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 Montgomery County’s senior population continues to grow (19.92% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Montgomery County, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 8.72% between 2014 and 2019, 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 (4.31% in Montgomery County 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 Montgomery County. 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 Montgomery County, 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:
Founded in 1998 by a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist, Arbor Place is an exclusive memory care community designed to support the medical and emotional challenges seniors with dementia face in a homelike setting. Residents benefit from private bedrooms and have access to gardens, a safe walking path and an open kitchen. Caregivers provide 24/7 supervision and are trained to facilitate safe interactions with the environment and respect individual wishes, allowing those with advanced-stage dementia to maintain some quality of life. Daily opportunities to rediscover past talents, form meaningful connections and experience music, art and nature are available to residents. The care team is led by a nursing professional who collaborates with other health care professionals to meet all specialized care needs of seniors with neurodegenerative diseases.
The facility was warm, cheerful and clean. It felt like a home—never a 'facility' ... my Mom was never alone, writes one family member. Other family members concur and praise the dedicated caregivers, tailored daily activities and skilled medical oversight provided.
Arden Courts of Kensington is a community dedicated solely to the care of people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. This intimate community with a homelike feel prioritizes residents' individual needs right from the start, with an assessment of each resident from specialist staff. After the assessment, staff members develop an individualized care plan, which is regularly adjusted to meet the resident's changing needs. Seniors have access to enclosed landscaped courtyard areas and over a quarter of a mile of walking paths, perfect for exercise and socializing in a safe and secure environment. Structured programs and activities run seven days a week, and specially trained staff members provide around-the-clock supervision. Residents receive hourly safety checks and assistance in arranging medical services if needed. Professional nurses are available 24 hours a day.
Family members are impressed with the quality of care at Arden Courts. One reviewer writes, "Arden Courts in Kensington has been with us every step of the way as our family member suffers through dementia. We are blessed to have found such a wonderful community. The staff is always there in every situation, medical, personal or just to lend a helping hand or other encouragement. ... We can strongly recommend Arden Courts of Kensington to any family looking for a home for a loved one."
Arden Courts of Potomac is a self-contained community with opportunities for residents to spend time outside. The community is designed for safety, with limited points of entry and exit so residents at all care levels can move about freely. Memory care programming centers on personal pursuits, such as gardening or hobbies, as well as group activities, spiritual outreach and therapeutic options. The Engagement Therapy Treatment Program uses personal and historic information about residents to help them connect with one another. Additional amenities include scheduled family nights, a framed gallery outside of each resident's home with personal memorabilia and educational seminars.
Residents and their loved ones appreciate the easily navigated physical spaces, numerous activities and quality care provided by the staff. One writes, "My spouse suffered from dementia and lived at Arden Court for 2 1/2 months... We found AC to be a cheerful, positive and caring environment. The staff worked hard to provide stimulating activities and good supervision."
Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights provides long-term memory care solutions for seniors living with cognitive conditions. The community’s Reminiscence program is evidence-based, with dedicated caregivers trained to handle challenging issues such as communication, confusion, isolation and impaired judgment. A Life Enrichment manager is assigned to each resident to ensure individualized care. The safe, comfortable neighborhood features spacious, easy-to-navigate living areas, a vibrant activity center, secure outdoor spaces and reflection rooms designed with soothing elements. Residents have access to purposeful daily activities, including music therapy to uplift their spirits, gardening to enhance productivity and games and puzzles to improve cognitive abilities. Through Sunrise’s family engagement app, families receive regular updates regarding loved ones’ activities and health status, as well as information on community programs and events.
Reviewers like the luxurious setting, good food and diverse activities. Family members appreciate receiving regular updates from the responsive staff, with one saying, "Whenever I called, they give the information very readily, and they get me to the person who has the information; that is very important. There is a nurse who comes twice a week to see my mother and to take notes and even calls me.”
Brightview Fallsgrove is conveniently located close to the Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical Center and several shopping centers in Rockville, including Fallsgrove Village Center and King Farm Village Center. Dedicated caregivers have experience assisting seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In addition to helping residents with their daily routines, the staff hosts activities designed to improve mood and attention, such as the Mind & Music program. The community’s restaurant-style dining room offers gourmet, chef-prepared meals along with complimentary coffee and healthy snacks throughout the day. Kitchen staff members design special meal plans for seniors on restricted diets, based on the residents’ preferences. A private dining room is also available to accommodate small family gatherings.
Reviewers like the community’s kind staff and amenities. A relative of a resident wrote, "We're very happy with Brightview Fallsgrove assisted living. The staff is very responsive and good. If my mom needs someone in the middle of the night, they show up in a couple of minutes. ... The dining room is pleasant and it's well-kept.”
Located in the bustling Baltimore-Washington metro area and just 2 miles from the respected Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, Brightview West End is a senior living community offering resort-like amenities and services at all levels of care. The secure Wellspring Village neighborhood caters to the needs of seniors living with cognitive conditions and features cozy living spaces designed for comfort and easy navigation. The Mind and Music program harnesses the healing power of music in stimulating memories, calming moods and reducing agitations. Residents can listen to their favorite playlists using community-provided smart devices and keep in touch with their musical abilities via drum circles and singing groups. Daily structured activities, such as wellness exercises, music, cooking and gardening, help promote social interaction, create a sense of purpose and provide fun, stimulating experiences. The community's apartments feature large windows, senior-friendly bathrooms and individually controlled heating and air conditioning.
Reviewers are impressed with the modern amenities, comparing the community to a five-star hotel. Residents’ loved ones appreciate the regular updates and enjoy participating in community events. One writes, "The Brightview community warmly invites family and the local community into their residents' lives with special family gatherings, a cafe with delicious food open to both residents and the surrounding community.”
Brookdale Olney is situated in a quiet residential community in the Washington D.C. area. Memory care services are administered through the Clare Bridge program, which emphasizes six structured activities for residents seven days a week. Some of the activities are individualized to meet the interests and history of residents, while others are small group experiences. The community takes a whole-person approach to care, with options that include musical performances for entertainment, spiritual enrichment and fitness activities. Each memory care resident also has a shadow box outside their living quarters to represent unique aspects of their lives. Residents are encouraged to bring furniture and personal effects to make their living spaces feel more comfortable. Brookdale Olney also offers numerous community amenities, including an on-site general store, therapy room and library. Concierge services also help residents to coordinate programming and schedule transportation and appointments as needed.
The spacious layout of the Brookdale Olney campus and cleanliness of the living spaces are common themes mentioned in resident reviews. The services that make life more convenient are also often cited, as one resident's family member notes, "My aunt has moved into Brookdale Olney. It's wonderful. It's a great choice. They have laundry services, dining services and activities."
Brookdale Potomac is located in a natural, park-style setting with plenty of amenities and activities to keep residents busy. Memory care services and activities are provided through the Clare Bridge Daily Path program. Residents are encouraged to fill a shadow box with personal effects to show off components of their lives. Memory care residents also participate in community events, such as live musical performances and scheduled outings. Nutrition is a point of focus at Brookdale Potomac, as staff supports nutrition for memory care residents by providing a full sensory experience during mealtimes. On-site amenities include a walking path, courtyard and garden space, fitness center and library.
Reviews from residents and their loved ones focus heavily on staff interactions, noting staff professionalism and those who treat residents like family. One reviewer notes, "They have excellent staff members, and the clients all seemed very happy. They were very friendly and knew the clients on a first-name basis."
Located in Rockville, MD, Cohen-Rosen House is designed to provide a safe and welcoming home for individuals with memory care or assisted living needs. Using innovative memory care techniques, the community provides engaging mental and physical activities, secure and private accommodations as well as personalized care to ensure that residents maintain healthy lives. In addition to 24/7 care by a licensed nurse, the memory care community is staffed with Life Skills Assistants, who are trained to respond to the needs of an individual with memory impairment. Memory care, assisted living and independent living residents all have access to staff 24-hours a day. Activities are organized by the community both on and off-campus, including musical concerts, walks to entertainment and board games.
One reviewer commends the community’s compassionate care, saying the staff has an "unwavering commitment" to the kind care of older adults.
Kensington Park offers a full spectrum of clinical support, allowing residents to age in place comfortably. This retirement community has a tranquil, small-town setting in Montgomery County, just over a mile from Kaiser Permanente Kensington Medical Center and minutes from Bethesda, Silver Spring and Rockville. Its 8-acre, parklike wooded campus has three standalone residential buildings. The Groves memory care building consists of the Connections and Haven neighborhoods for residents with moderate and advanced stages of dementia, respectively. At The Woodlands assisted living building, residents with mild memory loss receive transitional care under the Kensington Club program. All assisted living and memory care residents benefit from 24-hour support by licensed nurses, medication/diabetes management by primary care managers and on-site rehabilitation therapy by Genesis Rehab as well as specialized cognitive evaluations and activity programming through BCAT.
Loved ones have been touched by Kensington Park’s extraordinary supportiveness. One reviewer writes, "The K-Club is the only program of its kind that I found in the DC metro area … The KP team has actively supported me as I have struggled with the inevitable heartaches and stresses that accompany witnessing a parent's decline at this stage of life.”
Sunrise at Fox Hill is situated in a country club-like setting just minutes from Washington, D.C. The Reminiscence memory care community ensures safety for memory care residents by locating personal living spaces next to communal ones. The Validation therapy method, which is used to make residents feel more comfortable, includes asking open-ended questions during communication, reflecting resident emotions and rephrasing questions as needed. The community also incorporates a multi-sensory experience from personal care to social interactions. Activities to keep residents engaged range from music therapy to nature programming.
Residents and their loved ones point out the cleanliness of the space as well as the effort made to accommodate residents at all care levels. One family member notes, "It's probably one of the best in the area. They were very sweet and accommodating. I liked the size, the sophistication, the quality of the building itself and the structure."
Located in a quiet, neighborhood setting of the Montgomery Village planned community, Sunrise at Montgomery Village offers memory care, assisted living, independent living and respite care for seniors. The community is conveniently located across the street from shops, restaurants and a large medical complex. On-site, amenities are plentiful and include a library, sitting room, activity room, gardens with raised beds and a spacious outdoor patio. There are many resident committees, along with a robust calendar of activities and events. Meals, housekeeping, maintenance and transportation services are all provided. A dedicated Reminiscence neighborhood, purposely designed to be easy to navigate, provides a comforting and secure environment for memory care residents. Staff is available 24/7 and trained in the latest memory care techniques. Reminiscence residents are also encouraged to take part in memory-specific activities and programs.
Family members praise the caring staff. One writes, "The staff is incredible, very caring and always there for my mom. We looked at several places and glad we choose this one.” Adds another, "We really liked Sunrise at Montgomery Village - the facility, the apartments, the food, and the staff. The staff is very engaged with the residents and family members.”
Sunrise of Bethesda is situated minutes from the nation's capital and some of the best medical facilities in the region. The community emphasizes memory care through its Reminiscence program, which focuses on safety and wellness. Living quarters are placed near common spaces to make moving between different areas easier for memory care residents. Life Enrichment Managers reinforce residents' existing skills and reducing anxiety through learning new ones. They also use the Validation method, which emphasizes eye contact during communication, rephrasing and asking open-ended questions.
Reviews from residents and family members emphasize the comfort and quality of care provided to residents at all care levels. One writes, "My father lived at the Sunrise of Bethesda Memory Care community. The staff is so caring and professional, and they treated my dad with affection and respect. We couldn't have found a better place for my dad to live."
Sunrise of Rockville provides high-quality memory care services to senior residents. Conveniently located in the heart of Rockville, Maryland, this community offers easy access to a number of major hospitals in the surrounding area. All residents can benefit from the trained staff available 24 hours a day to assist with any needs. The memory care program also includes a variety of fitness, creative, social and spiritual activities to keep residents engaged throughout the day. Weekly housekeeping and personal laundry services, monthly wellness visits by a licensed nurse, three well-balanced meals a day and a family engagement app that allows family members to connect with their loved ones help residents keep up with day-to-day living.
Residents of Sunrise at Rockville recognize the community for its highly skilled and caring staff. One visitor notes, "Sunrise of Rockville is a beautiful, Southern mansion-type place. They have lots of activities going on, and they are very friendly. Everything seemed to have a very positive vibe, and I enjoyed my tour. I was impressed."
At Tribute of Black Hill, residents thrive in a secure and relaxing environment that features lush courtyards and rolling walking trails. Memory care residents are encouraged to enjoy the lovely outdoor areas, do some gardening and smell the flowers, which helps improve moods and stimulate the senses. These light activities and simple stimulation techniques form part of the community’s Revere memory care program, which combines nature, movement and personal connections with clinical care in its approach to dementia care. Other activities included in the program are rhythmic dancing for physical wellness, intergenerational activities for well-rounded social engagement and music therapy to trigger happy memories and reduce agitation. Staff members encourage residents to develop meaningful connections and help improve cognitive abilities through participation in group activities, such as reminiscing exercises, guided meditation and brain games.
Reviewers describe the community as luxurious, noting the spacious rooms and good food. Relatives are pleased to see loved ones active and happy. One says, "My aunt lives there now and I haven't seen her happier. It has been hard not physically being able to see her, but on our FaceTime Calls, she is always so busy.”