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 Little Rock’s senior population continues to grow (6.76% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Little Rock, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 42.29% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 13.7%, 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 (9.38% in Little Rock 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 Little Rock. 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 Little Rock, 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:
Avenir Memory Care at Little Rock is situated in the ranch area of West Little Rock and provides specialized memory care in a home-like setting. Residents are grouped based on cognitive ability as functional needs change, and highly qualified dementia and Alzheimer's professionals are available to assist with daily tasks 24/7. Memory care services include a round table meeting with the family to ensure personalized care and attention to detail. Active life engagement programs with resident-centered activities are provided, incorporating the seven dimensions of wellness for quality of life and enjoyment according to individual abilities. Meaningful activities include fitness classes, yoga, art sessions, off-site outings, gardening, therapeutic visits with miniature ponies and games to enhance cognitive function, such as crosswords and puzzles. Three chef-prepared meals are provided daily and intentional decor throughout each neighborhood allows residents to settle comfortably.
Family members commend the professional staff, saying they feel comfortable knowing their loved ones are in safe hands. One wife said, "The staff is very warm, very caring, they get to know the individual personally, and try to interact with him."
Brookdale Chenal Heights is a senior living community in Little Rock, Arkansas, that offers homey apartments and person-centered memory care services. Residents can enjoy landscaped outdoor spaces, including a gardening area and a secure outdoor courtyard to ensure safety, and indoor community spaces include the on-site salon and the community library. The community offers six scheduled activities a day ranging from fitness classes to paint n' sip socials. A 24-hour security system ensures security, and qualified staff on-site provide assistance with daily activities at any time. Memory care residents take part in the Clare Bridge program, which delivers person-centric care that takes into account seniors' personal preferences.
Residents enjoy the communal spirit and the quality of the amenities provided. One family member writes, "The staff truly treats their residents like family. They are extremely kind to residents as well as families and go out of their way to accommodate your needs and wishes. The food is exceptional."
A relaxing environment awaits seniors at Elmcroft of Maumelle, a single-story community located in a serene residential area. Elderly adults faced with the challenges of Alzheimer's and other cognitive issues can find solace in the nurturing memory care neighborhood. Easy-to-navigate indoor and outdoor spaces are closely monitored, with regular security checks in place to keep residents safe and address wandering behaviors. The community employs a high staff-to-resident ratio,, and caregivers are specially trained to manage unique traits related to memory loss, including communication problems and isolation. Elmcroft's Chronicles program provides structured guided activities that support wellness and provide a safe level of independence. There are several activities that residents can choose from, such as music, crafts and gardening, designed around individual hobbies and past experiences. Families are regularly updated about loved ones' personal progress.
Family members routinely praise the quality of care at Elmcroft of Maumelle. A husband writes, "They're quite concerned about my wife and they're treating her very well. She has Alzheimer's and she needs specific care. … My wife has no memory and so I wanted somebody that understood that and I felt like Elmcroft was better at that job."
Encore at West Little Rock is a long-term care facility with memory care. There are five signature programs all residents can enjoy at Encore: group cooking classes to foster community and maintain skills, technology classes that help improve residents' mental elasticity as they learn how to use new tech, game days to reduce depression and stimulate fine motor function and cognitive ability, special technology connection programs to keep residents in touch with each other and their families, and unique offerings such as pet therapy to boost mental health, encourage physical movement, improve verbal and social skills, and much more. Residents of the memory care community, called The Retreat, have access to all these therapies as well as ones specialized just for them. The Retreat focuses on daily routines and familiar surroundings for its residents, specially designed to reduce agitation from negative input and distractions. Encore also develops unique plans for memory care residents who require more individualized attention.
One online reviewer said, "Wonderful place for your family. Great team of workers providing excellent care."
Set in a wooded area of Little Rock lies Fox Ridge Luxury Senior Living. Highly trained dementia and Alzheimer's staff provide daily assistance to memory care residents and aid with meals, dressing, bathing and other daily tasks. Fox Ridge offers enriching activities which stimulate the mind, body and spirit, including games to enhance cognition, fitness classes and physical therapy sessions, arts and crafts, walking club, yoga, bingo, religious services and gardening. Refreshments on the patio are provided frequently, with three chef-prepared meals served daily in the dining room. There is also a private dining area for special occasions. The memory care staff works closely with family members to develop individual plans that reduce confusion and stress. The safety of residents is managed with emergency response systems, shower safety features and secure buildings.
Residents compliment the staff and amenities as well as the meals. One family member comments, "I'm very pleased with the care and the staff out there. The community is very friendly; the whole place is very clean. Really good place."
The specially trained dementia and Alzheimer's disease caregivers at Memory Care of Little Rock at Good Shepherd maximize resident independence, functionality and social engagement while minimizing senior frailty, falls and dehydration. They work closely with physicians and memory decline specialists to create routine-based care plans that diminish each senior's aggressive behaviors and incorporate speech, physical and occupational therapy as needed. Each resident's customized care plan matches them with other community members who have similar functional abilities to increase overall social engagement levels. Each day, residents participate in exercise, faith-based activities, reminiscing and sensory stimulation activities. Personal time is also included in each resident's routine, and brain fitness and art and music therapy are scheduled regularly.
Family members are pleased, saying "They get to know each resident and strive to enrich days with meaningful activities; encouraging socialization and friendship. Knowledgeable in dementia, the trained staff helped my family understand and navigate this heartbreaking disease. I love that family is encouraged to participate in festive events such as holiday luncheons and birthday parties."
Ginny and Bob Shell Alzheimer's Center at Parkway Village provides comfort to individuals with Alzheimer's, dementia and memory loss issues. The trained caregivers assist the residents with living a healthy lifestyle with a myriad of physical and wellness activities to stimulate their brains. Activities customized as per the individual abilities of residents help them with memory and skill retention and helps them live a purposeful and dignified life. The staff shares the health progress of residents with their families through a monthly family support group. Licensed nurses monitor the health of residents regularly and administer medications as per prescription. The community provides secured entrances and exits, a security alarm system, fire sprinklers, smoke detectors and an emergency call system for the safety of residents. Residents can savor chef-prepared nutritious and delicious meals that adhere to specific dietary requirements.
Residents and families love the plentiful amenities at the community. One writes, "My parents have been in Parkway Village since April. They have a swimming pool, pool tables, exercise room, beauty shop, and small convenience store inside. They provide an on-site physician, three meals a day, and shuttle service. The staff is very friendly."