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 Brighton’s senior population continues to grow (17.58% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Brighton, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 21.74% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 4.5%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.88% in Brighton 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 Brighton. 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 Brighton, 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:
Atria Marina Place is situated in a seaside neighborhood replete with walking paths and plenty of spaces for outdoor recreation. Memory care programming includes two exercise activities each day as well as music therapy to promote a sense of calm. Both indoor and outdoor spaces for memory care residents have extra security to ensure ease of navigation. Artwork in the memory care units portrays nostalgic images for residents to enjoy. Furniture arrangements in communal environments also encourage memory care residents to interact with one another socially. Features of this pet-friendly community include an on-site library, salon and private dining room.
Residents and their loved ones appreciate the aesthetics of the community, the range of activities available, and the integrity of the staff. Of this, one writes, "My wife moved into Atria Marina Place. I think they're all very, very good. Excellent. The most I like is their honesty with me... The staff was very nice."
Avita of Needham is a secure and safe community for elders with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Each resident has a personalized care program that takes into account personal likes and dislikes, interests and abilities. Trained caregivers offer nurturing attention that includes practical assistance with medication management and daily living chores. They also remember the smaller things such as food and beverage preferences and personal routines that make each community member content. Apartments are set in small neighborhoods to help residents navigate the premises. Each neighborhood has a secure outdoor area for walking, sitting and gardening. The dining room serves three meals a day with locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Exercise sessions are available every day to keep residents' bodies fit, and mentally stimulating games and puzzles help keep brains as sharp as possible. Fun memory-enhancing activities and interesting social gatherings keep community members engaged and active.
Family members praise the staff and environment of this community. One person says, "The staff is very caring, and the management team is easily accessible." Another relative comments, "Most of all I like that Avita is a happy place, making our loved ones feel nurtured, respected and engaged."
Benchmark Senior Living at Waltham Crossings, located in Waltham, MA, offers assisted living, memory care and respite services. Memory care residents live in studio apartments with spacious interiors for easy navigation and private bathrooms for convenience. Trained memory care specialists are available 24/7 to assist with daily tasks, including bathing, grooming and eating, utilizing individual care plans to ensure each resident receives targeted care. The secured areas are color-coordinated to enhance navigation and recollection, and there are ample cues throughout. Meals are specially created with memory care in mind, featuring easy-to-eat finger foods and visually pleasing tableware to reduce anxiety and please the senses. An outdoor courtyard is secured and monitored, providing gardens and safe walking paths for individual and group fun, while events, such as pet therapy, art clubs and tai chi, are regularly scheduled.
Residents and their families praise the atmosphere of comfort. One family member says, "The place is warm and homey – a gas fireplace in the front living room. The dining room is beautiful with full floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of natural light. The receptionists are welcoming and will bend over backwards to help you."
Adelaide of Newton Centre is a memory care-focused senior community located in a beautiful historic building, part of the campus of the former Andover Newton Theological School. This community combines technology, research and care to provide a complete lifestyle program that's aimed at maintaining both physical and mental health. The MIND diet, a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets that research has indicated can help slow cognitive decline, is incorporated into every meal. Residents can enjoy a complete range of therapies and activities for rest, social engagement and cognitive stimulation, and the community's circular layout is designed to be easy to navigate. Technology provides a way for residents to connect and communicate, with virtual reality, tactile wall games and sensory programs available.
According to one happy family member, "The staff is great, they are very caring and have a lot of patience, if i could give them a 10 out of 10 stars i would ... This community is very high end, exceptionally clean. We really liked how it has a more upscale vibe to it, the decor and space are very nice.”
The Falls at Cordingly Dam is an assisted living and memory care community that provides the personalized assistance each resident needs in a peaceful and beautiful natural setting. For residents who require memory care, The Mind & Memory approach at The Falls is based on 20 years of research and experience, and it offers individualized and group activities focused on nurturing creativity and self-expression. Residents can enjoy daily strolls along the scenic river path or any of the many enriching activities The Falls has to offer. The signature Live Now, Live Well program allows residents to attend book clubs, cognitive challenge programs, outdoor events, casual social gatherings, wine tastings and exercise groups.
Residents and families have noticed the care and kindness staff at the Falls puts into supporting residents. As one reviewer notes, "The activities staff were terrific. They did a really good job with encouraging my mother to participate, which really improved the quality of her life."
Brightview Arlington is a senior living community located in Arlington, Massachusetts. Memory care residents live in the Wellspring Fields neighborhood, a secure village that includes private apartments and specially trained staff available 24/7 to ensure safety, companionship and assistance with daily tasks. Weekly housekeeping and laundry services ensure each residence is kept tidy and free of obstacles, and daily assistance with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene ensures each resident retains their dignity. Three delicious meals are served in a family-style dining room every day; dining room service caters to memory care patients' special needs and provides custom menus that present structured choices. Coffee and snacks are available throughout the day. A secured outdoor patio area, complete with ample seating for relaxation, is a popular space for socialization and outdoor activities, and the indoor activity room often features stimulating presentations and visiting entertainment.
Residents and their families commend the warmhearted, compassionate staff. One family member says, "I visited frequently and often brought my grandson. Everyone enjoyed those visits. The medical care and physical therapy were mostly on-site and excellent. Brightview Arlington made my mother's last years as good as they could have been."
Family-owned retirement community Cadbury Commons at Cambridge employs a team of compassionate professionals who strive to create a home-like environment for its residents. The community's Morningside memory care program utilizes evidence-based methods developed by the Alzheimer’s Association; the approach prioritizes activities that center on residents’ independence, abilities, cognitive functions and overall well-being. Individualized service plans incorporate seniors’ life stories, favorite pastimes and preferences and include self-administered medication management plans as part of basic personal care services. Fitness classes, brain exercises, music therapy and basic life skills are just some of the engaging activities that make up the community’s activity calendar. There are plenty of secure, comfortable common areas where residents can relax, including a sitting room, country kitchen and outdoor courtyard. Meals are flavorful and healthy, and nutritional information is available to residents and families.
Positive feedback from families and residents often mentions the pleasant environment, responsive staff and diverse activities. "We’re in Cadbury Commons ... 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,” writes one resident.
Located 5 miles west of the heart of Boston, Chestnut Park at Cleveland Circle is a senior living community in Brighton, MA. Residents who are part of the Live Now, Live Engaged memory care program live in private studio and one-bedroom apartments within a secured and familiar neighborhood that features electronic door security to ensure residents remain safe inside. Contrasting colors throughout the area help provide memorable visual markers and identifiable themes, reducing confusion and creating an inviting community that is safe to navigate. Healthy meals are served in easy-to-eat portions among sensory-pleasing table settings, and the menus are influenced by residents themselves through community feedback and sharing of favorite recipes. Exciting activities that engage and promote mental and physical health include tai chi and outdoor walks for fitness, and art therapy and hobby stations help hone the mind.
Residents and their families praise the welcoming atmosphere and commend the staff for their personable, warmhearted care. One family member says, "She was greeted by name constantly as she moved down the halls, which I know meant a lot to her. They were responsive and respectful of my family's requests and needs for my gram."
Evans Park at Newton Corner highlights the building of meaningful relationships and good-quality care. Fully trained staff endeavor to make residents feel safe, fulfilled and respected. The memory care neighborhood uses the Mind & Memory approach to celebrates lives through individual and group activities that aim to keep residents engaged, active and purposeful. Emphasis on fun, positive experiences keeps community members connected and enjoying life with peers and staff. Activities include those that keep bodies, minds and spirits working at their optimum. Residents have opportunities for reminiscing with concrete memory reminders that have special personal meaning. The memory care community premises has visual clues, contrasting colors and special lighting that help residents safely navigate communal indoor and outdoor spaces. These factors reduce instances of sundowning that may occur with memory care residents. Dining is made easy for memory care residents, with visually appealing food and tableware and background music to enhance the feeling of relaxation and comfort.
Family members commend this community for its care and staff. One relative states, "Loved one well cared for. Pleasant environment." Another person says, "Clean and welcoming." Overall, people comment positively on the cleanliness of the premises and the interesting activities the residents get to undertake.
Maplewood at Weston, which is situated minutes from the Boston metro area, offers residents a wide array of activities to keep them engaged. Memory care is delivered through the Heart construct, which uses technology to reduce the stress of dealing with memory conditions. The community features easily navigable areas for memory care residents, who can utilize group fitness to further physical wellness goals. Medication management and daily living assistance are offered for those who need it. Even the colors of the community reinforce calm among memory care residents, with carpeting colors contrasting with furniture to make it easier to move around the physical space. From meals made from locally-sourced ingredients to an on-site fitness club, resort-style amenities abound in this community.
Community reviews demonstrate a high quality of staff care and a variety of activities to keep residents fully engaged. One writes, "My father transitioned into the memory care unit with the help of the thoughtful and experienced staff. I am happy that my father is safe and well cared for as he navigates this next phase of his life."
The Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer's Care offers residents a completely self-contained living experience with secured, safe grounds including walking paths, a gazebo, and barber and beauty shop, plus entertainment rooms and religious worship on site. Residents can take advantage of cozy rooms on the property for their own private celebrations and are invited to become a part of the friendly and welcoming community by joining in with exercise groups, baking classes, community trips and other activities. Failure-free games offer fun and stress-free entertainment. More active residents can go on outings to local restaurants or tend the community garden. Meal service, maintenance and laundry are all included as standard.
I think that they are terrific states one relative of a resident, noting, "They have activities and they try to engage them. They try to have everybody together and do what they can with them." They also add, "They have an activity leader who is very positive and friendly."
Prospect House is comprised of a sprawling campus replete with engaging exterior areas and comfortable interior ones. Amenities offered here include card and game rooms, chef-prepared meals, a creative arts program and musical concerts. Memory care residents access programming through the "Reflections" approach. Staff learns some of the pertinent components of a resident's life to create a living space in which they are comfortable and suggests activities that correlate with personal interests. Activity options to promote increased cognitive function include trivia, current events discussions, physical fitness and "Remember When" reminiscence discussions.
Residents and their loved ones point out the elegant aesthetic of this community and the experienced staff. Reviews underscore the high quality of life and range of activities provided to residents. One writes, "This is a wonderful, safe, beautiful community... My family member has lived here for years. The care given is nothing less than exceptional."
Located in a neighborhood of Boston, Providence House provides a blend of urban living and peaceful landscapes and offers memory care tailored to each resident's needs. The community strives to make its residents feel comfortable and engaged, offering communal areas and dining rooms for socializing and a specialized program of activities ranging from pet therapy to arts and crafts, giving residents independence and a sense of achievement. Residents benefit from personalized care assistants and get help with their medication and housekeeping needs. Other amenities on offer include planting beds for residents interested in gardening and a hair salon for trying out new styles.
One reviewer decided to move to the community after their visit, writing that the staff was "very responsive" and that the range of activities on offer was impressive. The food served three times a day received special praise. One reviewer commented on the "safe, comfortable and very caring environment" at Providence House. The generosity of the staff and the safe, caring environment is echoed across multiple reviews — as one reviewer sums it up: "You and your loved one will have peace of mind and satisfaction with Providence House."
At Sunrise of Arlington, seniors can expect award-winning care within a scenic village setting. The community receives medical support from nearby Mount Auburn, Lahey and Winchester Hospitals, and with routine visits from physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, residents can receive a full spectrum of care in one convenient location. The Reminiscence neighborhood is specially designed for seniors living with memory loss. Easy-to-navigate floor plans feature adjacent living and dining areas, reflection rooms with soft lighting and music, and designated activity spaces with puzzles, creative and cognitive programming. Every resident is paired with a Life Enrichment Manager who centers care around their distinct needs, with 24/7 support from an experienced team with Alzheimer’s Association-approved training. Activities feature social, recreational, educational and spiritual options to foster engagement while nurturing the mind, body and soul.
Residents appreciate the caring team. "The Sunrise Nursing Staff is quite professional, and quickly responsive to calls," one resident says. "An unexpected perk is just how terrific the meals are, this is a wonderful part of living here. The general staff are very kind, and patient in speaking with those of us who have (very) poor hearing."
Seniors can age in place at The Linden at Dedham while taking advantage of its assisted living and memory care lifestyle options. The community’s Alzheimer’s and dementia care program is comprehensive, with residents receiving person-centered care in a secure neighborhood. The area features senior-friendly living areas and accommodations, with smoke detectors and sprinklers in place for safety. The team is highly trained in proper dementia care techniques and uses the innovative Opal method, a holistic approach to care that enhances physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. For instance, the PrimeFit program offers private or group activities that focus on strengthening the body, while simple daily tasks such as light housekeeping or gardening chores help seniors maintain a sense of purpose. Should the need arise, urgent medical services are easily accessible with the community's proximity to top-notch health facilities, including the renowned Boston Medical Center.
Reviewers describe The Linden as beautiful and modern. Family members are pleased with the professional, knowledgeable staff. Says one daughter: "We have been so pleased with the loving care [my father] has received every step of the way. The nurses and staff are genuinely caring and help him have the lifestyle and experience that fit his needs and personality.”
The Residence at Watertown Square ensures residents have every comfort available to them. Memory care programming is delivered through the Reflections program, which uses music and art therapy as well as cooking activities. Cognitive exercises are provided for residents who want to learn new skills or reinforce existing ones. Memory care residents can enjoy private dining areas and sun-filled sitting rooms, and they have the option to be escorted to meals and to receive assistance with medication management and the activities of daily living. Amenities of this community include chef-prepared meals, an on-site movie theater and a fitness room.
Residents and their loved ones note the good food, array of activities and luxury amenities available in this community. One notes, "I have had lunch several times at the Residence at Watertown Square with my friends who sold their home and moved there, and they are really happy with it. The food was very good."
Traditions of Dedham is a charming New England-style senior residence located in an easily accessible downtown area. The community features comfortable living areas kept safe through a modern security system and around-the-clock monitoring. It offers a variety of lifestyle options, including the Reflections memory care program. This innovative approach to care is evidence-based and supervised by certified dementia care professionals who understand the challenges of memory-related behaviors. Reflections provides holistic support, with daily programming that creates physical, social, cognitive and emotional experiences. The community's caregiving team promotes vibrant living through an array of engaging activities, such as book discussions, gardening and tai chi, as well as regular virtual communication with families and friends. The community’s professional chefs ensure that residents’ personal cravings and dietary needs are satisfied, creating healthy, appetizing selections that can be shared with visiting families.
Family members feel welcome when they visit and speak highly of the community's spirit. One daughter writes, "It's a huge relief to know that my dad is being so well taken care of ... The staff is considerate, accommodating and responsive ... The activities are numerous and fun and engaging. And most importantly, the residents are treated with respect and honor."
Wingate Residences at Needham is a senior living community in Needham, Massachusetts. The Neighborhood, the secure memory care village within the community, features open floor plans for easy navigation and is supervised by specially trained memory care staff who provide 24/7 assistance with daily tasks. Community staff creates personalized care plans from residents' histories which highlight and develop each resident's natural skills and abilities. The Neighborhood's tactile art and comforting lighting, as well as its pleasing color schemes, are designed to soothe the mind and create a familiar environment. The community's Certified Music Therapy program offers personalized music choices to enhance mood and trigger memory recollection, and minds are kept sharp through the Vigorous Mind program, a set of web-based exercises that allow for socialization while boosting cognitive stimulation.
Residents and their families praise the caregivers and their commitment to compassionate care. The community's robust range of activities and amenities are also commended. One family member said, "There were a lot of activities and a garden to maintain while getting ready for summer. They had a restaurant in the facility, and the food was better than most restaurants."
Located close to hospitals and medical centers, Wingate Residences at Needham features natural light, art, furnishings and an open-plan layout specifically designed to create a familiar and nurturing environment. For more than 25 years, the community has provided support to seniors affected by memory loss, creating unique care plans specific to their stage of cognitive impairment and focused on improving their quality of life through laughter and love. Residents take part in daily mental and physical enrichment activities that embrace their history and personal interests. Seniors are encouraged to spend plenty of time outdoors relaxing on the patios or walking in the plush gardens, including a Zen yoga garden.
Reviewers praise the community for its caring staff and attractive accommodations. One relative says, "We found The Residences at Wingate for my mother … assisted living has … a dining area and entertainment, and … memory care … has the security and extra activities. They’ve worked hard to hire good people and train them to really be understanding of the residents.”