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 Brunswick County’s senior population continues to grow (46.29% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Brunswick County, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 41.18% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 29.31%, 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 (5.75% in Brunswick County 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 Brunswick County. 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 Brunswick County, 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:
Arbor Landing at Ocean Isle is a continuum of care senior living community located close to medical facilities. The Horizons Memory Care neighborhood is in a secure and access-controlled building that has been designed to enable seniors to easily navigate independently. The community has a high caregiver to resident ratio to ensure that all seniors receive personalized care and assistance. A team of specially trained caregiving staff is always on hand to assist seniors and encourage them to do as much of each task as they are mentally and physically able to do. The full-time activities director creates and plans activities tailored to the interests and abilities of each individual resident. Some of the activities offered include yoga, music therapy, art classes, pet therapy and cooking. Three restaurant-style meals are served each day and meal assistance is available.
Family members praise the excellent level of care with one reviewer saying, "The staff has done a great job of making my mother feel like a member of the family. They are very communicative with us about her care and are always letting us know what's going on."
Situated on 24 acres of beautiful land, Carolina Bay at Autumn Hall features a stately exterior, alluding to the sophisticated care residents can expect. Near the New Hanover Medical Group and just a short drive from other prominent medical facilities, the community provides a safe environment for seniors in need of memory support. The Bradley Creek Health Center forms part of the community and offers support for residents undergoing cognitive decline. A team of caregivers assists with personal care needs such as eating and dressing. Other care areas include assisted living, rehabilitation and skilled nursing. The community boasts on-site amenities such as a pub, a billiards room, fitness centers and an art room. Residents can join activities such as water aerobics, yoga and educational opportunities through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCW.
Reviewers are impressed with the amenities at Carolina Bay At Autumn Hall. One writes, "Bradley Creek Health Center at Carolina Bay is a State-of-the-art [community]. One of Wilmington's most modern Assisted living and Memory care Retirement homes, including Rehabilitation services. Beautifully landscaped and decorated, they are well equipped and have a qualified and dedicated staff."
Castle Creek Memory Care is a secure senior living community that provides specialized care for those with memory loss. Located less than 30 minutes from the beach in scenic Castle Hayne, North Carolina, this memory care residence offers furnished or unfurnished companion or private rooms, each with cable TV, an electronic call system and full-service housekeeping. Castle Creek's memory care program includes reminiscence and personal history exercises, validation therapy, life enrichment activities and behavior management. Experienced caregivers are available around the clock to offer personalized assistance for daily living activities and medication management. Therapeutic menus and dining assistance help guarantee proper nutrition and hydration for residents, and on-call physician services are available. Castle Creek's residents have access to an on-site beauty parlor, individual and group wellness activities, and a private spa.
This memory care community receives praise for its food, cleanliness and friendly staff. A friend of a resident reports, "This facility was wonderful! I came to visit a friend before COVID happened and I was amazed at the building. The facility looked wonderful and clean and was odor free. As soon as i walked in the building staff stopped and greeted me and asked me if I needed any help."
Cedar Cove Assisted Living and Memory Care offers a relaxing yet stimulating environment where seniors of all need levels can thrive. In addition to assisted living services, the community's dedicated memory care center provides a safe and comfortable environment for seniors with Alzheimer's and related dementias. Cozy common areas and secure outdoor courtyards give residents space to socialize with fellow residents. Staff members are specially trained to help manage cognitive challenges and are available 24-hours a day. Housekeeping and maintenance services help seniors enjoy a carefree lifestyle, and delicious daily meals eliminate the stress of cooking. To keep residents physically, socially and mentally engaged, the community offers a wide range of activities to suit the abilities of all residents, including bingo, coloring, movie nights, manicures and scheduled outings.
Not only is Cedar Cove Assisted Living and Memory Care known for its convenient location and fantastic amenities, but also the compassion and dedication shown by its caregivers. As the family member of one resident says, "The care team has been truly a light to my loved one. They are always making sure her needs are being met and making her feel comfortable in her new living environment."
Coastal Pointe Assisted Living and Memory Care is a luxury community near the Shallotte River and the Atlantic beaches of South Brunswick County. Dedicated memory care apartments occupy a safe and comfortable neighborhood modeled on the welcoming familiarity of a small American town. On its “Main Street," residents can visit the cafe for a coffee or snack, see a movie at their very own cinema, enjoy restaurant-style dining or relax at a spa. Exercise, bingo, crafts, Bible studies and outings to nearby attractions enrich residential life. Staff trained in the special requirements of memory-challenged residents provide 24/7 personal care, supervision and transportation to medical appointments. Coastal Pointe works with residents' own doctors to assess the levels of care needed. The community is near a 74-bed hospital as well as several other medical centers to ensure attentive health care.
Family members are impressed with the compassionate care their elderly relatives receive. "From the moment we moved her in, the staff has gone out of their way to ease her into their warm, friendly environment,” declares one woman. ”There wasn't a question or concern that wasn't answered promptly, efficiently and with care and understanding for my Dad,” says another.
Located close to medical facilities, shops and leisure venues, Elmcroft of Southport is a single-story retirement home that exudes a warm, family-like environment. It provides personalized care through a variety of lifestyle options, including Chronicles, the community’s specialized memory care program. Living spaces are easy to navigate and equipped with security and monitoring systems to keep residents safe while maintaining as much independence as possible. The dedicated staff is trained to manage unique traits and challenging behaviors, such as communication issues, loss of appetite, agitation and confusion. Regular structured routines incorporate residents’ past experiences and favorite activities to encourage productive engagement, with gardening, wellness exercises, music and outings filling up daily calendars. The community also has a fall prevention awareness program that helps seniors understand risks and promote safe mobility.
Residents recommend Elmcroft of Southport for its responsive, compassionate staff. A family member says, "We are so happy we moved her there. She has dementia. The staff is very caring and like family. She is very happy having new friends and lots of activities. We are very relieved that she is happy and enjoying herself in this beautiful setting.”
Morningside of Wilmington offers a memory care community that feels like home to seniors with Alzheimer's and other memory disorders. Bridge to Rediscovery is Morningside's award-winning dementia care program. The program builds a daily schedule explicitly based on each resident's abilities, preferences and favorite topics, focusing on maintaining and building basic skills. Walking groups and exercise classes help build strength and mobility and the neighborhood is secured for resident's safety. To meet the unique needs of residents with dementia, the community has features such as visual cues and themes to aid memory and comfortable, familiar furniture. Seniors also have access to recreational and occupational therapy to help restore functionality. Highly trained caregivers run the program to keep residents engaged in body and mind and provide residents with the support they need.
People love the care at Morningside. One family member writes, "Mom loved every staff member there no matter what area of the facility they worked in and they loved her too. She loved her bingo and farkle games and highly enjoyed the musical entertainment they brought in to the facility. ... You guys are the best."
Just a few blocks away from the Cape Fear River and Watermark Marina, is New Hanover House. It's situated within close proximity of medical facilities, retail hubs and restaurants. The facility boasts a purposely built memory care wing that offers residents independence in a safe environment. The memory care program includes reminiscence and validation therapy. Carers assist residents with dining and other personal care needs and therapeutic menus ensure proper nutrition. Assisted living also forms part of the community, and residents have access to a private spa and on-site barber and salon. Full-service housekeeping frees residents up to enjoy scheduled activities and social programs such as games nights with friends.
Relatives notice the sense of community at New Hanover House. One writes, "My Mother has been in the assisted living side for 4 months & she is doing very well. She has companionship she did not have at home alone. The staff is very good to her. There are a lot of activities daily."
New Haven at Little River seeks to provide quality care services for elderly adults with an emphasis on safety, comfort and security. Its full spectrum of care options includes a specialized memory care community for seniors with cognitive impairment. This environment is designed with thoughtful amenities to create a comfortable and familiar atmosphere with cozy common areas, secure outdoor spaces, a movie theater and on-site cosmetic services. Clinical staff are available 24-hours a day and trained to deliver an enhanced level of care including medication management, fall management and wound care. A full calendar of activities is offered to support memory care residents' emotional, spiritual, mental, social and physical needs, including art and music therapies, brain-focused games, exercise groups and local outings. The community also hosts special celebrations, live entertainment and daily happy hours.
People are always impressed by the caring staff, thoughtful touches and overall atmosphere at New Haven. The community receives consistent praise for its efforts to make residents feel like they're part of a family--something both residents and their loved ones notice and appreciate.
Paraklay Way at The Commons is a memory care community in beautiful Wilmington. The highly trained staff at Paraklay Way are committed to maintaining each resident's sense of purpose and well-being, as well as seeing to their social and physical needs. Residents have various options for the level of assistance they require, allowing them to be as self-sufficient as possible. The Paraklay Way care team is available 24/7, and the community offers specialized activities and programs designed to nurture residents' mental facilities and existing skills. As part of the larger Brightmore campus, residents also have access to an in-house salon and barber shop, restaurant-style dining, and multiple activity and game rooms.
Residents and their relatives praise Paraklay Way for its wonderful accommodations, its safety and its staff. One relative says, "My parent moved in at The Brightmore in October... The facility is wonderful. It's rental per month there, and all the food and everything else are provided... What I like best about this facility is that she's well taken care of, and she is safe and secure. The place is just wonderful."
Located in scenic Little River, River Park Senior Living is an assisted living and memory care community that features high-quality care and luxury accommodations. The 24-hour staff provides personalized care plans for every resident, as well as specialized activities to help residents maintain current skills and develop new ones. The community boasts professionally landscaped grounds, private dining rooms, spacious recreational areas and chauffeur service into the surrounding town. River Park provides residents with three freshly prepared, gourmet meals a day and daily social, cultural and educational events and outings that foster well-being and spirit in the community.
Residents praise River Park for its calm beauty and its accommodations. One resident writes, "Once I came and toured the community, I fell in love with it. ... The rooms are so spacious and will easily fit all of my stuff. River Park has such a beautiful, tranquil atmosphere. ... I can set my own schedule and enjoy my independence."
Spring Arbor of Wilmington is located in a quiet residential neighborhood that's conveniently close to medical facilities. The memory care community features a secure outdoor courtyard area where residents can safely garden or enjoy the sunshine. The community follows a person-centered approach where staff members get to know the seniors as individuals, allowing each resident to receive a personalized level of care and assistance. A team of dedicated staff members is always on-site to support the residents as needed while encouraging them to remain as independent as possible. The community wellness program monitors the health and well-being of each resident on a regular basis. Occupational and physical therapy services are available on-site to assist seniors in maintaining their physical abilities. Seniors have access to pet therapy sessions, which have been shown to improve cognitive health.
Family members praise the professional staff, with one reviewer saying, "My mother has been a resident at Spring Arbor for over a year. She is happy there and very well cared for. Her room and clothes are always clean, she is assisted when necessary, and has not had any complications related to her care."
At Summit Place of North Myrtle Beach, memory care residents thrive in a safe, nurturing neighborhood that features a restaurant-style dining room, vibrant activity center and comfortable living spaces. Residents benefit from Five Star’s award-winning Bridge to Recovery program, a whole-person approach to memory care. To help stimulate the body, mind and spirit, daily calendars are filled with engaging activities, such as exercise classes, intergenerational and volunteer programs, physical and pet therapy, as well as religious services. The dedicated team is trained in dementia care and symptom management, allowing them to provide the right amount of support and care. Medical resources are readily available on-site, with individualized plans tailored to residents’ needs. Creating pleasurable experiences for residents, the community’s dining program serves personal favorites and accommodates special dietary requirements.
Visiting family members notice substantial improvements in their loved ones, praising the staff. "Her overall health and attitude have improved immensely. The staff and management team are top-notch and always stay on top of any problems that arise with Mom. They make sure that the residents are engaged in numerous activities every day of the week,” says one.
Located just a few miles from the scenic beaches of North Carolina, Trinity Grove is a welcoming retirement community with memory care services. The community is spread across four small neighborhoods, each containing everything residents need to feel at home. Recreational spaces, a hair salon and barbershop invite residents to enjoy their retirement while natural areas and a dog park welcome visiting loved ones. Restaurant-style dining provides three high-quality meals each day and 24-hour skilled nursing ensures resident comfort. Memory care residents have additional programs designed to maintain and nurture their current skills and abilities, as well as extra security to provide a safe living environment.
Residents and their loved ones praise Trinity Grove for its friendly staff and level of care. One reviewer says, "Trinity Grove has changed my paradigm of nursing homes. The level of care they provide, along with the compassion, patience, friendliness, and respect they show to the residents is commendable. My mother has been a resident for 4 months...I must admit I dreaded having to check her into a nursing home but now I am thankful that we chose Trinity Grove. I highly recommend this...[community]."