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 Chattanooga’s senior population continues to grow (16.91% growth between 2013 and 2018), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Chattanooga, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 57.07% between 2013 and 2018. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 11.55%, 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 (10.71% in Chattanooga 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 more than a dozen hours researching senior living communities in Chattanooga. 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 Chattanooga, 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:
Manorhouse Assisted Living offers memory and dementia care in a comfortable and secure community. Skilled caregivers and nursing staff are available 24/7 to implement personalized care plans and help residents with reminiscence and life skills by utilizing interactive technology. Residents can remain physically active through exercise classes, such as yoga and sporting events. Manorhouse Assisted Living also arranges daily activities that are designed to develop skills and cultivate new interests, including discussion groups, musical entertainment, games, crafts and off-site excursions for sightseeing and shopping. Meals are served in the formal dining room so residents can dine and socialize with their peers. Menus are reviewed by a registered dietitian to ensure all special dietary needs are met.
Online reviewers praise Manorhouse Assisted Living for its beautiful grounds and the friendly and helpful staff. A relative of one resident writes, "My mother loves it here! The atmosphere and the environment are really good. The staff are friendly and caring."
Dominion Senior Living of Athens offers memory care services focused on prioritizing respect, compassion and dignity of all residents. The 10-acre property has a scenic pond, sensory gardens and walking paths to provide a peaceful atmosphere. Caregivers undergo comprehensive training in evidence-based care programs for seniors with dementia. Seniors receive assistance with activities of daily living, including personal care, transfers and medication management. Transportation is available for appointments, religious services and off-site recreational trips. The wellness director consults with family and residents to develop personalized care plans. Seniors participate in furnishing and decorating their rooms, and small pets are welcome. Beautiful indoor lounges offer comfortable settings for relaxing and talking with friends. The activities department hosts frequent game and movie nights and encourages residents to participate in various hobbies, such as gardening, cooking and music. Residents also have access to an on-site salon and library.
Elmcroft of Hamilton Place is an assisted living and memory care facility that helps residents live as independently as possible while providing assistance when necessary. The property is laid out to be easy to navigate, and staff provide structured programs to help residents retain cognitive functions through Elmcroft's Best Friends program. The campus maintains a low resident-to-staff ratio to ensure that residents get as much attention as they need. Staff is on-site 24 hours a day, and several amenities are available, including a beauty salon and a garden and patio. Elmcroft's Vitality Club helps seniors stay active, and the property offers several activities, including trivia, sightseeing tours and themed days. Meals are prepared on-site, and residents can meet regularly with staff members to offer input on the menus.
Residents are very pleased with the overall demeanor of the staff members, with one saying, "The staff is very helpful and helps me do whatever needs to be done." Residents and loved ones also praise the food quality and the cleanliness of the property, describing it as "very nice, very clean, and very spacious."
Elmcroft of Shallowford is a senior living community located in a tranquil setting just outside Chattanooga. Residents receive around-the-clock, individually tailored assistance that aims to help them maintain independence. The community's apartments are designed with privacy in mind and can be decorated according to residents' tastes, ensuring they can live in cozy and comfortable spaces. Mealtimes are created to be social experiences, with tasty dishes prepared by professional culinary staff and served by courteous waitstaff. The community also provides a full calendar of regular activities, ranging from exercise classes, movie nights, craft classes, game evenings and ladies' teas to outings to shopping centers and restaurants.
A resident's family member is very appreciative of the level of care received at Elmcroft, saying, ''Elmcroft of Shallowford is an amazing place. When my mother in law walked in she knew it was the place for her. She wants for nothing. Her care is above and beyond expectations. They are all caring and compassionate not only about her feelings and care, but the families cares and concerns also.''
At Martin-Boyd Christian Home, staff are on-site 24/7 to support residents. Seniors are provided with individualized care plans, and nurses are on duty to help with the management of medication, continence and other daily tasks. Monitored care is available for seniors with dementia, and staff are trained in de-escalating exit-seeking behavior. The community is secure, with a landscaped courtyard where residents can enjoy fresh air and sunshine. In addition to their usual medical appointments and services, residents receive monthly wellness screenings. Housekeeping and laundry services are provided weekly, and transportation is complimentary. On-site devotional services are offered, and off-site devotional services are close by. Residents are also allowed to bring their pets, provided they are small, and guests can dine with seniors during mealtimes. Beauty and barber services are available on-site.
Residents say the staff are "dedicated, consistent, and truly have a passion for what they do." The community provides appropriate services for end-of-life care, and seniors often describe it as "home." The food is noted by several to be "wonderful," and residents enjoy that it is served at the table and not via a cafeteria line.
Located along part of the scenic Tennessee Riverparkway, Morning Pointe of Hixson provides assisted living and memory care to residents in a quiet but convenient area. Memory care residents live in a separate, secure wing of the community named the Lantern Alzheimer's Memory Program. Here, they are treated on an individual basis with a focus on preserving independence and personal interests while supporting areas of life affected by memory deficits. Social interaction is encouraged in a restaurant-styled dining hall and throughout the day via group activities and scheduled outings to the Morning Pointe of Hixson's beautiful inner patio and gardens.
Reviews of Morning Pointe of Hixson are mostly positive, with one happy family writing that the "staff has the training and patience to handle all needs and unique personalities of seniors with Alzheimer's." The son of parents at Morning Pointe called the facility "top-notch" and added that the staff was "friendly, helpful and compassionate."
The Terrace at Mountain Creek is a luxury senior living community located on 10 acres of land at the base of Signal Mountain. Staff is available 24/7 to assist residents with personalized care and medication management. The memory care unit has themed sensory spaces that are purposefully designed to assist those with cognitive impairment. Wireless safety systems are installed in every room in case of a fall or medical emergency. Residents have access to secure outdoor spaces where they can relax and enjoy the therapeutic sounds of nature. The memory care unit has an on-site barbershop and beauty salon to help the residents get ready for any occasion. Regular activities are scheduled such as movies, piano playing and art classes. There is a professionally supervised fitness center where residents can take fitness classes or do individual programs.
Family members praise the kind and professional staff as well as the lovely location, with one reviewer saying, "The setting is wonderful. The staff is very caring, will bring his food when needed, and are very flexible and accommodating."
The Canopy at Boynton Ridge provides memory care and assisted living residents with a beautiful community that's secured with fencing and security gates. Transportation is available and there are also parking spaces for residents with their own cars. Memory care seniors live in spacious and pet friendly studio or one-bedroom accommodations that include emergency call systems and cable and utilities. Meals are prepared by chefs and may be adjusted to suit special needs and can be taken in the dining room or in a resident's home. Guests are invited to enjoy meals with residents and are welcome to stay overnight. For birthdays and social events, there's a party space along with a garden and patio. Other entertainment options include a computer room and a TV room. For exercise, there's hiking trails, golf, fitness rooms and exercise classes. Beds are made daily and housekeeping and laundry services are provided weekly.
Seniors with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia find a welcoming, homelike environment at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer's Center of Excellence. Here, residents with mild-to-moderate symptoms benefit from The Lamplight Program, while those with more severe challenges enter The Lantern Program. Both offer personalized programming based on each individual's interests and strengths while providing different care levels and environments. The community's Dining with Dignity program's delicious meals are tailored to residents' dietary needs, preferences and physical capabilities. For those needing speech, physical or occupational therapies to enhance their well-being and independence, staff members arrange services in consultation with each resident's personal physician. Activities that include brain games, exercise, group outings, musical entertainment and pet visits take place regularly, and friends and family members are encouraged to participate.
Reviewers often mention the cleanliness of the premises and the caring and professionalism of the staff. One visitor remarked, "The amount of activity and interactions between the patients and the staff was awesome. Everyone seemed happy and loving. It smelled clean and fresh like a 4-star motel."
At The Rosewood at Fort Oglethorpe, seniors can receive a high level of individualized care aligned with Georgia laws while living close to the plentiful attractions of Chattanooga. The community's Pathways program offers memory care in a secure environment with daily activities that build on each resident's strengths and unique personalities. Its lush grounds include a patio, a garden and other outdoor areas for leisurely strolls and picnics. The social calendar brims with activities and events to nurture the body, mind and spirit with adventure and inspiration. Each day, an executive chef and culinary team prepare and serve three delicious, wholesome meals from scratch with local ingredients. Residents can choose from a variety of dining options as well. A beauty and barber shop is on-site for grooming and styling convenience. Rosewood also furnishes transportation to appointments, errands and events.
One resident commented, "Staff personnel are caring people who go above and beyond to assist in every possible way; Caregivers and dining room servers are cheerful, and quick to see that the resident's needs and desires are quickly and uncomplainably met. Rooms are spotlessly clean and odor-free; Food is more than adequate, tasty and nutritious."