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 Merced's senior population continues to grow (14.7% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Merced, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 6.75% between 2014 and 2019. The number of deaths from all causes for that same age group increased by 9.93%. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is slightly lower than the rest of the nation (6.61% in Merced 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 Merced. 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 Merced, 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:
Pacifica Senior Living Merced offers stunning views of the Sierra Mountains and is conveniently close to hospitals and shops. The Legacies Memory Care program provides a secure and homelike environment that encourages residents to feel safe and comfortable. Each senior undergoes a full evaluation upon arrival to create a care plan that includes their medical requirements, life history and personal preferences. The daily activities are designed to provide a sense of purpose for seniors and slow the effects of cognitive decline. Activities include gardening, cooking, music therapy, pet therapy, group outings and religious services. In the evenings, the serenity hour program, which includes aromatherapy and music, is used to calm residents before bed. The community runs a monthly support group for family and friends.
Family members praise the professional caregiving staff and well-maintained facility. One reviewer says of her grandmother's experience, "… Pacifica has been a great help. The staff is very helpful and informative, and the facility is in top condition. It's great to see her participating in the activities and socializing again. We couldn't have asked for a better home to give her."
Paramount Court Senior Living is conveniently located in Turlock, an hour and a half east of San Jose and next to Emanuel Medical Center. A specialized memory care program includes 24/7 personalized care tailored to the needs, abilities and interests of each resident. Caregivers support residents with daily living tasks and provide housekeeping and laundry. Residents have access to award-winning programs and activities designed to empower residents and slow cognitive decline. The executive chef prepares nutritious meals three times a day. On-site amenities include a secure patio and garden area.
Visitors praise the great activities. One reviewer says, "They have activities for the residents like bingo, puzzles and games, and they have a beauty shop in there. I have a lady friend that lives there, and I have seen her place. It's a nice two-bedroom, one-bathroom. It's a nice place."
The Stratford at Beyer Place offers a welcoming environment, where seniors can easily feel at home with its top-of-the-line amenities, exciting lifestyle and supportive services that value independence, choice and dignity. The community helps residents and families cope with the challenges of cognitive issues through its Generations memory care program, an approach that focuses on promoting self-sufficiency while providing ready assistance when needed. Within the stand-alone memory support neighborhood, residents have access to convenient amenities, including spacious living areas, secure outdoor spaces, a beauty salon and barbershop and a private dining room for bonding with visiting families and friends. Seniors engage in daily productive activities that promote a sense of purpose and achievement, including culinary events, intergenerational programming, creative projects, and music, art and pet therapy.
The community's vibrant calendar makes a good impression on family members. "My mother is in the memory care," shares a resident's daughter. "They have wonderful activities for them, too. They take them out of the memory care for 20% of the day. If there is a good movie, they take them to the movie theater so that they can watch the movie."
Located in a sunny suburb, Pacifica Senior Living Modesto offers dedicated memory care in a warm, pet-friendly environment. The memory care neighborhood, Legacies, minimizes anxiety through routinely updated care plans. Memory-enhancement games, stress-free classes, exercise and live musical entertainment offer cognitive enrichment, while specialized therapies involving music, pets and physical activity accommodate health and wellness needs. Caregivers provide frailty care, wandering supervision, behavior management and activity prompting to residents who require it. Community spaces are stylish and elegant, with large patios, devotional areas and cozy sitting rooms allowing for social connection. Scheduled outings and intergenerational programming connect residents to a wider community. Chef-prepared meals are served in a bright dining room, with staff assistance as needed. Secure accommodations include housekeeping and laundry, wellness checks, utilities (except phone and cable) and scheduled transportation to medical appointments.
Residents and family members praise the compassion and comprehensiveness of care. One family member writes, "There aren't enough words to describe how wonderful Pacifica is and the excellent care they give their residents. Everything about them is great. The rooms are always spotless, the staff is beyond helpful, the activities director is wonderful and so is the food."
Casa de Modesto is conveniently located in a residential neighborhood and offers a peaceful living environment with easy access to shops, parks and medical venues. This community helps seniors with memory impairment thrive by offering person-centric care and structured routines in a safe setting. The highly trained staff conducts a comprehensive assessment of each resident before developing an individualized care plan tailored to their needs. Registered nurses are on-duty 24/7 while caregivers help with activities of daily living, such as dressing and bathing. A team of therapists offers cognitive and perceptual retraining, neuromuscular re-education, body mechanics guidance and a range of motion exercises. A chef serves three meals daily, and a dietitian provides nutrition management. Amenities include a library, beauty salon, fitness room and walking paths, and residents can participate in social activities. Transportation for off-site appointments is available.
People praise the caring staff and diverse activities. A resident writes, "This is a wonderful place to enjoy your senior years… The employees are very kind and respectful… my requests for maintenance and housekeeping have been fulfilled promptly. There are many activities from live entertainment in the Activity Center to bus trips to excellent restaurants…"
Located in a vibrant neighborly town, Orangeburg Memory Care cares for seniors at all stages of dementia in a nurturing, homelike environment. Trained caregivers mitigate loneliness and prevent unsafe situations by providing assistance with daily living. Regularly updated care plans, developed through family and resident input and for different stages of dementia, engage residents in activities that balance independence with structure. The community also accommodates residents with diabetes, Parkinson's, incontinence and other health needs. The front verandah and the elegant activities room offer spaces for relaxation and social connection. The community, which is close to the Bay Area, is surrounded by shops, dining and two major medical centers. Accommodations include housekeeping services and all utilities (except phone).
Residents and family members appreciate the accommodating caregivers. One family member writes, "My husband was a resident for over four years. He liked being by himself, and they respected that and were very accommodating bringing his meals to him. Staff was very good and would help me to take him to medical appointments. … Very clean!! I recommend it!!"
El Rio Memory Care Community, a Koelsch family-owned community located in Modesto, CA provides a safe, happy environment for residents with dementia and Alzheimer's. Its philosophy and technique known as Humantitude focuses on gaze, speech, touch and verticality, using caring eye contact, gentle speech and physical touch to encourage interaction and engender self-worth. Wireless headphones are available to help residents hear clearly during shows, therapy, presentations and outings. During daily music therapy sessions, Eversound allows each resident to listen to their favorite music to help reignite memories and helps residents feel themselves again.
Residents' families say the staff is exceptional in their loving care. One relative writes, "Words cannot describe the loving care and concern for my aunt when she lived at El Rio, everyone was so helpful and kind." Another reviewer says, "Mary Keaton's leadership and caring nature sets the tone for a loving and dedicated environment."
Conveniently located in a residential neighborhood in the heart of Central Valley, Cedar Creek Senior Living offers a peaceful living environment close to natural scenery, shops, places of worship and medical facilities. This community's Generations memory care program helps seniors with dementia preserve their quality of life by offering compassionate care and a vibrant lifestyle. The staff conducts a comprehensive assessment of each resident's life story, likes and dislikes before developing an individualized care plan tailored to their habits and needs. The caregivers, specifically trained in dementia care techniques, are available 24/7 to provide medication management and incontinence care and help with activities of daily living, such as grooming. Seniors can participate in personalized wellness and social programs, and support groups for family members are available. The culinary team serves signature local dishes made from scratch using fresh ingredients.
Family members praise the devoted staff, engaging activities and clean environment. A reviewer writes, "The staff at Cedar Creek are sweet and caring. The food is really good, and the chef is nice. The community is clean, and they offer some daily activities. I know my loved one will be fine here."