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 Orange County’s senior population continues to grow (17.41% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Orange County, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 18.33% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 13.67%, 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 (10.38% in Orange 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 Orange 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 Orange 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:
Offering views of the San Juan Hills golf course, Atria San Juan provides assisted living, independent living and memory care services. Atria San Juan's innovative approach to memory care focuses on physical activity, social connections and individualized care. Memory care residents participate in the Life Guidance program, which includes activities that encourage purposeful engagement, creative expression, staying fit and maintaining independence. Spaces within the memory care community are designed with residents' abilities in mind and include a secured outdoor area that allows seniors to safely commune with nature. A range of cultural, social, educational and entertainment events are offered each day. Meals are made from seasonal local ingredients, and residents can watch the chefs in action at occasional chef's table events.
People praise the community's vibrant environment. "Atria was alive," reports one visitor. "Everybody was smiling and happy, the staff was nice. People that lived there came up to us and talked right away. They’re goal-oriented to help residents mentally and physically. We went into the dining area where everything smelled good, and I even met the chef. Everything was great."
At Brookdale Anaheim, seniors experience person-centered care paired with deluxe amenities. Staff gets to know each resident individually, tailoring services around their specific needs. In the Clare Bridge neighborhood, caregivers are trained in the latest dementia care techniques and approaches, so they know how to best address cognitive challenges. Designed for residents living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, this secure environment allows seniors to explore safely, with spacious common areas to socialize and enjoy activities, walls painted in cheerful colors, secured exterior doorways and doorbells to monitor in/out movements. Activities feature engaging options such as art classes, journaling, sharing stories and trips to local attractions, along with sensory opportunities such as music and aromatherapy. Amenities include chef-prepared meals, a beauty/barber shop, a general store, courtyard, garden and walking paths.
Residents praise the staff, food and activities. One says, "The caregivers are amazing, the staff is very accessible, and the rooms are very clean. The food is very healthy and very good. The activities are amazing. There is always something to do because we have a great person in charge of all the activities."
A picturesque community surrounded by nature, Brookdale Brookhurst offers assisted living and memory care with a personalized touch. The highly trained staff members receive ongoing instruction to learn the latest care techniques and approaches, and it on-site 24 hours to assist with daily activities like personal hygiene, grooming and medication. Clare Bridge is a purposefully designed neighborhood for residents living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias; its easy-to-navigate floor plans are painted in cheerful colors with plenty of natural light, along with secured entryways and doorbells to monitor in/out movements. Seniors with early to moderate memory loss can enjoy days filled with art and dance classes, lively off-site trips, journaling and sharing stories, while those with later stages of memory loss enjoy an extra layer of support, with sensory opportunities like aromatherapy and music. Transportation services help residents easily access off-site appointments and events.
Visiting relatives like the ambiance and amenities. "It's a very nice, welcoming environment," one says. "The apartment itself is pretty spacious, very clean, and modern. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. He enjoys all of the activities, like bingo and book club, and outings. ... The facility offers a private dining room."
Memory care residents of Brookdale Garden Grove benefit from the community’s person-centered approach, with care plans thoughtfully developed through a collaborative effort between residents, their families, caregivers and health care providers. Seniors experience a sense of comfort and belonging in the nurturing environment, designed with plenty of natural light and soothing color schemes, secure surroundings and easy-to-navigate living spaces. Through Brookdale’s innovative Clare Bridge Daily Path of programs, residents have access to structured programming that incorporates individual interests and abilities. Designed to enhance physical, mental and spiritual health, activities include B-Fit exercises, cooking classes, reading sessions and musical entertainment. The community’s dining program creates stimulating experiences through dementia-friendly menus, manageable food servings, soothing music and ambiance, and warm hand towels. Those with limiting conditions can rely on staff assistance during mealtimes.
Families appreciate receiving regular updates about their loved ones. "My mother has been in Brookdale Garden Grove … The staff there is very nice, and they are very good with me and my brother. He keeps very good contact with the staff there. They all know him, and he does get involved with people there,” says a resident’s family member.
Carmel Village is a pet-friendly senior living community close to retail shops, medical services, beaches, parks and local entertainment in Fountain Valley, CA. The community offers various types of cozy one-bedroom apartments with lots of room for personal belongings and decorations. For older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer's, dementia or other cognitive impairments, the community's memory care program provides loving care, support and the independence they deserve. Onsite 24/7 caregivers are available to lend seniors a hand with bathing, grooming, medications and other daily tasks. Memory care residents are encouraged to connect with others through a variety of stimulating activities such as gardening, fitness classes and social events. In addition to nutritious snacks, the kitchen's professional chefs prepare and serve three healthy meals in the bright dining hall each day. Other services provided by the community, include weekly housekeeping, laundry, scheduled transportation and a beauty parlor.
Families are impressed with the level of care that Carmel provides. One relative remarked, "Both of my parents are in memory care at this facility. The caregivers in Memory Care are very sensitive and caring to all members on the floor."
Located one block from the 1-95, Emerald Court offers assisted living, independent living and memory care options for the wider Orange County area. There is a home-like feeling within the community with plenty of communal areas for socializing and an extensive outdoor area, including a garden patio overlooking the grounds. All residents participate in the Art of Well program and are encouraged to find what best suits them with activities, including balance and fitness classes. There are also plenty of cultural and educational opportunities on offer to help keep the mind sharp. Memory care residents can expect person-centered care with the program designed to reflect each resident's individuality and independence. The comfortable studio apartments all contain a full bath that residents can relax in after a busy day.
Family members praise the personal space and the activities offered, with one family member saying, "My mom’s been there for almost a year, and it truly is a very exceptional place. They take care and accommodate my mom very well... They have happy hours and entertainment about every three months where they’ll bring in a band combo or a chorus..."
Heritage Pointe, a nonprofit retirement community deeply rooted in Jewish tradition and culture, welcomes seniors of all faiths in its vibrant environment. The community’s Ruth Feuerstein program is a blend of compassionate memory care and an engaging lifestyle, providing research-based activities that value individuality, comfort and safety. The property is equipped with emergency alert and access control security systems to keep residents safe. Seniors have access to an entertainment lounge, an activity area and secure outdoor spaces, and a dedicated activity professional manages daily schedules of social and wellness events. Additionally, Heritage Pointe’s spiritual committee actively implements worship and celebration services at the on-site synagogue. The community partners with Morrison, a hospitality company, for its dining program. Daily menus offer kosher-approved selections served in a beautifully appointed dining room. Seniors can also enjoy barbecues in the outdoor courtyard.
People appreciate the team’s effort in improving residents’ lives. "My father lived, or better said, thrived at Heritage Pointe,” says one family member. "Upon moving in he was lonely and depressed. With each passing day both his physical and mental health improved. The loving care he received was beyond our wildest hopes. … We are eternally grateful to Heritage Pointe.”
Located just minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Huntington Terrace offers assisted living, independent living and memory care options to the Orange County community. Set in beautifully landscaped gardens with plenty of walking paths, an outdoor swimming pool and a community clubhouse, there are plenty of opportunities for residents to enjoy the outdoors. The MBK Signature Programs offer residents fitness, intellectually stimulating and social activities that keep them engaged. Memory care focuses on the TLC Program, standing for teaching, language and connection. Family nights are a part of the program, with residents and their loved ones enjoying the time together. A personalized care plan is developed for each memory care resident with a program of activities and therapies specific to individual needs. Regular assessments ensure the plan remains current.
Family members comment on the caring staff and beautiful community, with one family member saying, "Huntington Terrace was great and had many different sections ... more like a resort, and the grounds were huge. ... They had a golf range, a swimming pool, and a recreation house that's separate if you want to have family and friends for a party."
Kirkwood Orange is a warm, welcoming assisted living and memory care community located in historic Orange, CA. The community's Connections for Living memory care program aims to ensure all residents with Alzheimer's, dementia or other memory loss issues are at ease and feel comfortable. Kirkwood Orange offers inviting studio and one-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes and plenty of storage. A team of specially trained caregivers assists with medications and other daily living needs. Memory care residents are encouraged to participate in brain-stimulating activities, exercise classes and life-enriching programming. The kitchen prepares and serves tasty meals in the dining area. Additionally, beverages and snacks are available all day long at the bistro. Seniors can also enjoy the secured outdoor walking and recreational areas. Kirkwood Orange provides housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and transportation services.
Relatives praise the staff for providing the best care for their loved ones. One family member wrote, "Kirkwood Orange has the greatest, most caring staff. My father lived here for the last 8 weeks of his life. They all took an interest in making sure he was happy and well cared for."
Conveniently located in Anaheim, CA, Meridian at Anaheim Hills offers an upscale ambiance and luxury amenities with easy access to Disneyland, Anaheim Hills Golf Course and many restaurants and shops. Each incoming memory care resident receives a personalized care plan after going through a professional health assessment conducted by the Resident Services Director. The memory care team is available 24 hours a day to assist residents with daily living tasks, such as dressing, grooming, medication management and continence management. Transportation services are available for off-site medical appointments. To stay engaged, memory care residents can participate in a wide range of activities, including physical exercise, ice cream socials, arts and crafts, music and happy hours. They also enjoy various amenities, such as outdoor walking paths, a Starbucks station with cookies, a library and a full-service hair salon.
Family members love the caring staff. A relative of a resident writes, "The Meridian at Anaheim Hills is simply the BEST!!! Our dad was a resident, and we couldn't have been happier. The extremely caring and helpful staff, a safe and welcoming environment and fun activities made it such a wonderfully comfortable place for our dad.”
Park Terrace offers memory care, independent living and assisted living options to residents in a resort-style setting. The staff is available 24 hours a day and is professionally trained to provide individualized care to residents with moderate to advanced cognitive impairment. Residents with memory care needs have access to the community's Connections programs, which focuses on providing proper emotional support and responding to senior-specific needs. Regularly scheduled day trips into town and landscaped outdoor walking paths within a secure courtyard help seniors stay in touch with the local community. Residents have access to nutritious snacks and fresh fruit at all hours and receive three meals a day, served in multiple dining venues throughout the community.
Family members report that their loved ones enjoy the community. "Her room has a garden view and is close to the beauty shop. The staff is very good ... [Mom] is very happy," writes one resident's relative. "There's a regular dining room and a bistro with several options for meals, and the food is very good. I will highly recommend it."
Located next to the University of California, Regents Point offers assisted living, independent living and memory care for the Irvine community. When it comes to dining residents, have a choice of grabbing a sandwich or salad at the bistro or eating in the communal dining room, which offers restaurant-style meals and the opportunity for a quick catch-up with the neighbors. In addition to the activities programming, which includes putting tournaments, mahjong and nature walks, an extensive wellness program with activities such as water aerobics, strength training and aerobics available to all seniors. Memory care residents can enjoy the outdoor memory garden and personalized memory boxes outside their room. Social interaction is encouraged in the large communal living areas.
Residents commented on the programs offered and the professional staff, with one saying, "We are happy here and glad we made the move. We are part of a fairly large group of residents who visit and do other volunteer work at the assisted living. .... I have been so impressed with the programs"
Rowntree Gardens offers assisted living, independent living and memory care in the heart of Orange County. Residents are provided three chef-inspired meals each day and can be enjoyed in the fireside or patio dining rooms. A fully licensed dietician is also available to help with individual dietary planning. Staff members are on-site 24 hours a day and are available to help residents with assisted living needs, such as medication management, personal care assistance, wellness checks and escort assistance. There are daily activities scheduled to keep residents engaged and social as well as planned outings and events. Residents also have access to other amenities such as a fitness room, beauty salon and barbershop, a pool and an outdoor garden and patio to enjoy the fresh air and socialize with other community members.
Family members speak highly about the staff and activities offered, with one saying, "We picked Rowntree Gardens for my mom because it's a very lovely place. The rooms are very nice. They have activities for the seniors. The residents are friendly and talk to us, and the people who work there are nice and helpful".
San Clemente Villas by the Sea offers a memory care program known as the West Indies Extended Care Unit. It includes apartments specially designed for residents with memory loss, extra protection and additional security for residents who wander and specialized physical and mental activities. This program seeks to help memory care residents maintain a familiar daily routine and feel safe while adding purpose and meaning to their lives. It offers mental exercises such as discussions, brain games and reminiscing activities to help improve cognition. Residents can also participate in physical exercises such as stretching, dancing and chair exercises. Group activities such as arts, crafts, gardening and baking provide social stimulation and a sense of achievement and purpose for the residents. A personal enrichment program incorporates each resident’s history and family background to offer activities meaningful to the resident and their family.
People love how caring the owner is. A visitor writes, "I’ve been dealing with this community for almost 20 years. The owner of this facility is nothing less than angelic. I've witnessed occasions of nothing but pure love for the people who reside there. Thank you for being a part of my family as well.”
In its beachfront environment, Sunrise of Huntington Beach provides two levels of memory care. Terrace Club care provides independence for residents who need gentle reminders and light assistance with hygiene or medicine management. The Reminiscence Neighborhood can provide residents with a higher level of care through increased assistance, validation therapy and more secure spaces. At both levels of care, residents can enjoy social, physical and creative activities including coffee at the bistro, painting in the activity room and journaling. In the dining room, residents enjoy recipes crafted by the dining coordinator, all of which can be tailored to dietary restrictions. Staff members are supported by personnel from two nearby hospitals and training recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association for its evidence-based approach.
Families and residents commend the staff for their thorough training. One states, "It's clear they fully understand the responsibilities with the memory care residents, and they are competent and professional. I look forward to to my mom's future here with confidence."
Located in southeastern Orange County, Sunrise of Mission Viejo provides memory care, assisted living and short-term care for seniors. The community is conveniently located next to a country club and golf course, and near highways, shopping, dining, recreation and medical facilities, with the Mission Hospital just down the road. Memory care residents live in the dedicated Reminiscence neighborhood, designed to be comforting and secure while promoting social interactions and easy navigation. Staff trained in the latest memory care techniques, including validation therapy, provide 24/7 personalized care, while nursing staff are on-site every day. The community’s life enrichment managers provide memory-focused activities tailored to each resident’s skills and interests. Meals, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance services are all provided and enable a worry-free lifestyle. Dental care, physical therapy and podiatry services are also available on-site.
Family members appreciate the warm atmosphere and caring staff. According to one reviewer, "It's a home-like environment. We like that it is smaller in size, and the staff is really caring and friendly.” Adds another, "We found Sunrise for my aunt. It was most homey and very clean. The staff was very nice and very friendly.”
Located in the northwest corner of Orange County, Sunrise of Seal Beach offers memory care, assisted living and independent living options. The community is situated in a residential area near golf courses, where seniors can enjoy beautiful views and easy access to restaurants, shops and the Los Alamitos Medical Center. Services such as meals, housekeeping and transportation are included. The community offers well-planned indoor and outdoor spaces and plenty of daily activities and events. Memory care residents live in a dedicated Reminiscence neighborhood. The area is designed to be secure, comfortable and easy to navigate. Highly trained staff is available 24/7 to provide personalized care and support, while the life enrichment manager is trained in the latest memory care techniques. Residents can participate in numerous memory-focused activities tailored to their skills and interests.
Family members praise the caring staff and good food. One reviewer writes, "It is an excellent place where there are caring, loving people who take care of the residents. I would recommend it to anybody. The food was very good.” Adds another, "The staff is very kind. They show up on time, they're prompt, courteous, and very friendly.”
Located in northern Orange County, Sunrise of Yorba Linda provides memory care, assisted living and respite care for seniors. Conveniently located near the Yorba Linda Towne Center and the Yorba Linda Library and Cultural Center, several hospitals are also nearby, including St. Jude Medical Group and Placentia Linda Hospital. All residents receive an individualized care plan, overseen by designated care managers. Meals, housekeeping and transportation services are all included. There’s also a rich activities program, including clubs, classes, live entertainment and scheduled outings. Memory care residents live in a special Reminiscence neighborhood, with comfortable and secure areas that are easy to navigate. Highly trained staff that provides 24/7 care, while certified validation teachers trained in the latest memory care techniques are available on-site. Memory care residents are also encouraged to take part in a wide range of enriching and memory-focused activities.
Family members appreciate the staff and care their loved ones receive. One reviewer writes, "The staff members have really...[been]...great towards us, the care services are also really good our family has no complaints to say.” Adds another, "The staff members are right on top of everything. They take good care of the people.”
The Groves of Tustin is a welcoming assisted living and memory care community that offers residents a private, safe and secure environment. It provides bright and spacious apartments with kitchenettes, private bathrooms and patios or balconies. Residents diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive impairments receive personalized care through the Generations memory care program. Trained caregivers use the award-winning Teepa Snow techniques when assisting seniors with daily living needs. The Groves is also a part of the national research initiative, Music and Memory, whose goal is to find out how music improves the lives of residents with memory loss. Activities, programs and social outings keep seniors' minds stimulated, and meals are served each day in the restaurant-style dining room with a cozy stone fireplace. Weekly housekeeping, laundry, transportation, maintenance and a beauty salon are provided.
Family members praise the care their loved ones receive at The Groves of Tustin. One reviewer writes, "Great caring personnel: efficient, perform work diligently, volunteer to offer services beyond expectations."
Town & Country Manor provides a nourishing atmosphere, homelike environment and enriching daily activities for seniors in its Grace Gardens program. Designed specifically for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and dementia residents, the community features a central kitchen and dining room, gardens with walking paths and intuitive signage throughout the campus. Caregivers learn the habits, interests and routines of each resident and develop an individualized treatment plan that includes art, gardening, music and physical fitness. Games and meaningful activities improve calmness, encourage memory recollection and enhance cognitive thinking skills. Participation in purposeful activities, such as helping prepare a meal, setting the table and celebrating special occasions, help seniors feel at home and engage with their peers. Grace Gardens care team, nurses and chaplain are available 24/7 to assist with spiritual and medical needs, as well as bathing, dressing and housekeeping.
Family members give Town & Country Manor five stars for excellent resident care. One reviewer noted, "I can tell you the staff here is friendly, attentive and warm to my grandmother. ... They know her and are patient, caring and extremely nice to our entire family. ...They cheer her progress and constantly update us."