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 Cary’s senior population continues to grow (29.8% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Cary, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose 112% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 21%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is higher than the rest of the nation (5.31% in Cary vs. 6.46% in the U.S.).
In order to help families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer's find the support and care that their loved ones need, we've compiled information below about the cost of Memory Care, how to get financial assistance to help make care more affordable, free resources, etc. Also included are reviews of the best memory care facilities in the area, which cover pricing, types of care provided, residents' reviews, and more.
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For memory care facilities, COVID-19 rules and regulations are typically set at the state level. You can view specific rules on our guide to memory care in North Carolina. These rules change often, and many communities have policies in place that go above and beyond what's required by the state, so you should contact your local community for more information. Additionally, you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging to learn more.
Note: Memory care is typically provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, and in general, costs 20-30% more than standard assisted living services. No authoritative cost data is available for this type of care, so we estimated memory care rates by adding 25% to assisted living fees in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.
The average cost of memory care in Cary is around $6,735. The cost varies throughout the state depending on key factors such as room and apartment floor plans and the exact location of the community.
At $6,735, memory care in Cary runs considerable higher than the state average of $5,013 per month. It’s also $1,100 more than the national average. Aside from Cary, Wilmington has one of the most expensive monthly costs in the state at $6,568. Asheville seniors pay around $6,248, and those in Durham pay an average of $6,000. Goldsboro is one of the least expensive cities at $3,375.
Adult day health is one of the least expensive types of senior care at $1,300 per month, but seniors may not receive the level of cognitive support they need. Seniors who want to stay in their own homes may choose in-home care or home health care at $4,957, which is over $1.700 cheaper per month than memory care. Assisted living communities cost around $5,388 per month, but they only provide basic help with ADLs. Extensive medical support in a semiprivate room in a nursing home costs around $6,996.
Note: Data for Cary was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Raleigh Area, was used instead.
Since not everyone can afford to pay for memory care out-of-pocket, it's important to find alternative methods to help make memory care more affordable. Some of these options include:
For more information about your options for making assisted living more affordable, visit our guide to Memory Care in Cary.
Seniors in Cary and the surrounding area can turn to multiple free and low-cost services to help improve their quality of life and address the needs of those with dementia and Alzheimer's. These resources focus on the health and safety of older adults living with cognitive impairments.
|Eastern North Carolina Chapter Alzheimer’s Association||800-272-3900||The Alzheimer’s Association serves as an advocate for seniors with dementia and other memory care issues. The association accelerates research for a cure and treatment, pushes for early detection and seeks to maximize the quality of care and support for those affected by the disease.|
|Dementia Alliance of North Carolina||919-832-3732||The Dementia Alliance provides support and links to resources for seniors with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones. Programs offered provide care, assistance and education.|
|Duke Dementia Family Support Group||919-660-7542||The Duke University dementia support group helps seniors and those with dementia get support and educate themselves on Alzheimer’s and other cognitive issues. Support groups meet over Zoom to share their individual stories and provide comfort and advice.|
|Alzheimer’s Community Corp.||919-414-0001||The Alzheimer’s Community Corp. helps seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia understand their options on how to proceed with care. The organization helps seniors learn how to delay the onset of dementia and how to cope with circumstances.|
|Project Lifesaver||919-865-6495||Project Lifesaver is a rapid support program initiated by the Wake County sheriff’s office. The program provides those with Alzheimer’s and dementia a tracking bracelet that makes it easy to locate them if they wander. The program is free to all those who live within the county.|
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 Cary, 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:
Seniors find stately Southern charm at Sunrise Senior Living’s Brighton Gardens of Raleigh. The beautiful architecture, traditionally furnished interiors and vibrantly colored landscapes create an attractive community for those seeking assisted living or memory care services. Assisted living seniors enjoy eight signature activity programs that keep them physically, creatively, educationally, musically and spiritually stimulated. Sunrise’s Reminiscence memory care program takes place in a calm, secure neighborhood where residents’ private or companion suites surround the common living areas for easy navigation. Individually assigned life enrichment managers trained in Validation therapy create a personalized care plan for each resident grounded in their unique preferences. The plan also includes any specific personal care assistance the resident needs, such as help with grooming, dressing, eating, toileting and medication management. Daily activities might include visits with pets and children, local outings, physical exercise and multisensory experiences.
Brighton Gardens’ “exceptionally helpful and accommodating” staff earns high praise from relatives. One son wrote, “My mom has been a resident here for five years. Staff is attentive to need. Food is great (I've stayed for lunch as a visitor many times). I am so glad we found this place; it has been a blessing.”
The North Raleigh location is one of Cadence Living's 7 assisted living homes in North Carolina. This community is nestled in a lush pine grove that provides a restful setting and features a special wing for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Residents with memory loss participate in Revere Memory Care, Cadence Living's Alzheimer’s care program that’s based on the latest research. Designed for seniors with early- to mid-stage Alzheimer’s, the therapeutic approach includes a warm, familiar living environment that promotes feelings of safety. Cadence Living’s highly trained caregiving team provides assistance with the activities of daily living while helping residents maintain life skills and independence for as long as possible. The daily schedule blends cognitive, spiritual and physical activities to create a stimulating environment. Residents are free to safely explore the secure community, which includes bountiful fruit and flower gardens that surround a paved, circular walking path.
Family members appreciate meals served on fine china and frequent celebrations that include family. Good communication is also highlighted. One reviewer said, “We are given regular updates by phone, and we are encouraged to call with questions or concerns at any time. Social events and activities help keep everyone busy.”
Chatham Commons is an assisted living, memory care and respite facility near downtown Cary. While the convenient location makes it easy for residents to use the community's transportation services for outings to local restaurants and shops, the spa, beauty salon and dining program fulfill many of the residents' needs on-site. Alzheimer's and dementia care residents receive personal care plans based on their unique preferences and abilities, and staff members ensure families receive support alongside their loved ones. When looking to take a stroll or breathe in the fresh air, residents can step outside to the manicured grounds and relax in the comfortable patio seating.
Loved ones praise the facility’s fun activities and friendly staff for helping residents socialize and stay engaged. One reviewer says, “My dad is busy and active at Chatham Commons. He plays bingo and goes to a senior center that is not far from there. Sometimes they have music, and he enjoys that as well. He made friends with the chef and is OK with the food.”
Just a few miles north of all the action in downtown Raleigh lies Elmcroft of Northridge, a senior living community offering assisted living and memory care. Situated in its own dedicated neighborhood, Elmcroft offers residents maximum independence in a safe and secure environment. Residents can get their hair done in the on-site beauty shop and catch up on their favorite shows in the TV lounge. Indoor and outdoor common areas provide a relaxing setting to chat with neighbors, and the peaceful walking paths are great for taking a stroll with friends through the landscaped grounds. The robust event calendar features a variety of mind- and body-stimulating activities such as yoga, brain fitness exercises, games, live entertainment and pet therapy. Spiritual residents will appreciate the on-site religious services, and the scheduled transportation makes it easy to go shopping and attend medical appointments.
The number and variety of activities may be the most highly regarded aspect of this community. One resident's family member said, "The rooms are nice and clean. Their dining room is pretty, and it is set up like a restaurant. They have activities like bingo, day trips and music. They have their days filled with things to do."
LiveWell Assisted Living is the result of the Beckett family’s experience in caring for their aged mother when she was battling cancer. The Becketts model their concierge-style assisted living communities after their own mother’s lifestyle standards, which included large doses of daily joy, excitement and spontaneity. With only six residents, the close-knit community environment lets the care team spend as much time as each resident needs to create a meaningful living experience. The memory care programs and activities are based on the current research on aging, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Each microcommunity is in a beautiful, serene setting that encourages connection with nature. LiveWell’s award-winning memory care model meets each resident wherever they are, honoring their current lifestyle interests, needs and preferences, with the ability to evolve when needed for maximum independence. Family members are always welcome, even if only for a quick hug.
Relatives love the peaceful homelike setting, high caregiver-to-resident ratio and individualized attention loved ones receive at LiveWell. One shared, “This is an excellent community for care. We are happy with the staff and the cleanliness of this good community environment. The menu is appealing, and many activities are offered to the residents.”
Spring Arbor of Apex strives to help assisted living and memory care residents live creative, vibrant and fulfilling lives. Staff members in the Cottage Care Alzheimer's and dementia program undergo a unique training initiative where their senses, such as hearing, sight and touch are temporarily restricted. Experiencing these impairments firsthand enables them to more deeply empathize with residents and understand their needs. Through the Hearts & Harmony music program, residents listen to curated playlists and play instruments such as drums and bells to stimulate their minds, connect with others and relieve stress. Residents are also able to enjoy on-site amenities including the brightly-lit sun room, well-stocked library and outdoor porches at their leisure.
Loved ones comment on the facility’s tranquil, homelike environment and well-maintained building. One reviewer says, “I came to Spring Arbor to visit a family friend, and was amazed … the building from the outside looked very presentable and exceeded my expectations. When I was greeted inside, I noticed that fellow residents all looked peaceful, and there was a positive aura in the room.”
Sunrise at North Hills provides assisted living, memory care and respite services in a convenient location close to Raleigh medical centers, movie theaters and restaurants. While the community takes residents on frequent group excursions to nearby attractions, facility amenities such as the putting green, physical therapy room and cozy living areas provide residents with plentiful opportunities for activity and social interaction. Life enrichment managers in the secure Reminiscence memory care neighborhood engage residents through personalized care and Validation therapy. Through techniques such as sincere eye contact, thoughtful questions and rephrasing, life enrichment managers empathize with dementia care residents to promote feelings of dignity, purpose and belonging. The custom dining program serves brain- and heart-healthy foods, provides nutritional information on the menus and supports modified diet requirements, such as purees and fortified foods.
Loved ones praise Sunrise at North Hills’ thoughtfully maintained, cheerful building and pet-friendly policy. One resident’s family member comments, “The facility is beautiful, well-kept and has a positive energy about it. They always have fresh flowers on display … They have therapy services on site and an abundance of activities all day long … All of the staff have good intentions and are very friendly.”
Sunrise of Cary is a pet-friendly community providing assisted living, memory care and respite services. Staff members strive to create a warm, cheerful environment where residents participate daily in engaging activities such as invigorating group walks, brain-stimulating Jeopardy games and relaxing meditations. Outside, attractive park benches provide seating in the lush, manicured garden with walking paths, and inside, residents are free to enjoy the well-stocked library, television room and cozy lounge. Staff members in the Reminiscence memory care unit are trained in Validation therapy and use open-ended questions, rephrasing techniques and empathy to help residents feel connected and supported.
Family members are impressed by the community’s welcoming, accommodating staff and positive ambiance. One loved one says, “Sunrise of Cary has been an excellent facility for my mother who has dementia … The staff has been exceptional in communicating with me on a regular basis. The staff is caring, passionate and go out of their way to meet my mother's individual physical, mental and emotional needs.”
Waltonwood Cary Parkway offers a warm, inviting environment with access to a variety of amenities. Seniors can get active in the wellness center, take a dip in the pool or enjoy gardening in the secured courtyard. Waltonwood's EXPAND life enrichment program encourages personal growth and social interaction through multisensory experiences delivered in small group settings, including resident-run interest clubs, pet therapy and the Forever Fit exercise program. Trips to Hamrick’s grocery store and dinner outings are also scheduled to help residents retain a connection with the community. Apartment walls are painted different colors, and personalized room ledges and memory boxes are placed outside each door to help seniors associate the room as their home. A rotating, seasonal menu, tableside food preparation and specialty desserts made by the resident pastry chef are unique amenities that allow seniors to enjoy a sophisticated dining experience.
One family member of a resident shares, "The staff is knowledgeable and very good. They have activities throughout the day, like they play games, take them on rides, and they take them out to eat. The place is clean and homey, and they have done a really good job with my mom."