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 Palo Alto’s senior population continues to grow (15.27% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Palo Alto, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose a staggering 245.5% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 7.36%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is slightly higher than the rest of the nation (7.68% in Palo Alto 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 Palo Alto. 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 Palo Alto, 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:
Atria at Foster Square is located in a peaceful neighborhood and is surrounded by landscaped gardens. The Life Guidance memory care section is located in a specially designed building that is completely secure for the safety of residents. Built-in memory display cases are located next to the door to each apartment to assist seniors to independently navigate to their own apartments and to encourage visitor and staff engagement. The open-concept design maximizes sightlines across communal spaces to minimize confusion, and the circular hallways are easy to navigate. A secure terrace area lets residents safely spend time outdoors. The team of trained caregiving staff is always on hand to provide compassionate physical and emotional assistance to residents. Life Guidance events are designed to stimulate memories and may include outings to local destinations, gardening, art classes, daily music therapy and live entertainment.
Family members appreciate the care offered, with one reviewer saying, "They always go the extra mile to help my mom have the most wonderful experience each day. I can not say enough at how fortunate we are to have my mom at Atria with loving staff who treat us and my mom like family. "
Situated on the Seal Slough channel banks in San Mateo, California, Atria Park of San Mateo provides memory care and assisted living services to older adults. The community's Life Guidance program, specially designed for residents with memory issues, uses a holistic approach in its treatment protocol. All elements of the program, from its varied events calendar and daily chef-prepared meals to the neighborhood's calming layout and decor, are influenced by each resident's needs, interests and strengths. Atria Park of San Mateo's activity schedule provides its memory care residents with structure to each day while encouraging autonomy through active participation in decisions. The staff also provides personal care, 24-hour skilled nursing and housekeeping services. Atria Park offers an on-site salon and spa, a movie theatre, a library and a kitchen featuring a skilled culinary team that can cater to low-salt, vegetarian and kosher diets.
Visitors often commend the staff for being professional and kind. "Atria Park of San Mateo is a wonderful community filled with friendly staff members and happy residents ... The apartments are spacious and upscale," one says. "There are many amenities this community offers ... Even during the pandemic, they are still keeping the socialization alive in the community."
Located in a quiet residential area not far from downtown, Atria Sunnyvale is a senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living and memory care. Staff receive ongoing training in dementia care, and they’re available for 24/7 assistance with medication management and daily activities such as bathing and grooming. Using an individualized approach, they help keep seniors engaged with a full schedule of daily exercise opportunities such as yoga and walking, as well as music programs and social events. Life Guidance is a secure neighborhood designed to meet the needs of seniors living with memory loss. It features spaces with carefully selected artwork, personal display pieces for residents, cozy common areas and an easy-to-navigate layout. Residents can select from an assortment of floor plans, which come fully equipped with emergency alert systems, walk-in closets and showers, individual thermostat control, kitchenettes and Wi-Fi.
Loved ones note the kind staff and diverse activities. One says, "They have a bridge club, a card club, Bible studies, exercises and bingo. They're constantly checking on her and making sure that everything is safe and active. They serve three meals a day and the food is excellent... Everybody has treated my mom like gold."
Bayview Villa has a serene, quiet setting on a hillside residential area in northwest San Carlos, offering an abundance of nature views. This privately owned senior home is also just 3 miles from Sequoia Hospital in neighboring Redwood City. Bayview Villa takes a multidisciplinary team-based approach to memory care, using therapeutic techniques through tailored care services, calming environments, social opportunities and life enrichment activities. Its gated premises allow safe access to its landscaped gardens with walking paths and railed steps, and the two-level residential building has a spacious front porch, central patio and large upper-floor veranda. The spacious living room has a grand piano, and there’s a salon and library.
A longtime resident’s loved one praises Grand Villa and writes, "She has gained weight (this is positive in her situation) and is doing great. Their safety measures during covid19 have been amazing … Healthcare for the elderly is not cheap, but I can honestly say the staff at Bayview Villa cares more about their residents than they do about your money. ”
Belmont Village Senior Living San Jose is located conveniently close to medical facilities, churches and numerous city landmarks, including the Winchester Mystery House just across the street. The pet-friendly community is home to seniors needing assisted living and memory care services, offering the right balance of support tailored to varying needs. The intimate memory care neighborhood is secure and closely monitored, designed with easily manageable spaces and a private outdoor area. Residents thrive through the community’s Whole Brain Fitness lifestyle, consisting of research-based programs, such as physical and mental workouts, brain-healthy dining and lifelong learning. For those with mild conditions, the Circle of Friends program provides structured cognitive exercises and ability-centered group activities. Licensed nurses are available on-site, conducting regular resident assessments to address health issues promptly and reduce hospitalizations.
Families praise Belmont Village for its professional care, citing its memory care program. "My parents have been at Belmont Village for over six years and have received outstanding services and support from the staff and caregivers," writes one. "The Director is an outstanding leader and has run the village in an outstanding way. We could not be happier with the love and care our parents have received."
Situated about 10 miles northwest of San Jose, Belmont Village Senior Living Sunnyvale is minutes away from local amenities in Sunnyvale, including Valley Health Center Sunnyvale and Lawrence Square Shopping Center. Licensed nurses and staff provide around-the-clock personal care for seniors with cognitive and memory issues. The Whole Brain Fitness Program offers brain-healthy menu options and cognitively stimulating activities based on residents’ personal interests and abilities. Dedicated caregivers guide and support seniors as they set personal goals for their favorite activities, celebrating milestones as they track progress. The pet-friendly community partners with local universities and health care specialists to create a full schedule of therapeutic and enriching programs that help promote confidence through social engagement.
Reviewers like the community’s inviting atmosphere and the kind staff. One wrote, "We also like the fact that everything was self-contained, so we didn’t have to worry about having to go to any place. They have a lot of programs that worked out really well for us. … They had nursing staff that was available if needed.”
Crescent Oaks Memory Care is located in a vibrant residential neighborhood setting, just a couple of blocks from Sunnyvale Community Center’s park, museum, theater and senior center. It’s also close to Valley Health Center Sunnyvale and minutes from Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center and El Camino Hospital - Mountain View. Its modern two-level home has secured patio areas, a large four seasons room and accessible living and dining/activity spaces. The Aviator Care Plan program of this Calson Living community promotes healthier, happier living through customized support, purposefully designed spaces, well-trained caregivers and memory-focused activities. Residents can benefit from Solatube natural lighting, interior color schemes and sensory boards. Full medication management services are available, while on-site rehabilitative therapy, podiatry and dental services may be coordinated. Activities include chair tai chi, Golden Memories music therapy, arts and crafts, pampering sessions and themed socials.
A satisfied loved one thanks the Crescent Oaks staff for "their dedication, care and unwavering support of residents and their families especially during the time of COVID 19.” She also says, "We felt that we had found the right fit for her, providing an appropriate balance of care, comfort and engagement as she progressed, working with her hospice team.”
Kensington Place Redwood City consists of the Connections and Haven neighborhoods, dedicated to residents in their early-to-middle and middle-to-late stages of dementia, respectively. Located off California State Route 82 in the Redwood Oaks neighborhood, this full-spectrum memory care community is close to local shopping centers and 3 miles from Sequoia Hospital. Its cozy two-level building has a secured landscaped courtyard, piano lounge cafe, activity/recreation studio and salon. The Haven neighborhood on the second floor has its own piano lounge/activity area, fireside living room, secured terrace, community kitchen and life journey stations. This pet-friendly community also has lifelike robotic pets for therapeutic petting sessions. Kensington Place accommodates cognitively impaired residents who need medication assistance, diabetes care, oxygen therapy, two- to three-person assistance and hospice care, as well as those who require special diets and pureed meals.
Loved ones recognize the genuine warmth at Kensington Place. A resident’s friend says, "The staff look the residents in the eyes, treat them with respect, and their care is thorough and kind, even when the resident is confused about what may be happening. They have endless patience and have so much to give to the residents and their families.”
The Montessori Memories in Time memory care program at Meadow Gardens of Meno Park provides comprehensive senior services that integrate meaningful moments and a sense of purpose into residents' daily lives. In addition to assistance with all facets of daily living, seniors receive personalized memory care treatment plans that take their unique histories, capabilities and interests into consideration. Daily fitness classes and other organized group activities help maintain each resident's optimal physical and mental health, while transportation to and from local doctor's appointments keeps seniors' ongoing medical treatments in sync with their on-site care. Seniors have their choice of pet-friendly shared accommodations, and trash removal and laundry services are provided regularly.
Visitors praise the cleanliness of this community. One says, "This care community is ... very nice, cheerful, open, and very clean. It was meticulously watered, kept up, and beautifully landscaped. The rooms weren’t mansion-type, but they were a little bit bigger than my bedroom at home."
The Traditions neighborhood of Oakmont of San Jose provides seniors dealing with cognitive issues with a nurturing environment blended with compassionate care. Residents can gather in comfortable common areas for engaging group activities, such as music, art or just lively conversations with friends and visiting families. Brain fitness exercises help in enhancing cognitive abilities, and regular physical activities support body strengthening. Memory care is supervised by a licensed, full-time nurse, heading a team of caregivers highly trained in dementia practices. Oakmont’s wellness center provides additional services for those with higher levels of care needs, including diabetes management, ambulation services and health monitoring and assessments. The concierge medicine program provides access to personalized medical care, and coordination assistance for therapy, podiatry and other wellness and care services is also available.
Family members like the friendly atmosphere and praise the staff for working hard to solve problems. One says, "My brother is doing very well since moving into this community. He has been improving much better and sitting in very well… His room has more than adequate space and cozy feel. He likes that he is in a familiar neighborhood.”
Pacific Gardens hosts interactive dementia reality tours and monthly dementia-focused Meet the Doctor seminars, as well as regular Alzheimer’s Association’s Memories in the Making programs for individuals with mild cognitive impairment. This senior community is located on a quiet residential street off Lawrence Expressway, less than 3 miles from Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. Its two-level building has a large, landscaped courtyard with shaded walking paths and a barbecue patio, and the spacious, secured backyard has raised gardening beds. In addition to personal care and medication assistance provided by 24/7 caregivers and on-site nurses, the facility partners with AFFIRMA Rehabilitation for professionally supervised exercises and on-site skilled nursing services. Pacific Gardens’ Hummingbird and Bluebird memory care programs offer appropriate support for residents with mid-stage and late-stage dementias, respectively. Regular support groups are also available for the memory care residents’ families.
Grateful families highly appreciate the supportive memory care staff of Pacific Gardens. One reviewer shares, "PG worked seamlessly with our preexisting hospice team and took a great deal of care to address all of our concerns. In the months that my mother has lived here, she has adjusted very well to the community and to the caregivers.”
Palm Villas Redwood City is a full-service memory care community that provides all-inclusive support in a pet-friendly, homelike setting. In addition to its specialized caregivers, the community has licensed nurses to oversee medications. A physician medical director provides expert medical oversight. The facility’s continuum of services, which includes hospice care, involves a multidisciplinary team that lets residents age in place comfortably. The holistic memory care program at Palm Villas recognizes the importance of appropriate reduction of medications, which is why it offers well-rounded activities based on the seven pillars of wellness. Activities for cognitive stimulation include music, art classes and word games while social activities include dancing, crafting and game nights. The community’s resident dogs, birds and fish offer therapeutic experiences that help reduce anxiety. Menus change monthly based on a dementia-friendly culinary program, and support groups are offered to families.
People love the intimate atmosphere at Palm villas. A thankful loved one says, "This was the perfect home for her. A small, carefully staffed facility … Our mom was well taken care of. Clean, happy, busy, stimulated. Good food. Angelic staff understanding the challenges and limitations of dementia care. Send us regular photos of mom interacting with others, enjoying activities.”
Senior memory care residents at Palo Alto Commons receive personalized attention that includes assistance with all daily living activities in their choice of shared or private accommodations. The community's exclusive Focus Care program provides a high caregiver-to-resident ratio for residents living with advanced dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This program provides extensive daily needs assistance and incorporates a higher emphasis on reminiscence and sensory stimulation in each resident's treatment plan. The community grounds are equipped with a restaurant-style eatery, fireside lounge, card room and fully equipped fitness center. Housekeeping, linen and laundry services are provided on-site, and 24-hour room maintenance services and an around-the-clock emergency response system are in place.
Family members are happy with this community. One says, "They have a great staff that are very caring. My mom has transitioned through an apartment, assisted living and now the memory care unit. We had some hard times and they always were there to make it easier."
With its scenic mountain view background, Saratoga Retirement community offers a relaxing, small-town vibe for seniors needing assisted living or memory care services. The community itself is replete with amenities, including a koi pond, rose garden and indoor pool and spa. Comfortable shared and private accommodations are available for seniors under the community’s memory care program, with the intimate setting providing a familiar, calming environment. While residents receive care from an around-the-clock team, they participate in planned programs that support as much independence as possible. To encourage active engagement, activities and exercises are developed around residents’ individual abilities and interests. Families are welcome to join loved ones in community events. Saratoga’s comprehensive wellness program is holistic, consisting of physical strengthening, social connections and activities that enhance intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Family members are pleased with the sincerity and respect shown by the staff. One writes, "All of the staff was warm and seemed to genuinely care for the residents… I also appreciated that they spoke to the residents, even the ones with dementia like adults, they never ‘dumbed down’ the words they used. This allowed my grandmother to retain a sense of dignity.”
Silver Oaks Memory Care focuses on providing quality care to seniors facing the challenges of memory-related conditions. It welcomes residents to its secure, well-appointed community with an inviting patio and lush outdoor spaces. Amenities provide conveniences and comfort, including seating areas for entertaining visiting families, an on-site salon for grooming needs and an activity room for social programs. The interior spaces are designed for safe mobility and feature customized color schemes that enhance visibility. Silver Oaks’ Aviator Program helps promote a vibrant and healthy lifestyle through customized care and engaging programs. Trained to understand and manage behavioral challenges, caregivers effectively supervise memory-focused exercises that help improve cognitive abilities and emotional well-being. These include sensory programs, visual recognition, auditory exercises and motor skills activities. A full-time activity directory manages daily programming, and transportation is provided for personal errands, doctors’ appointments and group outings.
Reviewers like the way the community cares for its residents. One thankful family member says her mother "was treated with love, care and patience. The care she received was beyond what I could have hoped for.” Another says her parents "were in a safe and well cared for place and that has been a great comfort!”
Situated on a 17-acre campus less than 10 miles from San Mateo, Silverado Belmont Hills Memory Care Community is surrounded by many amenities in Belmont, including San Mateo Medical Center and Carlmont Village Shopping Center. Licensed nurses and staff received specialized training in caring for seniors with Parkinson’s disease and various types of dementia. At the pet-friendly community, every resident receives the necessary level of care. Residents can enjoy brain-healthy, gourmet meals in the restaurant-style dining room or in the comfort of their rooms. Memory care programs give seniors the opportunity to practice lifelong skills and foster a sense of accomplishment. During cooking and baking activities, residents can work with the culinary staff to create meals from scratch made with fresh ingredients.
Reviewers like the community’s attentive staff and the plethora of activities available. One writes, "The staff and employees have a smile and... are extremely patient professionals… Plenty of curricular activities and one-on-one care for those with memory issues, whether mild or advanced.”
Sunnyside Gardens offers premier senior living that helps residents bloom where they’re planted. This family-owned boutique senior community is in a pleasant residential neighborhood near downtown Sunnyvale and minutes from El Camino Mountain View Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. True to its name, its single-level home is surrounded by colorful gardens and charming patios, in addition to the large main backyard for alfresco dining and other outdoor activities. Residents also have access to the library, salon and transportation services for personal use and group outings. The facility’s partnership with Anthem Blue Cross lets residents receive on-site medical care. The Memory Lane neighborhood’s R.O.S.E.S. memory care program offers a full calendar of activities that regularly includes morning exercises, cooking and baking, aromatherapy, art, games and social hours.
Residents and their loved ones feel delighted to be part of the Sunnyside Gardens family. One reviewer comments, "My Grandma loves this place! It's a well maintained and clean place. I found that the other residents there are great too. Really friendly staff and overall beautiful place. I really liked their cafeteria/activities area.”
Located just 10 miles northwest of Palo Alto, Sunrise of Belmont offers memory care, assisted living and short-term care for seniors. Conveniently close to shopping, dining, recreation and the San Mateo Medical Center, the community also enjoys wonderful views of the San Francisco peninsula coastal hills. Residents receive a personalized care plan tailored to their needs, and services, such as meals, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance, enable a worry-free lifestyle. The community’s Reminiscence neighborhood provides a safe and secure environment for memory care residents, with easy-to-navigate layouts and common areas that encourage socialization and maintenance of life skills. Staff is available 24/7 and trained in the latest memory care techniques, including validation therapy. Residents are also encouraged to take part in a wide range of memory-focused activities tailored to their skills and interests.
Family members appreciate the caring staff. One reviewer writes, "The caregivers are the best part of that facility. I was extremely impressed with how much they take care of them and how they treat them like family.” Adds another, "My mom is in the memory care portion. I feel very blessed we found this warm, welcoming, yet professionally managed space.”
Conveniently located near shopping, dining, recreation options and several hospitals, Sunrise of Palo Alto provides personalized continuing care options for seniors, including memory care, assisted living and short-term care. On-site, amenities are plentiful and include the beauty salon, bistro, sunroom, fireside library, living room, activities room and outdoor patio. Meals, housekeeping and maintenance services are provided along with a robust calendar of social, physical and recreational activities. Memory care residents live in a dedicated Reminiscence neighborhood featuring comforting and secure living spaces specially designed to be easy to navigate and promote social interactions. Dedicated life enrichment managers provide personalized care and activities, which can include multisensory experiences, physical activities and group activities. The neighborhood is also staffed 24/7 by team members specially trained in the latest memory care techniques, including Validation Therapy.
Family members appreciate the caring staff. One reviewer writes, "I'm pleased so far with everything. I chose this facility because the people are friendly and seem to get along with each other. They genuinely care about the residents. I am very pleased and my mom has adjusted well." Adds another, "Very helpful and friendly staff and the residents seem quite happy."
Located within 10 miles of Palo Alto, Sunrise of Sunnyvale provides memory care, assisted living and short-term care for seniors. The community is conveniently located near several highways, shopping, dining and the El Camino Hospital. Memory care residents are housed in a dedicated Reminiscence neighborhood, with comforting, secure and easy-to-navigate living spaces, including a secure patio and life skills stations. Dedicated life enrichment managers provide personalized care and activities tailored to each resident’s personal needs and preferences. The neighborhood is also staffed 24/7 by staff trained in the latest memory care techniques, including validation therapy. Residents have a choice of floor plans, and plentiful indoor and outdoor spaces are available for relaxing and socializing. Meals, housekeeping and laundry services are all included, along with a robust calendar of activities.
Family members appreciate the warm atmosphere and caring staff. One reviewer writes, "It's a nice looking, clean community, and the staff have been very friendly and very helpful.” Adds another, "This place has a very friendly atmosphere, and things have been going well for my wife because they take good care of her. The staff is easy to communicate with and they answer all of my questions.”