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 Cambridge's senior population continues to grow (14.92% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Cambridge, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased by 7.9% between 2014 and 2019. The number of deaths from all causes for that same age group increased by 7.32%. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.25% in Cambridge 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 Cambridge. 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 Cambridge, 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:
Conveniently located, Cadbury Commons At Cambridge sits right across the street from St. Peter's Field park and offers easy access to restaurants, shops and entertainment in Porter Square. This community offers a memory care program, Morningside Program, based on the Habilitation Therapy model developed by the Alzheimer's Association. Residents live in a secure neighborhood and receive individualized care plans base on their unique needs. The care staff, specially trained in dementia and Alzheimer's care, is available 24 hours a day to help with activities of daily living, including dressing, toileting, self-administered medication management, bathing and ambulation, on an as-needed basis. The Morningside Program delivers purposeful engagement by offering meaningful activities designed to encourage independence and promote self-esteem, such as balance and strength fitness classes, brain games and crossword puzzles, arts and crafts, music therapy, happy hours and courtyard gardening.
Family members love the friendly staff and diverse activities. The cousin of a resident writes, "This was the perfect choice for my cousin. The community is located across the street from a lovely park. They offer a lot of activities along with doing Sunday drives to different locations and events. The staff is friendly and engaging."
Maplewood at Weston is a luxury senior living community offering scenic views of the Charles River. The Currents memory care neighborhood has been specifically designed to meet the needs of seniors with dementia and other memory loss disorders. Residents have access to a serene and secure courtyard, resort-style common areas and safe walking paths. The interiors have been designed to be easy to navigate with circular corridors and bright colors define each area of the community. A team of qualified caregivers is always on hand to support residents physically and emotionally. Each resident has a personalized care plan that focuses on celebrating their current abilities and helping them to find a sense of accomplishment on a daily basis. Activities may include scenic bus trips, reminiscing, gentle fitness classes, musical entertainment, art classes and movie nights.
Family members appreciate the compassionate staff and individually tailored care with one person saying, "My father transitioned into the Memory Care Unit with the help of the thoughtful and experienced staff. They continue to personalize his care and make changes as he changes. I can easily reach a staff member any time day or night and communicate any concerns or requests."
Atria Marina Place is an assisted living community that cares for seniors with dementia and prioritizes physical activity, social connection and individualized planning in its care programming. Caregivers are available 24/7 to help residents care for themselves and keep up with their medications. Atria Marina Place features specially designed indoor and outdoor spaces that give residents a sense of freedom and offer places to relax while keeping them secure and preventing wandering. The furniture and decor at this community is also carefully curated to provide pleasant memories to those with dementia.
Family members consistently say positive things about the management and caregivers at Atria Marina Place. One relative says, "My mom has been a resident of Atria Marina Place Assisted Living for five years. She is very happy there. The staff are very professional, friendly, caring and go above and beyond in making sure my mom is safe, comfortable and happy."
Located less than two miles south of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Chestnut Park at Cleveland Circle offers seniors a secure and enriching memory care environment. The memory care program delivers different levels of care based on each resident's specific needs and cognitive abilities. This community prioritizes cognitive engagement through inventive activities designed to enrich memory care residents' social lives and personal well-being. Programs include word puzzles, group documentary viewings and senior choir practice. Residents can enjoy attending morning gatherings and afternoon matinees or spend time participating in cognitive challenges and mindful meditation. They can also unwind in the outdoor courtyards, relax with a book in the library and get their hair styled at the on-site salon.
Families compliment Chestnut Park at Cleveland Circle for being a well-maintained community that cultivates a homelike atmosphere. One resident's loved one says, "She adjusted beautifully to living in their memory unit. The apartments and hallways have large windows which help to make all bright and feel more like home. Cleanliness is excellent and the food is quite good too."
Sunrise of Burlington's Reminiscence memory care neighborhood features care recognized by the Alzheimer's Association for evidence-based training. This includes validation communication that matches residents' moods and allows for open-ended questions. Life enrichment managers create plans focused on reinforcing residents' identities and meeting their daily living needs. With this support, residents may enjoy exercise classes, Brain Gym games, spiritual services and reflection activities. While they have access to the library and bistro, memory care residents have their own more secure areas such as patios and sitting rooms for quiet activities. In each suite, staff may help families create spaces full of familiar items, calming color schemes and tactile cues. In the dining room, culinary staff serve diet-friendly, chef-prepared meals while providing mobility and eating assistance as needed.
To residents and families, the staff engagement stands out in this community. One writes, "I was so happy with my decision as the care [my dad] received was wonderful. [He] was busy with activities, even when he did not think he wanted to be! The staff is caring and engaging, with patients and their families."
Conveniently located, Benchmark Senior Living at Waltham Crossings offers easy access to the medical facilities, restaurants, shops and museums of Boston and Metrowest. The memory care program of this community provides six levels of care. The lowest level is for seniors with mild memory impairment and limited behavioral issues, while the highest level targets seniors who need extensive behavioral support and assistance with all aspects of care. The care staff, specially trained and Certified Dementia Practitioners, is available 24 hours a day to help residents with activities of daily living and household tasks, such as medication management, housekeeping, grooming, bathing, linen service and laundry. Scheduled transportation for doctor's appointments and outings is also available. Residents live in a secure neighborhood filled with treasure chests, journey stations and visual cues to promote independence and cognition. Art and music therapies are available.
Family members love the kind and respectful staff. The wife of a resident writes, "I am so appreciative of the great care the memory care staff is giving my husband. Their patience, kindness, and gentle ways have reduced his difficult behavior. I've seen how careful and respectful the staff is when changing and cleaning him."
Conveniently located outside Boston, Wingate Residences at Needham is a short drive from several world-class medical facilities, including Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham and Newton- Wellesley. This community offers a memory care program, The Neighborhood, that takes a person-centric approach to dementia care. Each resident receives an individualized care plan after a detailed health assessment. The specially trained care staff, including Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), is available 24 hours a day to provide personal care, such as medication management and overnight hourly wellness checks. More specialized healthcare services, including dietitian services, onsite physician visits, aromatherapy, pharmacy delivery services and pet therapy, are also offered. For urgent matters, residents can access caregivers through an emergency response system at any time. A Certified Memory Care Activities Director organizes a wide range of engaging activities for the residents to enjoy.
People love the excellent staff and amenities. A reviewer writes, "The common areas are quite elaborate and very luxurious. There's a pool, two movie theaters, a beautiful dining area, and the grounds are quite nice. The individual rooms are nice. The staff is excellent. They have a lot of good activities, like karaoke and accordion playing."
The Residence at Melrose Station offers the Reflections Memory Care program, which takes a non-pharmacological approach to support personal dignity and high-quality living. By focusing on the Four Pillars of Engagement, which target each senior's social and physical needs, the community creates opportunities for residents to experience joy, gain success and form social connections. Art and music therapies are offered, along with memory and sensory exercises. All members of the care staff are certified by the National Institute for Dementia Education. They are available 24 hours a day to help residents with activities of daily living, including medication management, dressing and housekeeping. Staff members also offer laundry services, bathing support and continence care. Residents can keep themselves engaged by taking tai chi classes, curling up with a good book at the library, or joining the gardening club.
Family members love the beautiful environment and accommodating staff. The daughter of one resident says, "My father is at The Residence at Melrose Station. They're excellent. He loves the food. He thinks he's in a five-star hotel and he's very happy. They've been very accommodating with everything and my dad seems to be very happy there."
As a community operated by LCB Senior Living, The Residence at Watertown Square offers LCB's proprietary program, Reflections Memory Care, that takes a non-pharmacological approach to memory care. All caregivers are highly-trained dementia professionals certified by the National Institute for Dementia Education. Residents live in a secure neighborhood specially designed for seniors with dementia. The care staff is available 24 hours a day to help with activities of daily living, including medication management and incontinence management. The program also utilizes cutting-edge technology to improve care, including REACT Neuro, an analysis tool that predicts the likelihood of Parkinson's disease and fall risk, and Amazon Echo, a voice-based AI that provides information and assistance. A wide range of community amenities is available, such as a library, fitness center and patio. The culinary team prepares delicious meals daily using fresh and local ingredients.
Family members love the friendly and caring staff. The daughter of a resident writes, "The staff at The Residence at Watertown Square couldn't be friendlier or more helpful. Everyone is attentive and caring. Now that my mom's moved in, the communications from the community are timely and encouraging. We highly recommend The Residences at Watertown Square."
Situated atop a hill within the New England Baptist Medical Campus, Landmark at Longwood is a senior living community with stunning views of Boston and surrounding neighborhoods. The community's MorningStar memory care program offers individualized care and hourly safety checks for those living with Alzheimer's disease and other memory impairments in a supervised and secure setting. Specially trained staff focus on assisting residents with bathing, grooming, dressing and other daily living tasks. Each day, a variety of activities such as trivia, sing-alongs and crafts help improve seniors' cognitive abilities. Three nutritious meals are served in the dining area along with snacks whenever residents want them. To relieve anxiety and stress, Longwood also provides holistic treatment options that include aromatherapy, Reiki and pet therapy.
Residents appreciate this community's welcoming environment. They also like how the staff professionally attends to their needs. One resident says, "It's clean, comfortable, and easy to get around. The management is very focused on providing you with all the amenities and serving all your needs. It's beautifully landscaped with seating areas and in warm weather they have cookouts. The help is well trained and caters to your needs."
Adelaide of Newton Centre, located on a former theological school campus, features a modern farmhouse style with high ceilings and lots of natural light. Residents can garden or birdwatch in secure outdoor courtyards, and specialized indoor lighting reduces the effects of sundowning. The community's Connect First program has been nationally recognized for its ability to improve connections between residents and employees through reminiscence using treasure chests and journey stations as well as indoor therapeutic gardening programs. Adelaide of Newton Centre's layout supports residents' memory care needs through the use of visual cues and themed areas.
People express gratitude for the care, attention and professionalism that the staff and administration at Adelaide of Newton Centre give to their loved ones. Says one relative, "The care given my wife at Adelaide of Newton Centre was exceptional, in all respects." Another goes on to express his relief and comfort knowing that his mother has been well-cared for, saying, "It is a huge relief to know they are looking out for my mother. I am so grateful that we found Adelaide at this point in my mother's journey."
Occupying a historical building dating to 1905, Evans Park at Newton Corner sits close to a beautiful park with walking paths. It also offers easy access to the medical facilities, restaurants and shops in Boston. The memory care program of this community provides six levels of care. The first level is for seniors with mild cognitive impairment and limited behavioral issues, while the highest level is designed for residents who need extensive emotional support and total assistance. The caregivers, Certified Dementia Practitioners trained in the Called To Care program, are available 24 hours a day to help each resident with activities of daily living based on personal needs determined by a nursing assessment. For fun, residents can get pampered at the beauty salon, explore the well-stocked library or play games in the recreation room. Scheduled transportation is available for outings.
Family members love the attentive staff. The sister of a resident writes, "My brother lives in Evans Park at Newton Corner. There's definitely great communication with them. We get emails all the time about the activities. There are lots of amenities. The staff is very attentive, friendly, and very knowledgeable. They have helped my family tremendously."
Providence House Assisted Living is a memory care and assisted living community located in a calm setting in Brighton. The community's Beechwood Memory Care neighborhood for persons suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia provides a cheerful environment in which residents can live their lives with self-respect and dignity. Purposeful activities such as physical exercises, crafts, educational programs and pet therapy, along with social and entertainment events, stimulate residents' brains and keep them active physically. Trained staff are available 24/7 to help with seniors' physical, social and emotional needs. Safe comfortable one-room apartments and secure walking paths provide extended security for residents prone to wandering off-site. Residents relish three nutritious and diet-specific meals daily in a window-filled dining room.
Residents appreciate the many amenities offered by the community. One writes, "I was able to visit Providence House, and the experience was very positive. The atmosphere also. I felt that I fit in the place. I received their full package of information, and I was impressed with the scope of the activities available."
Sunrise of Newton is an assisted living and memory care community situated between the Charles River and Interstate 90 in Newton, Massachusetts, just 4 miles from Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Its Reminiscence memory care neighborhood is a calm, secure environment where residents can find their way around easily and socialize with others regularly. Seniors can participate in activities that help them live with purpose and boost their bodies, minds and spirits, such as fitness classes, book discussions and meditation sessions. They can also enjoy three meals each day, which are prepared using fresh, seasonal ingredients and can be modified to meet their personal tastes and dietary needs.
Sunrise of Newton earns top marks for its well-designed layout, spacious accommodations and resort-like ambiance. "It was like a spa, and the design was very nice. The library was beautiful, it had a fireplace. The place makes you feel like you're on vacation. It was nicely decorated. The rooms were roomy and big," writes one reviewer.
The Falls at Cordingly Dam is a premium senior living community conveniently located close to medical facilities. The memory care section helps seniors feel comfortable and safe through apartment that are decorated with familiar mementos and photographs to promote conversations and make residents feel at home. A team of trained caregiving staff is always on hand to provide compassionate emotional and physical support. Dietary and feeding support is provided at mealtimes for those who require additional assistance. The community offers art and music therapy daily to reduce cognitive decline and promote a sense of achievement. Additional activities, which are based on the abilities and interests of residents, may include walking, movie nights, woodwork, cooking and gardening. Treasure chests and journey stations are placed around the community to spark memories and discussions.
Family members appreciate the care shown by the staff, with one relative saying,"The Falls at Cordingly Dam is like a second family to my mom and me. I couldn't be happier with the level of care they provide to her and the compassion that they exude both to her and her needs as well as those of our extended family."
Sunrise of Arlington, located between the towns of Arlington and Lexington, provides a secure and comfortable environment for assisted living and memory care residents. Programs such as Reminiscence encourage memory care residents to be as independent as possible, supported by caring staff providing essential help with bathing, medication and other daily activities. This helps create a safe, familiar yet mentally stimulating environment for residents with memory loss and dementia. Each resident has a designated care provider and an individual service plan covering care requirements. The community has a welcoming atmosphere with a well-appointed dining room and a library on the ground floor. Established gardens provide a peaceful setting where residents can relax and participate in outdoor activities.
Family members appreciate the caring atmosphere. A daughter says, "Common areas are spacious and the apartments pleasing. The grounds are lovely. The staff is respectful but caring too, and always helpful." Another relative comments, "Sunrise of Arlington was incredible in providing an amazing service and making the transition for my father."
Conveniently located in Winthrop, MA, The Parc at Harbor View Senior Living offers easy access to world-class medical facilities in Boston. It's also a short distance from Melrose, Revere, or anywhere in Suffolk County. This community offers an award-winning memory care program, SPARK, based on scientific research and utilizes proven rehabilitation techniques to promote autonomy, encourage self-expression and improve memory recognition. The care staff is available 24 hours a day to help with activities of daily living, including medication management and grooming, and regular household tasks, such as housekeeping and laundry. The caregivers use cutting-edge assessment tools to gauge the ability of residents and formulate individualized care plans accordingly. Speech, occupational and physical therapies are available to the seniors with such needs. Residents can participate in many activities, such as group fitness classes, interactive learning, community excursions and religious services.
Family members love the staff. One writes, "I moved my mom to The Parc. Since the move, mom has received hands-on care, gained weight, which was a necessity, and got lots of love from the staff. She is smiling and flourishing now. Making the switch to The Parc was the best decision I've made."
Benchmark Senior Living at Woburn's memory care is divided into five levels. Care ranges from gentle reminders about routines to full assistance with aspects of daily living. Through specialized lighting for late-day confusion, aromatherapy and visual cues, staff guides residents through active schedules. Each day, memory care residents enjoy art and music therapy, gardening, memory books and light exercise. Staff helps residents socialize through small recreational activities including games and movie nights. Combined, these factors create Benchmark's Connect First program, a care plan that uses interpersonal relationships to preserve and strengthen memory. Though memory care residents have access to amenities including a bistro and fitness center, they have secured gardens and hair salons exclusive to their neighborhood.
Residents and loved ones appreciate how caregivers encourage resident relationships. One says, "The staff is wonderful, they are very polite and encouraging. They assign a staff member to be the 'angel' and her role is to encourage the residents to join in as many activities as possible."
The Reflections memory care program at Prospect House community encourages seniors to remain physically active and as independent as possible. Personalized care plans identify each individual's strengths, weaknesses and needs so that daily activities and events provide purpose and meaningful enjoyment. Word and card games, dancing, exercise classes and concerts engage seniors socially and mentally, helping them maintain cognitive thinking skills. The library, creative arts programs and cultural events allow residents to continue learning and pursue their interests and hobbies. Three chef-prepared meals are served daily, and a bistro offers nutritious snacks. The campus includes a beauty salon, outdoor patios and lounge areas, and transportation is provided for outings and doctor's appointments. Staff members are available 24/7 to assist with bathing, dressing, housekeeping and mobility needs.
Family members give Prospect House five stars for quality care. One reviewer says, "This is a wonderful, safe, beautiful community, with highly skilled staff. My family member has lived here for years. The care given is nothing less than exceptional. They have a full variety of social activities everyday. Which also includes weekly trips out."
The Linden at Dedham is a homey community offering individualized care for those with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory loss issues. Skilled caretakers assist residents in their activities of daily living and help them live comfortable, purposeful and happy lives. The community offers holistic and customized dementia care through the Opal by Leisure Care program, which focuses on the seven pillars of wellness: physical, social, emotional, experiential, creative, therapeutic and sensory. Residents are encouraged to participate in activities that stimulate the body, mind and soul. Dementia-friendly private studio suites, safe bathrooms, a secure courtyard, fire safety equipment, and an emergency communication system make the community safe for residents. The Linden offers chef-prepared, nutritious and personalized meals for the residents in a comfortable environment.
Families appreciate the professional staff at the community. One writes, "I chose The Linden at Dedham for my mother because it was highly recommended. It was small and beautiful. The staff is amazing; they're very attentive and helpful. She's very happy with the food; it's catered to what you want or what's good for you."