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 Lancaster’s senior population continues to grow (14.49% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Lancaster, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 32.06% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 8.72%, 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 (9.08% in Lancaster 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 Lancaster. 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 Lancaster, 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:
Located in north Harrisburg, just a short drive from Lancaster, Arden Courts of Susquehanna is a senior community specially designed for memory care. Residents live in one of four self-contained, houselike areas, each with its own living room, dining room, kitchen and full bath. Shared common areas include a beauty salon, activity and crafts studio, wellness center, porch and secure backyard with walking paths. Residents can freely move around the community with the help of visual cues for navigation. Meals, housekeeping and laundry services are all provided, along with a wide range of mentally stimulating activities. Residents receive an individualized care plan tailored to their needs. Staff is trained in the latest memory care techniques and available to provide 24/7 care, hourly health checks, monitoring and assistance with various tasks, including mobility, medication management and the activities of daily living.
Family members were impressed with the caring and communicative staff. One writes, "Very friendly, caring, and helpful staff. They are very good at communicating with the family about my father's health, activities, needs, and changes in medication.” Adds another, "They are very caring and compassionate. The staff members pay attention to details about each individual resident.”
Artis Senior Living of West Shore offers the comforts of quaint, small-town living in Lemoyne, a riverside borough less than 2 miles from downtown Harrisburg. This memory care community is conveniently about a mile from Penn State Health Holy Spirit Hospital and a few blocks from West Shore Farmers Market. Its single-level complex consists of four neighborhoods that connect to the Town Center. Each neighborhood has a distinct front porch-style hallway entrance, and the suites are easy to identify with the residents’ memory display cases. The Town Center has a salon/barbershop, an activity studio and a community center for exercise and entertainment. Enclosed courtyards and an extensive backyard with a barbecue area and raised gardening beds are available for seniors to enjoy. Residents benefit from 24/7 support by a licensed nurse and on-call doctors as well as scheduled on-site physician, audiology and podiatry services.
Families praise the wonderful staff at Artis of West Shore. A resident’s daughter states, "They are dedicated to caring for my mother and other residents in the most respective manner … Mom loved spa day, getting her haircut, and gardening ... Our family is very grateful for their tireless efforts on behalf of mom.”
Autumn House West is a personal and memory care community located in York, PA. Offering semiprivate and private rooms, it provides memory care residents with secured living areas, structured care from 24/7 staff and assistance with daily tasks, including medications and personal nursing care needs. Meals and snacks are made in the chef's kitchen, creating resident favorites that are healthy and delicious. Events and activities are tailored to each resident and their individual skills, strengths and interests to engage and stimulate the body and mind through personal connections. These include exercise groups and fun game events throughout the week as well as planned outings.
Residents and their families speak highly of the cleanliness of the community, and the staff is often praised. One family member said, "The facility is very clean and well kept. All the staff are extremely helpful, caring and kind. The rooms are spacious enough."
Located in historic Harrisburg, just a short distance from Lancaster, Brookdale Harrisburg offers memory care and assisted living for seniors. The community is located close to shops, restaurants, highways and several hospitals. For memory care residents, the community uses the Clare Bridge Daily Path program. Visual reminders, gentle guidance and enriching daily activities, such as brain games, encourage seniors with memory loss to use their current skills and maintain and improve their cognitive abilities. On-site amenities include a snack shop, beauty salon, library, fireside living room, whirlpool and therapy room. A porch, courtyard, garden and walking paths around landscaped grounds allow residents to enjoy the outdoors. Meals are provided, along with housekeeping and transportation services. Trained staff is available 24/7 to provide care and assistance with the activities of daily living and medication management.
Family members often mention the good food and great staff. One reviewer writes, "Her care is great, the food is great, people are very friendly and you couldn't ask for more friendly and caring nurses and aides.” Another adds, "The staff is very attentive and very kind, and they do a lot of different tasks."
Butler Street Senior Living, an assisted living and memory care community in the heart of Harrisburg, utilizes its core values of compassion, integrity and respect to make residents feel at home. An expertly trained team provides personalized support for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Registered nurses and caregivers are available 24 hours a day to offer regular health assessments, medication management and assistance with personal hygiene and grooming; the team keeps in touch with each resident’s medical providers to ensure the highest level of support. Residents can expect a memory care program focused on structure and familiarity, along with a full schedule of activities to nurture both body and mind. Homestyle meals are served in the dining room, and residents have access to the community's game room, arts and crafts studio, patio and walking paths.
Residents' loved ones praise the community ambiance, spacious rooms and ample amenities. "The staff member who accommodated me did a great job," one relative says. "The room is beautiful, and it's a nice size. They have everything. They have a salon and a big bar. They have outside dining, too. It's beautiful."
The Evergreen Estates Retirement Community campus backs up to the Conestoga River in a quiet, residential neighborhood. Residents can pick from five different courtyards to sit and visit while enjoying the outdoors or viewing the water garden and fishpond. The community allows secure, private living on the outskirts of the City of Lancaster, where residents can find plenty of shopping, restaurants, entertainment and medical services. Apartments at Evergreen include cable television, Wi-Fi, kitchenettes and an optional wearable pendant, nurse call system. The staff assists with everyday needs and attends specialized memory care training to support residents with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Residents join for meals in the dining room or can order room service. Evergreen has many scheduled activities and events and offers specialized programs for memory care residents.
Many reviews mention the cleanliness of the community and resident rooms. Family members express how organized and caring the staff is and one reviewer shares how well her mom is doing. "I’m always amazed at how well organized, clean, and put together Evergreen Estates is every time I visit (I visit often). I’m so grateful my mom is in a safe and nurturing environment. I can’t say enough good things about Evergreen."
Freedom Village at Brandywine is a Life Care Services retirement community in Coatesville, a suburb of Philadelphia. Its campus is conveniently a few blocks from Brandywine Hospital and also close to Coatesville VA Medical Center. The Inn at Freedom Village is a 25-bed neighborhood dedicated to memory care, with 24/7 on-site nursing staff to provide medical assessments. Memory care residents benefit from concierge services, on-site salon treatments, medication assistance and smooth transitions to rehabilitative and skilled nursing care when needed. Chef-prepared meals are served restaurant-style, based on menus planned in cooperation with registered dietitians and dementia experts. Engaging memory care activities are incorporated into the residents’ structured routines, giving them a sense of purpose while promoting their dignity. These activities may include arts and crafts, physical exercises and meaningful social interactions.
Relatives attest to the consistent excellence of Freedom Village at Brandywine. A long-term care resident’s daughter shares, "My mother has lived at Freedom Village since 1999 … She has had outstanding care. All of the staff have been very caring. Particularly, under stressful times, the Program Department has gone out of their way to keep all of the residents safely occupied.”
Frey Village is a continuing care retirement community located in Middletown, PA, offering lifestyle options to meet its residents' needs. The memory care neighborhood is a secure area featuring private suites and 24/7 trained staff and nurses to care for memory care patients' individual daily needs, such as bathing and dressing. Aesthetically pleasing memory care-specific social areas are found indoors and outdoors, providing ample opportunity for exercise, movement or relaxation in the sun. An on-site dietician ensures meals are as nutritious as they are delicious, and meals are served restaurant-style for ample socialization with friends and family. Numerous educational and active events occur every week, including craft groups and musical entertainment and soothing activities, such as aromatherapy and hand massages. The library and recreation rooms provide fun and relaxation, and residents can hone their green thumbs in the outdoor gardens.
Reviewers praise the knowledgeable and compassionate staff. One reviewer said, "The care that my mother received was far beyond anything that myself and family expected. The nursing staff there was great, very compassionate, and can tell they are lead by an excellent DON who really cares for the residents."
Keystone Villa at Ephrata is an all-around senior care community that houses up to 160 residents across its memory care, independent living and personal care programs. Located in the small town of Ephrata just off of U.S. Route 322, the community is conveniently near the WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital and the Ephrata Township Park. Keystone Villa at Ephrata provides on-site speech therapy to help residents with dementia reestablish their verbal communication skills. The community's caregivers also help memory care residents break communication barriers by offering group art classes that give residents the chance to express themselves however they like. Keystone Villa at Ephrata hosts continuing education classes, which can promote cognitive wellness among residents with dementia. The community also regularly holds group Bible studies and worship sessions.
Residents report positive experiences at Keystone Villa. One area local says, "I have friends who ... have lived there since the day it opened. They rave about the place ... It is a gorgeous community and the staff is phenomenal." A community visitor says, "[E]verything looked great ... I would tell others that the facility was very nice and well maintained, and the staff was good."
Legend of Lancaster is a senior living community that offers hands-on support through its assisted living and memory care programs. In the small, cozy town of West Lancaster, Legend of Lancaster is just 70 miles west of Philadelphia, which gives seniors access to some of Pennsylvania's top health care providers. The community employs innovative memory care therapies such as PARO, a therapeutic robotic pet that uses biofeedback to interact with residents in the same way pets would. This FDA-approved device can limit common dementia side effects such as sundowning, wandering, loneliness and agitation. Legend of Lancaster's campus helps residents with memory impairments get around without losing a sense of where they are through friendly lighting and basic floor design. Caregivers also help residents get around campus when needed.
People who visit Legend of Lancaster praise this community's well-kept grounds and professional staff members. One visitor says, "We loved Legend of Lancaster... Everything was very clean, very modern and quiet and everyone was very professional. There was a spa, a movie theater and a bistro. There were lots of things to do."
Legend of Lititz is a senior living community that offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. A team of specially trained caregivers is always available to assist with the tasks of daily living or compassionately deal with memory loss related behaviors. The memory care unit offers comfortable communal areas and a secure outdoor area where residents can relax in the sunshine. Each resident has an individual care plan that includes activities and therapies tailored to their specific needs. The community offers the Paro Seal program, which combines robotics and bio-feedback technologies, providing a personalized version of animal therapy to engage residents. Additional activities offered include music therapy, art therapy, social events and gentle fitness classes. The Gold Leaf dining program uses fresh and seasonal ingredients to create delicious and interesting meals each day.
Family members appreciate the care provided and separate memory care section, "My wife is at Legend of Lititz memory care. ... They give her three meals a day, they help her go to the bathroom, and help her get dressed. It's all on one floor and the memory care is separate from personal care."
Magnolias of Lancaster provides an intimate environment for seniors dealing with Alzheimer's and other types of memory loss. The community is pet-friendly and offers a wealth of amenities for comfortable living, including a living room with an aviary, a music room, a country-style kitchen, a full-service salon and secure outdoor areas. Everything is located on a single story to make it easy to move independently from room to room. For residents' safety, each private residence is equipped with an emergency communication system, and a certified team of care staff is available 24 hours a day. The community offers a full calendar of enriching programs designed to energize the mind and keep seniors engaged, including social events, religious services, recreational activities and educational seminars. Private transportation is available to take residents to doctor appointments, and physical, occupational and speech therapy services are offered on-site for residents' convenience.
Its small size, caring staff and family-like atmosphere are what set Magnolias of Lancaster apart from other communities in the area. As one woman shares, in her mother's 12 years at the community, "the staff truly loved her and took such good care of her," which provided their family with "such a sense of security and peace of mind."
Oak Leaf Manor North is in Lancaster, PA, offering assisted living and memory care services. Residents have spacious private rooms with bathrooms, complete with weekly housekeeping and 24/7 personal assistance from staff, from medications to nursing care needs. Memory care residents live in a secured wing surrounded by an ambiance tailored to their needs, including quiet, comforting areas and soothing colors. The on-site chef prepares delicious, nutritious food and snacks throughout the day served in a welcoming setting. Planned activities and health programs, such as exercise events, arts and crafts groups and daily games, are specifically tuned to memory care needs and focus on the individual skills and strengths of each resident.
Reviewers praise the homelike atmosphere and caring staff, with one family member saying, "My mother was recently placed at Oak Leaf Manor North, and to say we're impressed would be an understatement. Everything from the competence and compassion of the staff to the beautiful decor and clean atmosphere blew us away from the moment we arrived."
Oak Leaf Manor South has a pleasant small-town setting in the borough of Millersville, a suburb of Lancaster and just 4 miles from Lancaster General Hospital. The parklike campus of this Live Cardinal senior community has extensive lawn gardens, and the 43-bed single-level memory care wing has its own secured landscaped backyard with a central gazebo. Memory care residents benefit from up to two hours of daily nursing care, in addition to 24-hour caregiver support and medication assistance. The community’s Wren Program focuses on the three Cs for memory care: a calm ambiance, creative engagement and cozy dining. Memory care residents thrive in a safe physical environment that provides an emotional space that fits with their reality. Activities include pet therapy, arts and crafts, gardening and live music.
People have a lot of good things to say about Oak Leaf Manor South. A resident’s loved one says, "Her room size is great for her needs. The staff members have been great about communicating and keeping us informed with what is going on inside the facility, especially with COVID. I would definitely recommend this facility, we are very pleased.”
Paramount Senior Living Lancaster offers a serene and cozy atmosphere designed to make residents feel comfortable and at home. The memory care unit was specifically designed to be easy to navigate and reduce confusion in residents. Licensed nurses and caregiving staff are available 24/7 to provide compassionate care and medical assistance. Regular wellness checks are carried out to monitor the health and wellness of residents. A secure garden area provides a safe space for residents to go for a stroll and enjoy the flowers in the landscaped gardens. Monthly family support groups are provided to help family members learn to cope with changes in their loved ones. Activities available include arts and crafts, religious services, musical entertainment and fitness classes.
Family members appreciate the range of activities and caring staff with one saying, "My family leaves with tears of joy every single time, my grandpa is engaged in activities and never sad to see us go. ... Clean, beautiful and cheerful. The care staff is on point and I cannot say enough."
Providence Place Senior Living of Dover is a full-spectrum senior living community located in Dover, PA. Offering various lifestyle options, residents can find the home that best suits their needs. Specializing in early and late-stage memory care support, two different memory care communities are located within secured and supervised areas, featuring private and semiprivate rooms and 24/7 nursing care. Trained caregivers are available to assist with all daily tasks, including bathing and eating, as well as personalized assistance such as supportive companionship. The staff gets to know each resident, creating Life Stories that help describe and define their interests, abilities and strengths and are tailored to their specific desires, including favorite games and hobbies. Walking paths and gazebos throughout the community provide outdoor rest and exercise areas, and regularly scheduled activities include craft clubs, guest musicians and yoga.
Reviewers praise the kind staff and cleanliness throughout the community. One reviewer said, "They took very good care of our aunt and loved her like family. They always made time to answer our questions and address our concerns. The facility, as well as her room, was always clean and well kept."
Providence Place Senior Living of Lancaster is a senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living and memory care. The community, which is located just outside of downtown Lancaster, provides residents a laid-back style of living without taking away access to major cities such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. Providence Place provides a full line of on-site rehabilitative therapies. Physical and occupational therapy can help memory care residents regain functional abilities, which may reduce their reliance on caregivers, in turn improving their quality of life. The community's on-campus speech-language therapy is particularly useful in treating Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other forms of dementia because it can restore their ability to string together full, meaningful sentences and complete thoughts. Providence Place offers hands-on support at mealtime to ensure residents meet their nutritional needs.
Reviewers note that this community's entire staff is superb. One resident's relative says, "My husband and I moved his mother into Providence Place Senior Living of Lancaster last summer, and she absolutely loves it there... The entire staff is so caring, from management to the nurses and the kitchen staff! They have wonderful food there."
Senior Commons at Powder Mill is a senior retirement community in York, PA, with independent and assisted living and memory care lifestyle options tailored to each resident. The memory care neighborhoods are staffed by experienced personnel and secured for the safety of the residents. Staff is available 24/7, offering maintenance, housekeeping and assistance with daily tasks, such as medications or companionship. Memory care residents live in private apartments with emergency call systems, and family keepsakes and personal items are welcome for familiar, sentimental surroundings. Following structured routines, residents can enjoy several activities throughout the day, including yoga for physical movement and trivia games to help enhance and engage the mind. Many endeavors help provide social interaction, including baking and musical entertainment.
Residents and their families praise the comfortable ambiance and the involvement of the staff. One reviewer said, "The accommodations are beautiful and sparkling clean. All public areas and lounges are beautiful and comfortable. The Club room is very nice and spacious."
St. Martha Villa for Independent & Retirement Living is an independent and assisted living community in Downington, PA. Featuring a homelike environment, memory care residents can benefit from specially trained staff who provide care and security 24 hours a day, from assistance with daily tasks to friendly companionship. By understanding each resident's interests and desires, caregivers create personalized programs that address their various needs. Meals are prepared for each resident to help them recall fond memories and provide delicious comfort, and healthy snacks are available all day long for those who enjoy grazing throughout the day. Residents can take advantage of the numerous lounge areas for socialization with friends, and planned activities, such as group activities and music therapy, help to engage each resident on a daily basis.
Residents and their families offer high praise for the dedicated memory care staff. One family member said, "St. Marthas Villa has a great team in the Carlson unit and are specifically trained to interact with those who have dementia. She has her own room, but honestly she stays engaged and she is never in that room. She engages in daily activities."
The Haven at Springwood in the scenic city of York provides state-of-the-art care for seniors who seek assisted living accommodations or memory care services. A specially trained staff provides memory support in a caring environment where each resident's experiences and needs are recognized. Seniors are protected by 24-hour security services and by the certified care staff that's on hand around the clock. Assistance is available for routine personal care, such as grooming and dressing. Health monitoring services are put in place for each resident, along with medication management and incontinence care. Escorts and reminder services help residents find their way to meals and programs daily. Caregivers are close by during mealtimes to provide nutritional support, guidance and personal table service. Residents participate in daily and weekly programs and events that consider memory loss challenges. Housekeeping is provided on a weekly basis and includes laundry and linen services. Scheduled transportation to and from medical appointments is also offered.
Residents and their family members appreciate the high level of care and consideration they receive in this community. One family member says, "The administration, the nursing and general care staff are all superb, the facility is warm, homelike and clean."