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 El Paso’s senior population continues to grow (11.79% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In El Paso, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose 52.86% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 11.73%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is slightly higher than the rest of the nation (6.84% in El Paso 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 El Paso. 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 El Paso, 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:
At Casa Bella, a small assisted living and memory care community in Las Cruces, New Mexico, seniors receive personalized attention in a homey atmosphere. The facility offers several levels of care, including assisted living, memory care and hospice services, that give residents the freedom to age in place as their needs change. Highly trained caregivers specializing in memory care are on-site around-the-clock, and a high staff-to-resident ratio allows each resident to receive the attention they deserve. The secured community provides common areas, including an enclosed courtyard, where residents can socialize and enjoy the outdoors. Residents are encouraged to engage in curated activities from creating art and enjoying live music to participating in off-site outings. Home-cooked meals are provided as are on-site beautician services and weekly massage therapy, and those who prefer peace and quiet can relax in their cozy private or semiprivate rooms.
Residents and loved ones give the community high marks, especially for its food service and cleanliness. One family member says, "They serve balanced, home-cooked meals." Another writes, "They give baths three times a week; the trash is almost nonexistent; the laundry is done daily, and everyone gets the care they need when they need it."
Desert Peaks Assisted Living and Memory Care is a senior living community located in a conveniently accessible Las Cruces neighborhood. Its Mountain Vistas memory care residence provides an intimate, family-like atmosphere and is managed by a dedicated coordinator. The facility breaks away from institutional models of care and uses a person-directed approach that’s structured on residents’ unique needs, preferences and desires. The memory care team undergoes dementia-specific training to adequately provide for the special care needs of memory-challenged residents, giving special attention to nutrition and physical, social and cognitive stimulation. Signature programs help maintain self-esteem and slow down the progression of impairments. For its Music Makes Memory program, residents with anxiety appear less agitated as they listen to their favorite playlists. The Tiny Stories project, on the other hand, maintains the legacy of residents by capturing their life stories in audio recordings.
Residents and families like the homelike atmosphere. They are also pleased with the staff and appreciate the type of care they provide. One reviewer says, "I like that the staff take my Grandma out and go for walks around the facility and she isn’t just confined to the memory care unit. They actually talk to her and keep her thinking and active.”
Residents at Good Life Assisted Living and Memory Care live in a secure, well-maintained facility with a senior-friendly one-story layout. From the spacious shared living area, residents can access diverse amenities, including an activity room, beauty salon and whirlpool spa. For live musical entertainment, visiting guests and residents are welcome to perform on the piano. In the community dining room, residents enjoy snacks and three healthy meals that are served family style. The landscaped grounds include a cozy porch, community garden and covered walking paths that are perfect for relaxing, socializing and enjoying El Paso's warm weather. The facility's caring staff uses an innovative medication management system with photo recognition to ensure that residents receive the right medication at the right time.
Loved ones appreciate the facility’s kind, respectful staff and attractive, well-kept building. One reviewer states, "My brother was extremely fortunate to be cared for by the staff at Good Life, El Paso. He was treated with dignity, compassion and received the utmost care. The facility is clean, well-maintained and comfortable."
The Haciendas at Grace Village features a unique layout of residential-style homes for providing assisted living, memory care and respite care. Residents will not find long hallways and corridors here; instead, they can enjoy the innovative design that promotes community interaction and personal independence. All residents have access to a home-style kitchen and open living room in each building, and they can stroll through secure, well-kept outdoor areas including porches, wandering paths and therapy gardens. The facility’s distinctive memory care unit features a 1:6 ratio of caregivers to residents — far above the state standard of 1:15 — which enables the caregivers to build deep relationships with residents and provide a high level of personalized care. The Haciendas at Grace Village is conveniently located in a quiet area of Las Cruces overlooking the Mesilla Valley, just a few minutes from two hospitals and several places of worship.
Family members of residents at the Haciendas compliment the spacious rooms, well-prepared food and staff’s attentiveness to residents and visitors. One relative commented, "My mother receives excellent care while still preserving her sense of dignity and autonomy. At the Haciendas at Grace Village, she has blossomed emotionally, physically, and psychologically.”
SunRidge at Cambria, located in El Paso, Texas, embraces a person-centered philosophy of care by tailoring its services and activities to meet each resident's needs. Available services include daily meals, weekly housekeeping, wellness programs and transportation to and from medical appointments. Activities vary from arts and crafts to fitness classes. For entertainment, residents can enjoy live music and movie nights. The facility's secure memory care neighborhood has comprehensive safety features, such as smoke detectors, sprinklers and an emergency call system. The community offers shared and private apartments in a variety of floor plans, including studio and one-bedroom units. Kitchenettes and individually controlled HVAC units are standard amenities. Residents also have access to cozy common areas and around-the-clock staff assistance. Total costs depend on the level of care required, the floor plan and whether the unit is private or shared. Utilities are included except for phone service.
According to residents and their loved ones, SunRidge at Cambria’s commitment to person-centered care shines through in the quality of the service. One family member notes, "The facility can accommodate most anyone with any type of issue, and the levels of care can be easily adjusted."
SunRidge at Cielo Vista provides seniors with compassionate, individualized assisted living and memory care through the creation of personalized support plans. Staff encourage residents to focus on their skills and interests through on-site fitness classes, art projects and group outings. The building is elegantly decorated and furnished, and the spacious apartments have large bathrooms and individualized thermostats. Outside, a secure, centrally located courtyard provides a sunny, well-landscaped outdoor living area. Additionally, residents can indulge in on-site salon treatments, partake in worship services and use the well-stocked library. The facility's convenient location is within walking distance of the trails at Ponder Park as well as shopping and restaurants at Cielo Vista Mall.
Family members comment on the facility’s cheerful atmosphere, good food and warm, engaging staff. One reviewer says that the community is "bright and open, and I am very pleased with the care my mother is getting here ... she enjoys the food as well. Her room is very nice and the staff here are friendly and attentive.”
Memory care residents at SunRidge at Desert Springs are invited to enjoy fun group outings, attend on-site Sunday church services or relax in front of a large-screen TV in one of the living rooms. The warm, homelike ambiance is enhanced by large windows that allow sunlight to shine through and the rocking chairs and cushioned seating on the pristine outdoor courtyard and patios. Additionally, residents can take in views of the Franklin Mountains or venture over to the nearby Coronado Country Club for a change of pace. The dining hall serves flavorful, home-style meals with a changing menu, and the facility welcomes small pets so residents can spend time with their furry companions.
Loved ones state that the facility’s staff is attentive, engaged and competent. One resident’s wife comments, "My husband has been well cared for at SunRidge at Desert Springs. He is always treated with respect and is clean and happy … I visit every day and know how hard the staff works to do a good job for their residents.”
Nestled near the foothills of Franklin Mountains State Park, The Legacy at Cimarron is El Paso's first luxury community for seniors. Management and staff promote independent living by providing each resident with as much or as little assistance as they need. A custom plan is designed for each resident to meet their need for cognitive stimulation, physical activity and meaningful social connections. The community provides ample services and amenities for residents, including transportation, housekeeping, restaurant-style dining and on-demand entertainment. Spacious floor plans feature kitchenettes, refrigerators, oversize walk-in closets and a 24/7 nurse call system. The community uses innovative, noninvasive monitoring technology to protect memory care residents while respecting their privacy.
Residents and visitors alike praise The Legacy at Cimarron for its "very attentive" staff and luxurious amenities. One family member compares it to "a boutique hotel" while another writes that it "was fabulous. It had its own movie theater, snacks free of charge, toiletries free of charge and very good food."
VibraLife of El Paso offers comprehensive care in a modern senior living community. Its memory care unit is designed for safety and security and features an enclosed courtyard where residents and visiting families enjoy secure outdoor relaxation. Basic memory care amenities and services include large apartments with private bathrooms, restaurant-style dining, an emergency call system and 24-hour care. Personalized plans promote social engagement and mental stimulation and are jointly designed by residents, families and the staff. The residents’ progress is monitored through regular family conferences. A full array of activities and recreation options help maintain quality of life and promote community interaction. Specialized programs focus on providing consistent routines to enhance residents’ familiarity with daily activities. The facility provides a fully integrated continuum of care and features a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center that provides advanced restorative care when needed.
Families are impressed with the clean and comfortable community and spacious rooms. They like that the facility is well-staffed and praise the attention their loved ones receive from the nurses, medical technologists, therapists and administrative personnel. One reviewer remarks, "My mother-in-law has now been there for the past two weeks, her improvements are remarkable! The entire staff is friendly and loving!"