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 Chapel Hill's senior population continues to grow (39.52% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Chapel Hill, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased 3.4% between 2014 and 2019. The number of deaths from all causes for that same age group increased by 16.39%. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.43% in Chapel Hill 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 Chapel Hill. 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 Chapel Hill, 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:
Brookdale Meadowmont is a comfortable and homelike senior living community located close to medical facilities. The memory care unit is staffed by a team of specially trained caregivers who are on-site 24/7 to monitor residents and provide physical and emotional support. Seniors in memory care have supervised access to all the amenities in the community, including a barbershop, beauty salon, community kitchen and library. In addition, the facility offers physical, occupational and speech therapy services in the therapy room. Each resident has a personalized care plan that caters to their likes, dislikes and medical requirements. Activities are tailored to the mental and physical abilities of each senior. They may include puzzle building, music therapy, religious services, cognitive games, reminiscing conversations and arts and crafts. Family members are encouraged to take part in social activities with their loved ones.
One reviewer praised the wonderful staff saying, "My Mother moved to Brookdale Meadowmont in November 2016 and I don't think we could have hoped for a better experience. Management and staff were very caring and helpful. Mom had a great room that felt like home to her. She enjoyed many of the activities and liked the food."
Brookdale Senior Living is in a quiet area just a short drive from all the local amenities of Chapel Hill, including The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Morehead Planetarium and Ackland Art Museum. The community's Clare Bridge program encourages a person-centric approach to memory care. Residents can participate in regularly scheduled activities based on their health requirements and current ability. The structured Daily Path program includes therapeutic activities such as discussion therapy and daily exercise and a range of exciting recreational options, including dancing, golfing and karaoke. Residents may personalize their apartments with family keepsakes and are welcome to bring small pets with them or participate in pet therapy if desired.
Residents' family members compliment the attentiveness and friendliness of the staff. They also appreciate that residents are welcome to personalize their living space. One relative praised the care given to their parents. "I like the fact that they were able to take things from their home and decorate these two rooms so that it feels more like home to them. The staff is very attentive to all of their requests".
Chatham Ridge Assisted Living is an assisted living and memory care community that provides a secure and bright setting for dementia, Alzheimer's and other memory impairments. The community offers private and semi-private apartments with kitchenettes, bathrooms and a wireless emergency response system. Residents receive around-the-clock personal help with dressing, bathing, eating and other daily tasks from a trained team of compassionate caregivers. Seniors remain active by participating in various social activities, wellness programs, card clubs and community outings. Three restaurant-style meals are prepared and served each day in the welcoming dining room. In partnership with Ageility Physical Therapy Solutions, Chatham Ridge also provides rehabilitation therapies and post-surgical care services. Weekly housekeeping and maintenance services keep apartments free of any hazards that may cause residents to fall.
Chatham Ridge offers excellent memory care services in a calm and secure environment. One family member wrote, "Chatham Ridge took great care of my grandmother. The staff is very professional and supportive. They treated my grandmother like a queen. This is an awesome place."
Carolina Reserve of Durham is a family-owned assisted living and memory care community offering comfortable apartment-style suites that feel like home. Seniors with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory impairments receive individual care and support through the community's Pathways to Discovery memory care program. The program helps residents remain engaged and happy each day by using therapy techniques such as life skills, music and art. A wide range of physical, social and intellectual activities and hobbies are also available to nurture the cognitive abilities of seniors. In addition to healthy snacks throughout the day, delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are prepared and served using locally grown ingredients. Carolina Reserve's MyStay respite services provide a caring place for older adults to recover from illness or surgery quickly.
Family members are pleased with the excellent care given to their loved ones at Carolina Reserve. One reviewer expressed, "The staff is very friendly and welcoming. Their residents get the best care. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wonderful place for their loved ones to live."
Seasons at Southpoint is located in a residential area in the east of Southpoint, near Duke Health Center South Durham. Seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia live in a secure neighborhood designed with easy navigation and recognition in mind. Caregivers provide personalized 24/7 care to suit residents at all stages of memory impairment, including assistance with daily tasks, housekeeping and personal care. Residents are encouraged to take part in activities and therapies that promote physical, mental and spiritual wellness, including dancing, aromatherapy, book club and pet therapy. Three chef-prepared meals per day use fresh local produce to ensure optimum nutrition and are served in an elegant dining room.
Family members praise the excellent amenities and food, with one reviewer saying, "It has a nice-sized bathroom, large closet, and the room is very clean and perfect for what she needs. They have won awards for their food. The people who prepare the food are trained by chefs, and the food is really good."
The Addison of Durham is a vibrant senior living community offering assisted living and memory care services in a safe, secure and caring environment. Its award-winning Embrace memory care program helps residents with dementia or Alzheimer's connect with others while remaining as independent as possible. The community provides stimulating activities to improve the cognitive abilities of seniors while keeping residents safe through 24/7 care and an alarmed security system. A staff of licensed nurses manages medications and performs regular wellness checks. Three restaurant-style meals are served each day, as well as nutritious snacks. Housekeeping, laundry, transportation and maintenance services are also provided.
Families are pleased with the high level of care given to loved ones at The Addison of Durham. One relative writes, "My mom is at The Addison of Durham. Her care is excellent. They have such caring staff, and she gets one-on-one attention. The people have been amazing, and she absolutely loves it."
Supported by staff with Alzheimer's Association-backed training, memory care residents at Sunrise of Cary may enjoy a walking club, gentle fitness routines and brain games. With care planning based around behavior therapy and validation techniques, staff guide residents through familiar routines with clothing selections, meal support and mobility assistance. The secure common areas of the Reminiscence memory care neighborhood feature a quiet life skills room and garden. Residents in early stages of memory loss can join the Terrace Club, a system of resident support groups and reflection activities built in to their assisted-living-level routines. In the dining room, the culinary staff serves three meals a day with often locally sourced ingredients. Each suite contains a private bathroom and emergency alert system.
Residents and families praise the welcoming atmosphere of the memory care neighborhood. One says, "The memory care wing is so bright and spacious, clean and looks like someone's home rather than a long-term care facility. Dad was met with 'Welcome Home' when he arrived and this was just what we all needed."
Brookdale Cary is a memory care neighborhood that provides comfortable accommodations in a secure and calm environment for those coping with Alzheimer's and dementia. Residents are encouraged to furnish their apartments with their own familiar furnishings and personal items from home. The community's Clare Bridge dementia care program focuses on improving the cognitive abilities of seniors through fun activities that include mental workouts, art projects, gardening and exercise classes. A trained staff is on-site 24/7 to assist residents with daily living tasks and other needs. For added safety, the community's entrances and exits are carefully monitored, and the outdoor courtyard and gardens are enclosed. Brookdale Cary also offers on-site religious services, bowling and singalongs. Other amenities include a beauty/barber shop, therapy room, community kitchen, crafts studio and screened lanai.
Visitors to Brookdale are impressed with the amenities and services available to them. One reviewer expresses, "I visited Brookdale Cary. I liked the overall presentation, the interior and exterior, and their politeness. The staff member was informative and knowledgeable about the facility and explained everything to me thoroughly."
Woodland Terrace is a senior community located on 22 acres of landscaped grounds in the charming southern town of Cary, NC. The community's Arboretum is specially designed to provide a comfortable and friendly setting for those with Alzheimer's, dementia or other forms of memory loss. Its team of caregivers enjoys spending time with residents while lending a hand with bathing, dressing and other daily living needs. A nurse is on duty 24 hours a day to handle the administering of medications and any medical issues. Woodland Terrace's Signature Art of Living Well program offers a variety of scheduled memory activities to keep seniors engaged, including music, gardening and aquatics. Chefs prepare and serve three flavorful meals each day that create new memories for seniors. Weekly housekeeping, laundry and transportation services are also provided.
Family members highly recommend Woodland Terrace for the care provided to their loved ones. One relative wrote, "My Dad absolutely loved Woodland Terrace. The staff is friendly and truly cares about getting to know the residents on a personal level."
Situated in historic Cary, NC, Brookdale MacArthur Park is a senior living community offering assisted living and memory care services in a secure and calm environment. Seniors feel right at home in one of the community's studios, one-bedroom apartments or private suites with safety features and a 24-hour security system. Residents who have Alzheimer's and dementia are given help with bathing, dressing, taking medications and other daily living tasks. In addition to providing support throughout the day, highly-trained staff handle chores such as laundry and housekeeping. Brain games, dancing, art classes and music programs are some of the activities available at Brookdale to help seniors improve their cognitive abilities. An award-winning culinary team prepares a variety of restaurant-style meals that suit the dietary requirements of memory care residents. Other amenities include a hair salon, library and therapy room.
Seniors receive care at Brookdale in comforting and secure surroundings. One family member remarked, "My mother is in Brookdale. It is perfect with what we need. Everything is clean, and she is being taken care of. It has attentive nurses and attentive people. Their meals seem to be fine. They have a lot of activities."
HeartFields at Cary is located in the heart of a lively neighborhood in Cary, NC. The site is just a short drive away from shopping centers, notable restaurants and the Western Wake Hospital. HeartFields offers its memory care residents the award-winning Bridge to Rediscovery program, which uses Montessori-based dementia principles. The program provides individualized attention for each resident, with recreational and occupational therapy to restore some functionality by building on residents' strengths. The pet-friendly community and living spaces are elegant and warm. Amenities include a library, full-service beauty salon and restaurant-style dining. Exercise classes, pet therapy and game nights keep residents engaged.
According to one reviewer, "The administrators and staff are outstanding. The facility is always clean and smells fresh. The food is very good, and there are lots of food options. The facilities operation runs like clockwork with a very friendly atmosphere."
Waltonwood Cary Parkway is a family-owned upscale senior living community that provides a full range of care options, allowing seniors to age in place with individualized memory care services. A life enrichment coordinator crafts a full calendar of events, including individual and small group activities designed to encourage participation and social engagement and help residents overcome anxiety associated with memory loss. The community is thoughtfully designed with varying wall colors to help define areas, memory boxes outside each apartment to assist residents in identifying their home, a secure courtyard and a monitored entryway. Memory care apartments feature large windows that bring in natural light, barrier-free bathrooms with a contrasting color scheme and spacious closets. Residents can enjoy restaurant-style dining, expanded dining hours and an array of healthy, gourmet food options prepared by on-site chefs.
The staff is praised for "always doing fun activities with the residents" and being "so friendly and helpful." One relative says, "I was so hesitant about moving my mom into any Senior Living - but WOW! The staff are incredible. They have a wonderful activity program that has kept mom busy and has allowed her to develop lasting friendships."
Spring Arbor of Cary is an inviting community with a self-serve coffee shop, resident store, HUR-equipped fitness center and beautifully outfitted indoor and outdoor common areas, including a lounge with a baby grand piano, a covered porch with rocking chairs, an elegant dining room with soaring ceilings, manicured grounds with a gazebo and a spacious sunroom. All residents enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle and access to 24/7 personalized assisted living services from a care team comprised of several qualified nurses and certified dementia practitioners. Individuals with Alzheimer's or related dementia receive specialized care and signature programming in a purpose-designed, intimate memory care cottage with an enclosed courtyard, a private entrance and a country-style cafe. A licensed recreation therapist schedules activities that provide opportunities for residents to socialize, rekindle old hobbies, maintain connections with loved ones and discover new passions. Individualized wellness and physical rehabilitation programs are available from an on-site partner.
Reviewers note the accommodating, compassionate caregivers and clean, pleasant surroundings found at Spring Arbor of Cary. "It's a beautiful building. My mother-in-law is very happy there. They take good care of the residents," expresses one. Another says, "The community is neat and clean, and the staff is very friendly. My loved one also really likes the food."
Chatham Commons is a vibrant assisted living and memory care community close to retail shops, fine dining restaurants and local entertainment. The community offers various safe, secure and comfortable floor plan options for seniors to choose from. A dedicated team of caregivers in the memory care wing provide around-the-clock care for older adults who have Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other types of memory impairments. Whenever necessary, residents receive help with daily living tasks and medications. An on-call doctor is also available to handle any medical needs. Seniors are encouraged to participate in the many one-on-one and group activities to stay mentally and physically fit. Each day, the kitchen staff prepares and serves nutritious meals in the dining area. Other amenities at Chatham Commons include relaxing lounges, a beauty salon/barbershop and a private spa.
Chatham Commons provides residents with love and care in a quiet setting. One reviewer wrote, "I have a good friend who is living in this facility and we are very thankful for the peaceful life that this environment provides. The staff is friendly, loving and attentive."
With award-winning dining and a resident-run service program, Brighton Gardens of Raleigh's residents and staff maintain an active community. Residents in the early stages of memory loss can join the Terrace Club, a program for residents in assisted living that need extra cognitive exercises, independence reinforcement and resident support groups. In the Reminiscence neighborhood, residents in later stages of memory loss are supported by staff through validating communication techniques, hygiene assistance and more secure common areas with softer lighting and music. Through Alzheimer's Association-recognized training, staff create care plans that include light exercise, behavior therapy and fun social events.
Residents and families appreciate the great dining and caring staff. One says, "My mom has been a resident here for 5 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."
Located 30 miles east of Chapel Hill, Sunrise at North Hills provides memory care, assisted living and short-term care. Conveniences such as shopping, dining, movie theaters and parks are located nearby. The recently renovated community offers numerous indoor and outdoor common areas where seniors can relax or socialize. Meals, housekeeping and laundry services are all provided, enabling a worry-free lifestyle. Memory care residents live in a dedicated and secure Reminiscence neighborhood. This comforting area is easy to navigate, promotes socialization and features life skills stations to help residents maintain their abilities. The community's life enrichment managers also provide memory-focused activities tailored to each resident's skills and interests. Staff trained in the latest memory care techniques, including validation therapy, provides 24/7 personalized care. Physical therapy is available on-site, and medical support is provided by three area hospitals.
Family members praise the caring staff and the quality of the food. One writes, "Sunrise at North Hills has been really good. The place is very nice, neat, and clean. The food is exceptional. The staff is professional, helpful, and caring." Adds another, "The staff is very caring and the food is good. ... They have a lot of activities."
Sunrise of Raleigh is a premier senior living community that offers a safe and secure environment for those with memory loss. Its Reminiscence neighborhood was designed for memory care residents. It provides peaceful living and dining areas located next to residents' apartments, allowing seniors to navigate their environment confidently. Memory care residents each have life enrichment managers that provide individual care by getting to know each senior and their life stories and their preferences and abilities. These professionals are trained in the validation method that uses techniques to understand and empathize with seniors. Residents are encouraged to stay connected with their families. The community also emphasizes keeping residents' families informed of their progress and daily activities. Care for residents with memory loss includes therapeutic activities, specially trained care staff available 24/7, emergency call systems in every residence and various comfortable community areas that encourage socialization and relaxation.
Customers appreciate the level of care and dedication of Sunrise's staff. A resident's granddaughter says, "Michelle took us through the application process and Tanya is my grandad's care manager. They are wonderful and my grandfather is well cared for. Thank you."
Elmcroft of Northridge is a single-story senior living community that offers a homelike atmosphere. Specially trained memory care staff are available 24/7 to assist residents with the tasks of daily living and provide emotional support. The memory care unit offers a secure environment that is constantly monitored for the safety of residents and to prevent wandering. Staff members get to know each resident's life history, current abilities, cultural heritage, and interests to provide care that is uniquely tailored to each senior. Activities, which are designed to create moments of joy and purpose, include pet therapy, musical entertainment, supervised group outings, gentle exercise classes and art classes. Scheduled transport is provided to medical appointments.
Family members praise the compassionate staff, with one saying, "My mother lived in assisted living and later the memory care unit at Elmcroft for 14 years. The people who work there are truly angels. ... We had so many wonderful interactions with the staff, and we knew that Mom was being very well cared for."
Morningside of Raleigh's Bridge to Rediscovery program for residents living with dementia and Alzheimer's disease offers individualized care plans that include recreational, physical and occupational therapy sessions. The specially trained staff members help residents stay engaged with their interests and other community members through daily activities such as group exercise classes and pet therapy sessions. Regularly scheduled on-site religious services, lecture discussions, gardening and arts and crafts keep each memory care resident's mind and body in the best possible shape. Three chef-crafted meals are served each day, with modified menu items available for residents with special dietary needs. Emergency call systems are in place throughout the community. Staff does regular housekeeping, linen and laundry services.
Family members are relieved, saying, "I was fortunate to find a memory care unit that both my parents could move to and stay together. The care that my parents are getting is wonderful and the staff is always very helpful when I have a question."
Seasons at Southpoint is a memory care community offering cozy one and two-bedroom apartments that allow seniors to feel right at home in a secure environment. Its award-winning Bridge to Rediscovery memory care program is designed to provide assistance with eating, walking and other daily tasks for those with Alzheimer's, dementia and other forms of memory loss. Numerous recreational activities and social events are tailored to help improve the cognitive abilities and physical strengths of residents each day. A team of culinary chefs prepares and serves a variety of restaurant-style meals made from farm-fresh ingredients. A physician visits the community on a regular basis to take care of any medical issues that may arise. Seniors also enjoy a full-service barbershop/beauty salon, in-house church services and transportation services to appointments and outings. Seasons at Southpoint has respite care and short-term stays for those who want to experience what the community has to offer.
Reviewers say this community provides a stimulating atmosphere for residents. One said, "Wonderful experience to date. The community has a very helpful, caring staff and management team. My mother-in-law seems to thrive there."