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 Lakeland’s senior population continues to grow (14.8% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Lakeland, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose 87.8% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 13.2%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.5% in Lakeland 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 Florida. 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.
Information on costs can help seniors and caregivers make decisions on care and living accommodations. In Lakeland, memory care costs $4,125 per month on average, based on the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.
In Florida, memory care's median monthly rate is $5,000, and the corresponding national figure is $5,625, meaning Lakeland is more affordable compared to both. Lakeland is also slightly cheaper than the nearby cities of Sebastian and Tampa, which have matching average costs of $4,188. Rates are even higher in Orlando, where the average is $5,000 per month, and North Port, where it's $5,181.
Memory care in Lakeland is more affordable than in-home care or home health care, which average $4,576 and $4,481 per month, respectively. However, assisted living is cheaper than memory care, with a median cost of $3,300. Nursing homes are Lakeland's priciest option, charging average rates of $8,745 for semiprivate accommodations. Adult day health care is usually the cheapest arrangement in an area, but Lakeland-specific data for that care type is not available. For reference, the Florida-wide average cost of adult day health care is $1,517.
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 Lakeland.
Making choices on care arrangements and other senior-relevant decisions may seem like a difficult task, which can be further complicated by dementia. However, the following resources are often of use for elders and their caregivers, helping to ease the decision-making process and find support.
|Senior Connection Center||800- 963-5337||As the region's Area Agency on Aging, the nonprofit SCC serves seniors 60 years of age and older, as well as their caregivers and family members. It runs a unit that counsels clients on long-term care options and benefits that may make long-term arrangements more affordable. The SCC also runs the Elder Helpline, which offers information and referrals. Other SCC programs include the SHINE Medicare counseling service and health and wellness offerings.|
|Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter||800- 272-3900||The Alzheimer’s Association maintains a 24-hour helpline that links callers with specialists and clinicians. These professionals can provide information on Alzheimer's-related symptoms and signs of other types of dementia. They also offer information regarding local sources of support and potential treatment routes.|
|Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program||850- 414-2323||Seniors receiving memory care in a long-term setting may benefit from the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program's services. This initiative's trained volunteers educate and empower residents and their family members, and they offer complaint-resolution help within facilities. There's no charge for the program's aid, and it keeps matters confidential.|
|Florida Department of Elder Affairs||850-414-2000||In collaboration with Area Agencies on Aging, the Florida DOEA sponsors the state's Alzheimer's Disease Initiative. This program offers services such as respite care, case management and caregiver training. To learn more, seniors can contact the Elder Helpline at 800-963-5337. Also notable is the DOEA's Dementia Care and Cure Initiative, through which seniors may be able to access referrals and diagnostic services. The DOEA offers certain legal information and advice for eligible elders as well.|
|Florida Department of Veterans Affairs||850- 319-7440||The FDVA runs multiple veterans' homes, some of which care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive challenges. To learn more about admissions, seniors and caregivers can contact an individual home. For assistance with veterans' benefits in general, Polk County Veterans Services may be helpful.|
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 Lakeland, 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:
Surrounded by lakes and boasting its own tranquil pond, Arbor Oaks at Lakeland Hills offers residents a variety of fun activities to fill their days with joy in a community purposefully designed for easy navigation. The gracious, pet-friendly accommodations include kitchenettes, cable and emergency response systems. In the well-appointed dining room, residents enjoy three satisfying meals a day. While scheduled transportation ensures medical appointments are never missed, residents also have access to on-site physical therapy. In addition to assistance with activities of daily living, residents receive housekeeping and laundry service. Daily exercise classes make it easy to stay in shape, and planned social events help build companionship within the community. Residents can participate in shopping and lunch outings, gardening, crafts and religious services. Whether residents are creating music or playing trivia, the memory care calendar always features a variety of mind-stimulating activities.
One resident's child stated in their review, "My mother was at Arbor Oaks for nearly four years, and everything was excellent. I can't say anything bad about the place. I ate there, and the food was great. I didn't run across any situation where the staff didn't behave properly or come up with the right answer."
Located just 35 minutes east of Tampa, Brookdale Highlands is a senior living community offering assisted living and memory care. Residents have access to numerous on-site amenities including a wellness center, fireside living room, ice cream parlor, barbershop/salon and general store. Landscaped grounds and walking paths provide a calming space for strolling while a screened lanai and porch offer comfortable outdoor seating. Brookdale's Clare Bridge Alzheimer's and dementia program works to cultivate a strong sense of purpose and belonging for each resident. The program takes a person-centered approach, using visual cues and gentle support from staff to keep residents actively engaged with their skills and interests. Residents in the assisted living community take part in Brookdale's Optimum Life program. This program works to maintain and build residents' functional abilities by combining physical wellness with community support and social engagement.
The staff at Brookdale Highlands take extra time for courteous interactions and attention to detail writes this online reviewer"Brookdale Highlands was nice. The staff was very friendly. It was well appointed, had a lot of activities, and allowed dogs. Everyone was very accommodating, nice, and knowledgeable. When I called, they called right back."
Grace Manor at Lake Morton uses therapy and social interaction to enhance the abilities of residents with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. A licensed nutritionist approves all of the chef-prepared meals, which include options for special diets. Residents receive laundry, linen and housekeeping services, and the on-site registered nurse and health care manager assist with medication management. The raised planter boxes in the community garden are wheelchair accessible and many residents enjoy expressing their creativity during art therapy with painting and crafts. The community is absent of thresholds and features nonslip flooring throughout to reduce the risk of trips and falls. With a daily calendar full of activities, such as musical performances, card and board games, exercise classes, movies and spiritual services, residents have a plethora of opportunities to socialize while staying active and entertained.
The food and spacious rooms are some of the residents' favorite aspects of this facility. One resident's family member noted, "Grace Manor is fine. They have good service and excellent food, and it is very clean ... she has her bathroom off to the side of her room with showers that are easy for her to use."
Grand Villa of Lakeland is a resort-style assisted living and memory care community located between Orlando and Tampa. Respite care and an adult day program are also available. A full-time activities coordinator keeps the daily schedule full of entertaining classes, lectures and excursions. A diverse culinary program incorporates homestyle meals created from residents’ signature recipes. The specially designed, exit-controlled memory care neighborhoods let residents explore freely and choose their daily activities, which encourages independence and preserves dignity. Memory care programming includes therapeutic and recreational activities such as pet therapy, music therapy, sensory stimulation and Dakim Brain Fitness. Visits from the community rabbit and frequent fishing trips and miniature golf outings also keep seniors active and engaged. The comfortable private or companion apartments in the memory care neighborhood are equipped with state-of-the-art motion sensors that alert caregivers when activated.
The numerous on-site activities and local outings residents enjoy delight family members. Clean accommodations and 24-hour care are also reassuring. One man wrote, “My grandmother is currently a resident, and every time I come, she looks happy. She is either in the activity room or the living room talking to the other residents or playing games with the staff.”
Located in charming Polk County, Savannah Cottage of Lakeland offers a caring, hospitable environment for those dealing with memory loss. The community is limited to just 38 residents, which allows the well-trained, caring staff to provide personalized services based on each resident's functionality and needs. Suites are furnished with items from home to promote familiarity and security and minimize frustration and anxiety during orientation. Common areas are decorated in soothing colors to provide a sense of calm and comfort. Along with daily meals and snacks, the community offers a hydration program to ensure residents' good health. To encourage memory stimulation, a full schedule of planned activities is available daily, which may include exercise classes, arts and crafts, musical performances and educational seminars. Each month, family and friends are invited to join residents for a themed event with live entertainment and food.
According to one woman whose family member is a resident, "My relative moved into Savannah Cottage of Lakeland, and it has been great so far. They're very friendly, very accommodating, and the place itself is really beautiful and secured."
Spring Haven Retirement is an expansive senior living community offering waterfront views and luxury amenities. This facility offers an exclusive memory care program called Moments in Time, which is based on the Montessori method for care that is personalized and holistic. It stresses community engagement and customized care plans based on residents' preferences and routines. The Moments in Time neighborhood has been designed with cognitive treatment in mind, utilizing colors, lighting and floor plans that are comforting and easy to navigate. Assisted living and independent living services are also available at Spring Haven. This facility looks onto a lake and features an in-ground pool and hot tubs. Residents can choose from a wide selection of accommodation sizes and styles. Many rooms offer patios and balconies, and there are also landscaped outdoor areas for all community members.
Spring Haven Retirement offers lakeside views and large, well-appointed rooms. Writes one resident"I've been living in Spring Haven for around 10 months, and I have a beautiful, first-floor, one-bedroom apartment overlooking a huge lake. It's lovely ... It's a good-size room with a lot of wall space, a living room, lanai, full kitchen and large closets ..."