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 Lawrence’s senior population continues to grow (16.19% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Lawrence, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 33.68% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 10.96%, 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 (4.53% in Lawrence 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 Lawrence. 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 Lawrence, 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:
The memory care program of Ashland Farm at North Andover offers six levels of care with various care intensities. The lowest level is suitable for residents who exhibit mild cognitive impairment and none or limited behavioral issues, while the highest level is designed for residents who need assistance with all aspects of care and extensive behavioral and emotional support. The memory care residents of this community live in a carefully designed neighborhood that features many dementia-friendly elements, such as specialized lighting that reduces the effects of late-day confusion and a secure courtyard that provides a safe space for outdoor activities. There are treasure chests, journey stations and engagement boxes in the neighborhood to encourage residents to reminisce. Residents have access to the care team 24 hours a day. Dietary support, including texture-modified diets and feeding assistance, is available.
People are raving about how caring the staff is and how good the food is. They also love the variety of activities offered. A reviewer writes, "My relative is in Ashland Farm. The staff is very caring. The food is very good. They have exercise classes, movies, and entertainment that comes in. Overall, we are very happy.”
Atria Marland Place is an assisted living community serving seniors who require memory care services. This community uses its proprietary Life Guidance program to engage with residents and personalize their care and recreational activities. Residents receive around-the-clock medical care and are kept safe by security systems and personnel. Amenities include several community spaces such as a movie theater, game room, art studio and fitness center, all of which are designed to make navigation easy for residents with impaired memory. Residents also have access to a multitude of dining venues where they can enjoy meals that fit their tastes and health needs. This community has studio apartments as well as one and two-bedroom units available.
Relatives express satisfaction with the level of engagement residents experience at Atria Marland Place. The community's helpful housekeeping is also mentioned. One reviewer says, "It's a very good, tight-knit group of aides that care for my dad and the people on his floor. The rooms are adequate and well cleaned. They have a couple of social directors there that are very engaging with all of the people who are in the facility."
Offering award-winning care for over 20 years, Benchmark Senior Living at Billerica Crossings features a Mind & Memory Care program with five distinct treatment levels. Seniors receive 24/7 assistance with daily activities, behavior and communication from specially certified and trained dementia practitioners. The secure, multisensory environment is designed to support cognition and help residents retain as much independence as possible, with special colors, lighting, visual cues and adaptive technology in place. Residents also have enhanced medical support through their choice of health care providers, including on-site physicians and rehabilitation services. Daily programs foster engagement and social interaction, with art and music therapy, gardening, audio programs and life journey stations all available. Residents dine on restaurant-style meals and snacks tailored to their dietary needs, and they can take complimentary transportation to off-site appointments and events.
Visiting loved ones are impressed by the caring team. "It has been the best experience," one relative says. "[Mom] is so happy and everyone is so nice. My mom is busy doing all kinds of fun activities and most importantly she's around people. Every time I go to visit, all the staff address me by name."
Conveniently located on Route 110, Benchmark Senior Living at Haverhill Crossings has provided award-winning care for over 20 years. Its Mind & Memory Care program is designed for residents living with Alzheimer’s or related dementias; it’s divided into five distinct care levels tailored around their needs. From cueing and reminders to around-the-clock assistance with the activities of daily living, 24/7 support is available from specially trained and certified dementia practitioners. The secure environment features special colors, lighting and visual cues with adaptive technology to help residents maintain their independence safely. Enhanced health support is provided through on-site physicians and rehabilitative services and residents enjoy restaurant-style meals and snacks crafted around dietary needs. Daily programs enhance physical and cognitive health, with options like art and music therapy, gardening, treasure chests and journey stations, plus scheduled transportation to off-site events.
Visitors like the ambiance and kind staff. One reviewer says, "It was like a hotel or restaurant. They had a pool table and a TV room. They had posted activities that they could sign up for on a weekly basis. The people were very friendly and accommodating, and the staff was very kind and very passionate."
At Benchmark Senior Living at Putnam Farm, a comprehensive Mind & Memory Care program is personalized for every resident living with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. Specially trained and certified dementia practitioners and caregivers are available 24 hours a day, delivering needs-based support with the activities of daily living. Residents also receive enhanced health support through partnerships with on and off-site healthcare providers. Secure common areas feature visual cues with special colors and lighting so that residents can explore safely. They can even enjoy the outdoors with secured spaces. Adaptive technology helps support physical and emotional health, and seniors can enjoy an array of award-winning programs each day, all designed to improve cognition and enhance well-being. Each resident's schedule is tailored just for them, from journey stations to gardening, audio programs, art and music therapy.
Loved ones appreciate the entire team. One reviewer says, "I couldn’t be happier with our choice! It’s comforting to know that she is well taken care of. Everyone is wonderful, starting at the reception to the Administration! This community is well-managed and everyone I’ve interacted with seems genuinely happy to work/live there, including my aunt!"
Benchmark Senior Living at Woburn provides award-winning care with convenient access to the town’s top amenities. Its Mind & Memory Care program offers personalized, needs-based support for residents with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, with five care levels designed to address their needs. Available 24/7, specially trained caregivers and certified dementia practitioners assist with the activities of daily living, reminders and communication. Residents inhabit a secure, multisensory neighborhood that features spacious common areas with special lighting, colors, visual cues and adaptive technology to help support their physical and cognitive well-being. Each day is filled with diverse programs, including art and music therapy, gardening, audio programs and trips to local attractions. Nutritious meals and snacks are served restaurant-style, with menu choices crafted around dietary needs. Additional health support is offered via on-site physicians and rehabilitative services, with transportation provided to off-site appointments.
Visiting relatives like the diverse programming. "They do all sorts of things like puzzles, crafts, they have trivia time, game time, and then they go out and do activities," says one resident's daughter. "Today they went to a steakhouse, and they also went apple picking ... They do everything and you don't have to worry about a thing."
Bridges® by EPOCH at Andover is a memory care community that offers spacious private and companion suites with walk-in shower, climate control and motion sensor lighting. Its innovative Bridges memory care program helps seniors with all stages of dementia and other types of memory loss to remain independent and healthy. The community's life enrichment team encourages residents to participate in brain-stimulating activities and therapies that improve their physical, cognitive and social skills. Caregivers provide assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing and other daily living tasks, and a nurse is available to manage medications. Three chef-prepared meals are served each day in the restaurant-style dining room, as well as healthy snacks. Secured outside courtyards feature sensory gardens, bird feeders and walkways. Other services and amenities at Bridges include housekeeping, laundry, a hair salon, a cozy library and relaxing common areas.
Residents receive high-quality care from competent staff. One family member writes, "Bridges in Andover is a beautiful, welcoming, and comfortable facility. The staff are professional, kind and so supportive of residents and their families."
Giving Tree Senior Living performs a variety of services that keep seniors with dementia safe and in stable health. Residents receive personalized, around-the-clock care and help with their daily hygiene and medical needs, including managed medication services. Specially trained caregivers provide each resident with individualized attention that best addresses the memory challenges they face. An exercise program keeps residents active, and meals are tailored to seniors' individual nutritional needs. Utilities, cable and Wi-Fi access are included, and residents benefit from amenities, such as housekeeping and laundry services. Giving Tree Senior Living has a barbershop and beauty salon to help keep seniors looking their best.
Relatives discuss the kindness and attentiveness of caregivers at Giving Tree Senior Living as well as the attractive appearance of this community. One person says "This is a great place for seniors. The place is very clean, staff are extremely helpful."
Greystone Farm at Salem has a vibrant memory care community with individual and group programming, exercise classes and classes in the arts designed to maintain and increase memory care residents' satisfaction. Memory care at Greystone Farm includes five different tiers of care to ensure residents receive exactly the assistance they need while retaining independence where possible. All memory care is personalized to the residents' needs and includes the award-winning communication program Connect First. Walking paths and outdoor courtyards provide safe, cultivated access to the great outdoors. All residents have access to a library and ademo kitchen where the chef shows off his seasonal menus, as well as movie nights and concerts. Greystone Farm at Salem fosters a close-knit community with an emphasis on friends and family, as well as easy access to Salem's shopping and dining.
One online reviewer says, "My mother is at Greystone Farm at Salem. It's top-notch and five stars. It had a little better vibe to it than the other place we visited. Her apartment there is really nice, and they did a great job of setting it up."
Located just off of I-495 and just minutes from the historic town center, Stonehill at Andover offers assisted living, independent living and memory care options in the northeastern Massachusetts area. Memory care residents live in a secure neighborhood, with private and semi-private rooms both available. An impressive selection of activities includes wellness and fitness programs, cultural and educational opportunities, and an artist-in-residence program. Brain games including bridge, trivia and community word puzzles work to keep seniors entertained and cognitively engaged. The well-designed community offers a range of amenities that encourage social interaction, including a sports pub and lounge, a beauty salon and barbershop, and beautifully landscaped gardens.
Family members praise the easy transition to memory care. "Excellent care. Kind attentive and caring staff," reports a daughter. "Dad moved from Assisted Living with day programming in Avita to full time residency in Memory Care/Avita program. Transition was well thought out and staff went out of their way to help ... [I] highly recommend [Stonehill] for all services they provide."
Sunrise of Burlington is located in a small neighborhood near two major hospitals. While memory care residents have access to amenities such as the library, walking paths and coffee shop, they also benefit from an individual care manager that coordinates day-to-day assistance and medical needs. The Reminiscence memory care program trains staff in validation methods and cognitive therapies that help residents live as independently as possible while maintaining safety. To structure each day, Sunrise provides the Live with Purpose program, a robust calendar of events including creative, social and reflection activities. This can include one-on-one time with spiritual leaders, painting classes or social outings with neighbors. Three meals are offered each day and can be enjoyed in the dining room or in the resident's suite.
Residents and families frequently praise the comprehensive care staff provides. One says, "our experience at Sunrise of Burlington exceeded all our expectations. The warm and caring staff made our dad's stay at Sunrise a wonderful experience for him, as well as our whole family."
With its proximity to many hospitals, Sunrise of Lynnfield offers on-site podiatry and dental services and in-calls from geriatricians. Nurses and staff are available 24/7 for assistance with everyday activities and medical needs. In the Reminiscence memory care neighborhood, specially trained staff use validation methods that include matching residents' emotions, rephrasing and eye contact to reaffirm and soothe. Through the Live with Purpose program, residents participate in painting classes, prayer groups and stretching exercises. Though memory care residents have their own activities areas, they can also enjoy the library, sun room, or bistro. In the dining room, residents enjoy up to three chef-crafted, diet-friendly meals a day with options such as buttermilk pancakes, brisket and chicken kebabs.
Families and residents appreciate the adaptability of care. One family member says, "Our mother got the care she needed without having to move to a skilled nursing facility. She was made to feel that she was part of an extended family at Sunrise."
Conveniently located near Routes 3 and 4, the Atrium at Drum Hill was purpose-built for memory care residents. The well-designed community is designed to feel like home with plenty of relaxing indoor and outdoor spaces where residents can socialize with each other. The features of the outdoor patio areas include garden beds for residents with a green thumb and gazebos that are perfect for some time out from the community. A range of activities designed to encourage memories and connection with their living space is available to all community members. Most of the activities offered, such as fitness, music, educational and creative sessions have therapeutic components. After a busy day, residents can enjoy the sensory dining experience, which comes complete with calming music in the community dining room.
Family members praised the dedicated staff and range of activities offered, with one family member saying, "I thought this was a wonderful place. Everyone was so happy and friendly when I went to visit... The community has a lot of activities, more than any other place... I was able to stay and eat dinner with my loved one..."
Located just off I-95, the Atrium at Veronica Drive was purpose-built for those needing memory care. The secure environment has beautiful gardens for residents to enjoy and offers plenty of opportunities for interaction in the communal living areas. Residents can visit the onsite beauty salon before enjoying the sensory dining experience designed for memory care seniors. Part of the experience includes music that creates a calm environment as the residents enjoy home-cooked meals. A number of therapeutic opportunities are available to the residents, such as gardening, fitness, and educational and arts programming. The community uses reminiscing therapy, which has been shown to be effective in memory care seniors. Items are purposefully placed in the community to prompt residents to reminisce.
Family members comment on the caring staff and activities, with one family member saying, "The Atrium at Veronica Drive is a lovely place. The staff is wonderful and it's a very caring environment for my parents ... They offer activities from 10:00 in the morning to 7:00 at night -- exercise, parachute ball, and bingo."
Life at the Residence at Freeman Lake provides seniors with comfort and assistance in a peaceful neighborhood, minutes away from the Lowell General Hospital. Residents can live a carefree and maintenance-free lifestyle with the help of trained caregivers. The community follows the Reflection Memory Care Program, a non-pharmacological approach to memory care. The Reflections program helps create a person-centered approach to assist people with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other memory loss ailments. Memory care residents are connected through social, cognitive, physical and emotional experiences to increase their community engagement and reduce the progression of dementia. Caregivers provide round-the-clock assistance with medication management, continence care and activities of daily living. Seniors can savor chef-prepared culinary creations in a restaurant-style setting. Activities, such as wine pairing, walking clubs, trivia competitions and baking classes, help maintain residents' physical and mental well-being.
Families praise the professional staff and the activities organized in the community that keep the residents engaged. One writes, "My sister chose The Residence at Freeman Lake, and she likes it there. ... The food is very good, she likes all the staff, and that's a good thing. There are a few activities. They have a game day and an exercise day.”
The Residence at Pearl Street is a senior living community that creates a safe and enriching environment for individuals who require memory care services to maintain their quality of life. This facility offers a Reflections Memory Care program that takes a holistic approach to engage residents emotionally, psychologically and physically while encouraging socialization with peers. Residents receive care from Dementia-certified caregivers as well as medication management and other services from skilled nurses. The Residence at Pearl Street also provides assistance with personal hygiene and performs housekeeping services. Residents can access a multitude of large common areas and salon/barber services as well. WiFi access and lifestyle-enhancing technologies such as voice assistants are present throughout this community.
Relatives express satisfaction with caregivers in the memory care program and speak highly of the social environment. One reviewer says, "All the staff make her feel safe and secure and truly cared for. Our loved one is happy there and all of this gives our family great comfort. There are so many wonderful and engaging activities to keep her active and engaged, and she has made many friends."
The Residence at Salem Woods offers assisted living, independent living and memory care options. Residents enjoy high-quality food cooked by professional chefs with meals available from breakfast to dinner. Seniors can stay fit and healthy with regular fitness sessions, or they may take part in the cultural, educational, social and educational activities scheduled daily. In partnership with the REACT Neuro Program, the community provides a groundbreaking program for its memory care residents aimed at promoting cognitive health. The Reflections Program is run daily and provides residents with experiences and activities based on their cognitive, physical, mental and emotional needs. Each resident enjoys their own private space, access to a secured outdoor area and a sunny lounge ideal for socializing.
Family members are impressed by the caring staff, with one family member saying, "The food is excellent, they have a chef. It's all cooked to order, very nice. ... The staff were very welcoming and friendly. They helped a lot 'cause my father was old and nervous about moving ... they really made him feel welcome, important, and happy."
Windrose at Woburn is a dedicated memory care community equipped to provide medical attention as well as social and emotional support to seniors living with dementia and similar conditions. Caregivers help residents participate in Windrose at Woburn's Thrivecare program, which enables them to recreate cherished memories while taking part in activities, such as cooking, music or the arts. This community also retains physical, speech and occupational therapists and has been nationally recognized for its unique Behavior-Based Ergonomics Therapy program. Residents receive personalized meal plans, and family members can schedule private dinners with them. Seniors have access to common areas and TV rooms as well. This community provides a close-knit social experience by offering only 35 apartments. Studio units are available.
Many relatives are happy about the level of care provided at Windrose at Woburn and the attention caregivers are able to provide each resident. One reviewer remarks "A very caring community. Great ratio of staff to residents. Family oriented philosophy."
Windsor Place of Wilmington Assisted Living provides a dedicated memory care environment, The Carlysle, that offers a secure, homelike and familiar setting specially designed for the needs of residents with cognitive issues. The specially trained care team members at The Carlysle are available 24 hours a day to provide supervision. Each resident receives a personalized care plan based on their ongoing needs and continuously updated by their caregivers. Residents can participate in a wide variety of activities developed to meet their emotional, social, creative and physical needs, including regularly scheduled trips to local museums and historical attractions, discussion groups and presentations run by professors and experts, and live on-site music entertainment each week. Seniors also receive up to two hours of personal care assistance each day, including help with medication management and limited continence management.
Family members rave about how friendly and helpful the staff is. One daughter writes, "My mom moved into Windsor Place this past weekend. Kudos to the entire staff for a seamless transition. All knew my mom by name and were aware of her needs ... My mom already feels comfortable due to the friendliness and helpfulness that surround her.”
Wood Haven is a senior living community caring for people with dementia and other memory conditions. Here, caregivers follow a program called Montessori Moments in Time, which uses a variety of methods to assist seniors with their daily lives while attempting to create meaningful social and emotional interactions. Residents also have access to health and wellness tools and activities, and they receive meals that serve their health needs and preferences. They can enjoy opportunities to socialize in several common rooms, including a TV room, a party room and an outdoor garden, and they can participate in community events. Housekeeping and laundry services are provided. This community has an on-site barbershop and beauty salon to help residents keep their hair cut and styled.
Residents remark on the level of social engagement at Wood Haven as well as the caregivers' standards. One comments on their mother's experience, saying "This new community is actively engaging her all day, getting her up, strongly encouraging participation in all activities, and they have more choices of activities. The staff is all trained in memory care."