impressed says, "The grounds are nicely manicured, the rooms bright and cheery, very friendly staff and should you desire, plenty of activities to keep you busy the entire day."
Located near an abundance of beautiful natural areas, including Dedham Town Forest, Sandy Valley and Lowell Woods, White Oak Cottages provides residents experiencing dementia impairments and Alzheimer's disease with a safe, secure and homelike environment. The private rooms are furnished and decorated with residents' belongings for a personalized feel. Highly trained nurses and certified nurse assistants receive intensive, specialized training, and they spend the majority of their time with residents as they dine and participate in stimulating activities, such as gardening, baking and playing card games. Lunches and dinners are served family-style, so residents can enjoy a sense of community, and food is placed on eye-catching, brightly colored plates to promote a healthy appetite.
Visitors say they're impressed with the attractive, secure and well-maintained facility. One reviewer says, "White Oak Cottages was very nice. The doors are locked from the inside so the residents can't wander … There was a beautiful living area with a fireplace and couches with daily papers. The place was very nicely done with beautiful grounds around it.”
Exclusively for seniors living with Alzheimer's disease and other memory impairments, Windrose at Weymouth offers a research-based, non-pharmaceutical approach to residential memory care. The facility is one of only two senior care communities in New England to offer behavior-based ergonomics therapies, which have been shown to reduce confusion, agitation and social withdrawal in seniors with Alzheimer's. Windrose at Weymouth's ThriveCare program emphasizes consistency and daily routines to help seniors build confidence. Staff members include licensed, dementia-trained nurses, who receive extensive training in advanced communication techniques. Residents have access to an on-site pharmacy, plus physician, dietitian and psychiatric services. Speech, physical, and occupational therapies are also available.
Online reviewers appreciate this facility's cleanliness, its compassionate staff and its therapeutic offerings. One person comments, "So impressed with the ThriveCare and BBET therapy program. Finally a truly thoughtful activity and therapy program that seniors with memory loss need and deserve.
Windrose at Woburn is an assisted living community specially designed for seniors with Alzheimer's disease and related forms of memory loss. With only 35 suites, the specially-trained staff at this community are able to provide secure, personalized care using the ThriveCare method, a lifestyle and therapy program. The program involves using advanced communication techniques and wellness care. It also establishes a daily rhythm to provide consistency for residents. Windrose at Woburn also provides the award-winning Behavior-Based Ergonomics Therapies (BBET) Program. This program consists of four therapy types that are personalized for each resident: music, video, stimulating and memory prop therapy. These techniques are used in addition to group activities to provide extra care for each resident. Clinical studies have shown that this therapy reduces falls and the amount of behavioral medications needed and increases participation in activities.
Several residents and family members refer to the care at Windrose as "amazing," and the facility is described as "clean and bright." One resident's family member particularly noted that the staff "are very caring and sensitive to each of the residents."
In the spacious lobby of Windsor Place of Wilmington Assisted Living, a baby grand piano sits near several sitting rooms all with a cozy fireplace and surrounded by comfortable seating. The Pub, Exercise/Game room, and Country Kitchen provide additional spaces for relaxation and socializing, and with weekly housekeeping and laundry services included, it gives residents added time to do what they enjoy most. The fully carpeted apartments include kitchenettes, individualized thermostats and private bathrooms, and residents are encouraged to bring in their own furniture to create a personalized feel. In the Carlysle Suites, our memory care wing, the homelike environment includes an intimate dining area, activity area, and lovely living room for all residents to enjoy. Residents also have a direct access to a secure courtyard with a beautiful landscaped garden. With 24-hour supervision by highly trained caregivers, our memory care residents receive medication management and up to two hours of personal care assistance each day. The beautiful residence is located on the Wilmington/Reading line just off of Route 93 at exit 38 and located minutes from Meadowbrook Country Club and the beautiful walking trails of Reading Town Forest. Give them a call today to set up a tour and don’t forget to ask about their 30-day trial stay.
Residents say they enjoy the facility’s engaging activities and friendly, capable staff. One reviewer comments, "I love living at Windsor Place. The people are nice, and the staff is very helpful and attentive to my needs. The nursing staff is knowledgeable as well. The activities keep me active.”