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 Nashville’s senior population continues to grow (14.65% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Nashville, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose 56.4% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 5.88%, 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 (9.50% in Nashville 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 Nashville. 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 Nashville, 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:
Abe’s Garden provides person-centered care in a safe, comfortable environment designed with the independence of memory care residents in mind. This includes centrally-located kitchens that encourage socialization and eating, furniture that addresses the needs of individuals living with dementia, zero-barrier entry bathrooms, bedroom cabinets with panels for photos to help stir memories, an open floor plan that encourages movement, and lots of windows that let in the natural light. Residents have access to a secure, engaging courtyard with a walking path, raised gardening beds, backyard grill and fireplace. Abe’s Garden studies and demonstrates best practices in dementia care, including Hearthstone Institute’s I’m Still Here® engagement approach. Programming is offered morning through evening seven days a week and includes connection to nature, music, art, lifelong learning, and movement and pets. The Life Engagement team leads group activities, which are offered morning through evening seven days a week and highlight connection to nature, music, art, lifelong learning, movement, and pets. Abe’s Garden also offers a unique day program for individuals in the early stages of dementia, a day program for those living with dementia at home who would benefit from the engagement programs offered to residents, and free caregiver training, including in-home coaching, educational sessions, and best-practice videos.
Visitors appreciate the programs and staff. “Wonderful, highly recommend if you or a loved one are in need of memory care. Kind and caring staff. State-of-the-art methods are applied,” notes one. The daughter of a resident says, “Every person who works in the memory care housing always calls my mom by her first name, they make it their job to know personal history of my mom as to interact with her and make her feel safe and important to them."
Belmont Village Green Hills is an upscale, resort-like senior living facility decorated with comfortable, tasteful furnishings and artwork inspired by Nashville's rich music history. The dining hall serves chef-prepared meals and a menu of 24 daily food choices, while a bistro provides refreshing drinks and snacks. The fitness center is professionally staffed, and the Whole Brain Fitness program includes brain-healthy menu items, exercises and small-group activities designed to increase confidence and engagement for those with cognitive impairment. In the dedicated memory care unit, residents enjoy daily wellness checks, physical and speech therapies and secure, private outdoor areas for recreation. Additional community amenities include an on-site beauty salon and computer center.
Family members say residents enjoy the facility’s delicious food, attractive, well-maintained building and friendly staff. One loved one says, “Belmont Village Green Hills is wonderful. The place is beautiful and really clean. The staff is wonderful and caring, and everyone seems to love my mother … They have activities for the residents there every day, and she really likes the food because it's really good.”
Brighton Gardens of Brentwood is a Bronze National Quality award-winning facility offering seniors assisted living, memory care, respite and hospice services. The community's warm, welcoming environment is enhanced by the manicured grounds with gardens and walking paths, friendly pet dog and themed social events. In the dining hall, a chef prepares healthy, southern-inspired meals made from scratch, such as collard greens and pork chops. The Reminiscence memory care unit has easy-to-navigate living areas and a staff of life enrichment managers trained in personalized Validation Therapy techniques. Along with participating in on-site recreational activities, residents are encouraged to interact with the greater community through visits from local high school students and volunteer projects that promote feelings of purpose.
Loved ones say they’re impressed with the facility’s attractive, positive atmosphere, engaging staff and abundance of activities. One person comments, “The staff was extremely friendly and helpful … It's very bright and cheerful … They do outings, shopping, scenic drive[s], bingo and church services … The food we ate was excellent. It's a beautiful facility. It had nice open areas, courtyard[s] and greenery.”
Beautiful, landscaped grounds including walking paths and a courtyard await residents of Brookdale Green Hills Cumberland. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, this facility has everything residents need right on site, including a coffee shop, fitness center, cafe, beauty/barber salon and postal services. When it comes to daily life, residents can enjoy meals in the dining room or take advantage of the snack shop before enjoying billiards, live music or the fireside living room. The memory care unit has a circular walkway so residents can wander safely as well as dementia-friendly menus and personalized doorways for easier recognition.
Reviewers compliment the attentive staff and are especially pleased with the beautiful facility and high quality of care. One hospice volunteer notes, "The standard of care was excellent, and all of [the resident's] care providers and sitters were not only attentive and kind to her but were also welcoming to me as a hospice volunteer. The grounds and individual apartments are stunning, and they appear to have some fun and exciting programs for their residents."
Charter Senior Living of Hermitage provides memory, independent and assisted living care in a comfortable, elegant building with inviting living areas and open floor plans. The pet-friendly community's landscaped courtyards and shaded front porch lets residents safely enjoy the outdoors, while exercise classes, a card room and the on-site library offer opportunities for residents to explore their individual interests. In the memory care unit, Alzheimer's and dementia care residents receive specialized programming designed to meet their unique cognitive and sensory needs. Relaxing videos, calming classical music on headphones and warm, scented towels distributed before meals help residents feel soothed and at peace. Many therapeutic activities are structured through their unique Flourish program, and inspired by residents' strengths and unique dementia symptoms.
Family members praise the attractive building and attentive staff for providing comfort and helping residents feel at home. One reviewer says, “We fell in love with the staff and the facility. Everyone was helpful, professional [and] caring and kept a watchful eye on mother. She was very happy. The facility is beautiful … and welcoming with great activities for residents and families.”
Elmcroft of Brentwood is located in Nashville, Tennessee, close to Radnor Lake State Park, where residents can enjoy a day trip with loved ones. The facility's well-appointed lobby creates an upscale feel for residents and guests to socialize, and the restaurant-style dining hall caters to resident's individual tastes. Staff members develop personalized wellness programs, with daily activities for each resident. All residents can participate in monthly cultural activities, featuring savory dishes from around the world. The facility's Walking Tall program helps residents understand the risk of falling and gives them tools to move around safely. Residents are also encouraged to realize their dreams. This may include performing in a ballet, enjoying a hot-air balloon ride or reuniting with someone from the past.
Elmcroft is a very nice facility. They toured us around, and it had nice rooms. The staff was very knowledgeable and very nice, according to one reviewer. Visitors also appreciate the cleanliness of the facility and the nice dining area. "The dining area was set up like a restaurant, and it was very nice. Everybody seemed happy."
Maybelle Carter Living offers independent living, assisted living and memory care in the former estate of country music icon Maybelle Carter. Nestled on 7 acres of park-like grounds with gardens, large trees and rolling hills, the facility boasts a wellness center, well-stocked library and grand piano played frequently by visiting musicians. In the luxurious dining hall with large windows and abundant natural light, residents enjoy nutritious, chef-cooked meals and a soup-and-salad bar. The memory care unit is a secure environment, where residents can receive support including individualized reminders, hygiene assistance and engaging activities while experiencing independence, growth and success.
Family members say residents are happy with the community’s good food and comment on the numerous activities. One reviewer says, “Mom is satisfied at Maybelle Carter; she said the food is excellent and has eaten more there than she has eaten in a long time … They have all kinds of card game activities, bingo and church facilities.”
Barton House was Nashville’s first facility dedicated solely to memory care. The staff is trained to deal with the full spectrum of cognitive decline, and the facility is arranged with the residents’ safety and freedom of movement in mind. The campus features private rooms where residents remain as they age to cultivate familiarity with surroundings and peers. Barton House has lush outdoor areas, including a garden walking path, and all sections of the grounds are secured. Residents can participate in a range of social activities that foster friendships, engage the mind and promote physical exercise. Barton provides four home-style meals plus snacks per day and gladly accommodates dietary needs and preferences.
Residents’ families praise Barton House for its cleanliness, delicious food, stimulating activities and treatment of residents. One relative posted, "My family member has the best of care. Between the music venues at least twice a week and all the activities, this place manages to keep everybody happy. The food is outstanding, and I would recommend this place to anyone that wants their family member treated with respect and dignity.”
The Lodge at Natchez Trace sits in the Chase Creek section of southwestern Nashville and believes in a consistent schedule to help its residents establish a sense of routine and familiarity. Staff assesses each new resident's needs to determine a level of care upon their arrival, and plans are updated every three months. The activity schedule is based on stimulating each of the five senses and helping residents engage the part of their brain that holds on to memories. Activities include baking bread, sing-alongs, painting and weekly music therapy. Physical activity is encouraged through trips to the nearby YMCA, and restaurant-style meals are served three times daily. All food is prepared from scratch by the facility's chefs, and special requests from residents are encouraged.
Residents and loved ones appreciate the friendliness of the staff and their willingness to engage with residents. The cafeteria received special praise for being "as good as home cooking can get." Loved ones are impressed with the condition of The Lodge and describe it as a "clean, beautiful and friendly place."
The Opal At Music City strives to help its residents feel safe and secure within a warm, caring and homelike environment. Staff members encourage residents to retain independence and freely enjoy on-site amenities, such as the movie theater, brightly-colored ice cream parlor and secured outdoor courtyards, and loved ones are welcome to use the private dining room for family meals and celebrations. Cultural, recreational and spiritual activities are designed with each residents' unique histories, skills and needs in mind. Seniors have access to speech, physical and occupational therapies, and a support group provides family members, friends and residents helpful tips and techniques for Alzheimer's care.
Visitors praise the facility’s caring staff and calming atmosphere with fun, convenient amenities. One reviewer states, “Absolutely wonderful staff! My walk around the property showed me how they truly care about their patients. Movie nights, a general store and an atmosphere that brings peace to what could be a very stressful time… Thank you The Opal At Music City for all that you do!”