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 Portsmouth’s senior population continues to grow (26.09% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Portsmouth, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 27% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 15.79%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is slightly lower than the rest of the nation (6.14% in Portsmouth 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 Portsmouth. 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 Portsmouth, 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:
Ashland Farm at North Andover is located in the heart of North Shore. The community offers an extensive memory care program that includes personalized, 24/7 care, therapeutic sensory-based programs and modified dining services. Ashland farm also provides assisted living and respite care services. Residents enjoy a variety of amenities, such as a library, bistro, walking paths, a recreation room and scheduled transportation. The community provides low-impact exercise courses like tai chi and yoga to prevent falls and injury, along with art and music therapy activities. Ashland Farm's floor plans include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom options.
Residents and their families love the thorough care and welcoming environment, as well as the amenities at Ashland Farm at North Andover. One said, "My relative is in Ashland Farm. The staff is very caring. The food is very good. They have exercise classes, movies, and entertainment that comes in. Overall, we are very happy..."
Located in the quintessentially New England town of Andover just 25 miles north of Boston, Atria Marland Place occupies the thoughtfully repurposed Marland Manufacturing Company building originally constructed in 1775. Atria offers a memory care program, known as Life Guidance, that focuses on creating meaningful moments for the residents each day by providing a wide range of fulfilling activities, such as brain games, chair tai chi, arts and crafts, happy hours and lifelong learning programs. Memory care residents live in a secure neighborhood featuring secure outdoor spaces. They enjoy many community amenities, such as a Main Street style gathering area, full-service beauty salon and barbershop, creative arts studio, fitness center with specialized equipment for seniors, game room with billiards table, cognitive learning center, movie theater and library. Residents who need to go off-site for personal appointments can schedule a transportation service.
Family members praise how kind the staff is. The daughter of a resident writes, "At the young age of 90, my mom made Atria Marland Place her new home. From the very first day, she has flourished here. She has made multiple friends and enjoyed countless activities. Everyone who works here couldn't be kinder to her."
Atria Merrimack Place offers a safe and nurturing community for seniors with memory care needs. This community operates a Life Guidance Memory Care program that provides specialized care designed to address residents' unique needs and make their lives easier. Caregivers assist community members with daily routines, meals and mobility while facilitating opportunities for them to socialize and participate in activities that match their ability levels. They help residents care for themselves and maintain personal hygiene while keeping up with their daily medication. This community also includes day and night incontinence care to keep residents comfortable. Atria Merrimack Place manages all the housekeeping needs as well as grounds management. Studios, one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom units are available.
Reviewers have positive opinions of the caregivers at Atria Merrimack Place. With regard to her mother's experience, one reviewer says, "From day one the staff at the Atria made her feel at home. They were all so friendly, kind, and welcoming. It didn't take long before my mother felt at home."
Avita of Newburyport is located adjacent to the Anna Jaques Hospital in the coastal town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. This community of dedicated and specially trained caregivers provides assisted living and memory care to residents living with Alzheimer's and similar memory loss conditions. Every feature of the beautiful surroundings and thoughtfully designed studios was designed to ensure residents feel secure and cared for. Residents have access to transportation services, a beauty barbershop and a library. All meals are enjoyed in a spacious dining room, and laundry service for linens and clothing is provided. Stimulating activities include music, games, stories and lecture discussions. Residents are encouraged to go to the fitness room and participate in regular exercise and yoga.
One online reviewer says, "Carol, my wife for more than 50 years, has had her memory deteriorate so severely that we were no longer able to live together in our home. I can't tell you how relieved I am that she is living with folks who are not only skilled but genuinely compassionate about what they do."
With five levels of memory care, staff may help residents with daily life through the Connect First, a communication program that focuses on empathy and calming sensory cues. This includes utilizing areas with specialized lighting for sundowning and consistent color themes that help residents familiarize rooms. Known as the Harbor, the memory care community features more security. With these amenities, residents can enjoy art classes, music, exercise and social activities as staff assist with mobility, hygiene and communication. In the dining room or in their rooms, residents may enjoy diet-friendly, seasonally-focused meals prepared by an on-staff chef. Through on-site health providers and transportation via the concierge service, residents have access to therapy, medication management and other health services they require.
Residents and families appreciate the attentive care the staff provides in the memory care community. one says, "[The staff is] very observant, compassionate and caring, and quick to report anything out of the ordinary. They treat their 'family' with dignity and respect...and are very sensitive to their moods and changes."
Benchmark Senior Living at Putnam Farm gives residents and their families access to vital resources through its Mind and Memory dementia program, divided into five specialized care levels. Whether residents are primarily independent or require unique accommodations, assistance is available 24/7. Caregivers help residents to bathe, eat and complete other daily tasks. Benchmark Senior Living at Putnam Farm also takes advantage of adaptive technologies that let caregivers precisely monitor medication and more closely tailor meals, daily routines and other aspects of care to each resident's habits and needs. Mind and Memory residents can enjoy access to a library as well as indoor and outdoor community spaces. This community has studio apartments and apartments in one or two bedrooms. Companion suites are available.
Several reviewers feel that the programming at Benchmark Senior Living at Putnam Farm is positive for their loved ones. One review states "Just everything at Putnam is fantastic. They treat the residents with such great care; all kinds of activities, exercise groups, dancing, road trips etc... and the best staff anyone could ask for."
Bridges by EPOCH at Andover is a senior living community dedicated to supporting residents with dementia-related concerns. The purposefully designed environment is a comfortable space for those with early, middle and late-stage memory loss. Private accommodations on-site ensure comfort and dignity, and a variety of floor plans is available. Staff members get to know each resident on a personal level by discussing their interests, hobbies and personal stories while assisting them with daily activities. To ensure social health, a robust daily calendar of events provides the opportunity for everyone to participate in engaging and life-enriching activities. For residents and their loved ones who are still adjusting to lifestyle changes that come along with memory loss, Bridges offers free on-site and virtual education programs and support groups.
Reviewers often note the intimate atmosphere in the Bridges' small community. The son of one resident comments, "The attentive staff combined with the household model create a calm environment that is less overwhelming than a larger facility. Couldn't ask for a better residence for my mother."
Brightview North Andover is a retirement community that offers independent living, assisted living and memory care for Essex County seniors. It's close to several hospitals, so urgent medical services are easily accessible, especially for memory care residents who may need specialized health care. At the community's Wellspring Village, seniors facing cognitive challenges benefit from Brightview's innovative approach to care, which offers a blend of engaging resident programming and a supportive, village-like environment. The living spaces feature helpful cues for easy navigation and are designed to encourage stimulating interaction among residents. The team develops activities around individual abilities, skills and interests to encourage active participation and create a sense of belonging. For instance, Mind and Music, one of its signature memory care programs, helps create joyful experiences, manage challenging behaviors and spark memories.
Family members praise the professional care and express satisfaction with the community's adequate services for loved ones. One says, "My 95-year-old mother, with dementia, moved [into the community] … Without the help and guidance from the staff, the move would have been impossible. … They are all so respectful, caring, and thoughtful, not to mention knowledgeable regarding outside resources when needed."
Brookdale Spruce Wood provides assisted living and memory care facilities in a serene and peaceful neighborhood, minutes away from downtown Durham. The trained staff stays up to date on the latest memory care techniques and remains vigilant 24/7 to the needs of residents with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory ailments. The community's person-centered approach helps residents with memory loss develop a sense of belonging and purpose. Residents are encouraged to participate in enriching activities to stay physically and mentally active. Caregivers assist residents with their activities of daily living, medication management and dining assistance. Every apartment features an emergency call system, and the community's Personal Solutions program delivers personal care goods to residents promptly. Residents can access a library, game room and courtyard to relax and socialize.
Families and residents appreciate the professional staff of the community. One writes, "My mom is now in Brookdale Spruce Wood. It has been great so far. They have been very responsive; they have communicated a lot with us. The accommodations are very nice. Everyone has been wonderful so far. The staff members are on top of things."
The Edgewood Centre is a family-oriented community offering assisted living and memory care in scenic Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The staff receives specialized training in memory impairment and dementia care, and individualized care plans are created for each resident to support the changing needs of residents in memory care while enabling as much independence as possible. This community provides a variety of memory care services, including music and memory cognitive therapy, assistance with daily living, medical care and spa treatments. Visiting hours are unlimited, and families can dine with residents at no extra cost. Seniors and their families can spend time enjoying nature in the beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces, with gardens, gazebos, benches and walking paths. This community employs a state-of-the-art call bell system for emergencies, and the highly trained nursing team provides 24-hour care.
Residents and their families praise the kind, caring and attentive staff at Edgewood as well as the immaculately clean building and peaceful outdoor spaces. One reviewer comments, "It was a true blessing for our family to have been guided to such a loving, caring, upbeat, cheerful facility. Every need is met with such genuine concern and attention."
Evolve at Rye is a pet-friendly memory care community situated just a mile away from the ocean that is dedicated to giving seniors a sense of independence in a familiar setting. It offers secure, spacious studio apartments with private bathrooms, easy-to-navigate living areas and charming outdoor patios. Its specialized Mind and Memory Plan program is designed for cognitively impaired residents who need 24-hour assistance and support. Seniors are encouraged to take part in mind-stimulating activities such as music therapy, gardening, arts and daily fitness exercises. Award-winning chefs prepare and serve homemade meals in the dining area while soothing music plays in the background. Special lighting helps reduce the effects of sundowning and treasure chests allow residents to reminisce about their life. Concierge services at Evolve include weekly housekeeping, laundry and transportation to appointments.
Families are grateful for the care and respect their loved ones receive at Evolve. One reviewer said, "My mother has been living at Evolve for a year now and I am thankful every day for the loving people that take such great care of her. I can rest assured knowing my mother is being treated with the dignity and respect she deserves."
Located in the heart of Salem, just off route 97, Greystone Farm at Salem offers assisted living, memory care and respite services. The landscaped gardens with raised garden beds, walking paths and shaded areas are perfect for staying active or getting fresh air. A range of different programs are available, including a physical fitness program, themed programs such as concerts and cooking and educational programs that include seminars and therapeutic activities. Memory care residents are divided into four levels, each personalized to meet the resident's specific needs. The environment is multisensory, complemented by daily brain 'n play sessions designed to slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. A range of programs such as treasure chests, journey stations and art and music therapy are designed to engage the residents and create purpose.
Family members praised the staff and the good food, with one family member saying, "The staff is wonderful. Their dining area is very clean, spacious and lovely, the tables aren't crammed together and it's also really homey... My mom is eating well there. They have lots of sitting spaces interspersed around the layout, and it was good."
Harmony Homes by the Bay is a state-of-the-art facility located on the Oyster River. The secure outdoor courtyard includes walking paths, raised beds for planting and a picnic area overlooking the river leading to Little Bay. Large windows, skylights and bright interior lighting reduce the anxiety and sundowning behaviors common in people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. A Certified Dementia Practioner and trained memory care team warmly redirect behaviors. The nursing team coordinates doctor appointments and the start or continuation of therapy, palliative care or hospice services. Members of the activities team provide social and cultural activities and wellness programs such as Tai Chi, chair yoga, music and motion, bingo, arts and crafts, trivia, bowling and sightseeing. Personal care assistance, meals, medication reminders or administration, weekly housekeeping and laundering services are provided.
Harmony Homes by the Bay comes highly recommended for family members in need of assisted living or memory care. "Amazing facility! The location is magnificent. Harmony Homes has a wonderful team and will go above and beyond for any family member.
The Inn at Deerfield focuses exclusively on senior memory care services and employs caregivers who are well-versed in the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of residents living with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Optimal attention was paid to the construction of the single-level memory care accommodations unit. The residents' room colors were chosen to cause the least amount of disturbance to seniors' failing sight, and only lighting that decreased shadows was installed. Wide halls and doorways make resident movements more secure, and the carpet's subdued pattern promotes a calm ambiance. The community features safe outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy the fresh air as desired, and staff members also take seniors on scheduled group scenic rides. Residents receive help with all daily living tasks and are served three nutritious daily meals and snacks. Local clergy and medical professionals visit the community regularly, and off-site transportation is provided.
Family members are impressed with the care their loved ones receive at the Inn at Deerfield. One writes, "My aunt Jeanne was there till she passed and loved it. My Mom is currently there and she loves it too. The staff is amazing and welcoming. They treat residents like family. We are very pleased with her care."
Kirkwood Corners is a loving memory care and assisted living community located in the country setting of Lee, NH. It offers comfortable and secure accommodations surrounded by shared courtyards, outdoor parkways and walking trails. For seniors with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, its 24-hour memory care staff provides varying levels of individual care, support and assistance with daily living tasks whenever needed. The community has a variety of fun activities and programs, such as weekly pet visits, baking and social gatherings, to help increase the cognitive abilities of older adults. Residents enjoy chef-prepared meals in the quaint dining room and outdoor barbecues during the summertime. Other services and amenities available at Kirkwood Corners include housekeeping, transportation, a beauty salon, private mailboxes and elevators.
Loved one's needs are quickly taken care of by an attentive staff. A grateful relative writes, "My wife has been living at Kirkwood Corners for several years with an incurable disease. I have been extremely pleased with the care that she has received; they are right on top of things needing attention."
Located just off I-495, Stone Hill at Andover provides assisted living, independent living and memory care services. The thoughtfully designed community features spacious hallways to accommodate those with mobility issues and large communal living areas to promote socialization between the residents. A busy social and activities calendar includes options that stimulate the mind, body and soul, such as the mystery ride, the bridge club and happy hour held at the community pub. Memory care residents participate in activities designed to reflect their interests and abilities based on their individual care plans. The landscaped gardens with beautiful walking paths are ideal for staying active and enjoying the fresh air. A huge dining room that doubles as a social venue hosts the residents three times a day for meals.
Family members praise the modern amenities and good communication, with one family member saying, "They have things like a hair salon, dining room, movie theater, etc so they have a lot to offer. They also had a shared room available and the price for that was great. They are great with communication."
Set on manicured lawns and beautiful gardens, The Residence at Salem Woods provides assisted living, independent living and memory care options. Residents are encouraged to participate in the Engagement Program offered by the community. This program provides cultural and wellness events as well as fun activities incorporating educational lectures, art classes and outings to local attractions. With access to an onsite fitness center and beauty salon, residents can ensure they look and feel good. Memory care residents take part in the Reflections Memory Care Program, which favors a non-pharmacological approach. Programming is driven by resident interests and abilities, with the staff focusing on providing a cognitively enriching schedule of games, art projects and social gatherings.
Family members commented on the activities and excellent accommodation offered, with one saying, "His apartment is very well-cared for, it has ample room to put in table and chairs...He participates only in exercise activities, but they have excursions like lunch out, they go to casinos."
The Residence at Silver Square offers a memory care program, known as Reflections Memory Care, distinguished by its Four Pillars of Engagement. The four pillars connect with the whole person of each resident through Physical, Social, Cognitive, and Emotional experiences. These experiences include walking clubs, tai chi, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting, baking clubs and brain fitness matches. All members of the memory care team are certified by the National Institute for Dementia Education. They help residents with various activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, bathing, housekeeping, medication management and reminders, escort to meals, laundry and incontinence care. Memory care residents live in a secure neighborhood featuring an outdoor recreation area and sunny sitting areas. They also enjoy many community amenities, including a beauty salon, library, bistro and entertainment spaces. The staff is available 24 hours a day.
Family members love how kind and caring the staff is. The adult child of one resident writes, "Every person on the staff in all departments is incredibly kind and caring. The facilities are great, help for anything is readily available, as well as therapies for residents. The nurses are outstanding, top-notch and communication with families is good."
Located in the small town of Rye, Webster at Rye offers assisted living, memory care and nursing care. The community is set in picturesque gardens and backs onto woodlands, with a nature trail, a perennial garden and an herb garden among its features. The memory care community prioritizes the preferences of the individual. It provides a care package based on those preferences, with three levels of care available reflecting the changing needs of the residents. Memory care residents enjoy spacious private apartments that encircle an indoor courtyard with gardens and outdoor seating. Daily activities are designed to meet residents' physical, mental, social, spiritual and emotional needs and include sing-alongs, bingo and trivia sessions. The community offers a computerized interactive program, It's Never 2 Late, which focuses on providing support to retain cognitive function.
Family members praise the caring staff and beautiful gardens, with one saying, "The staff are compassionate and make the residents their top priority, whether providing nursing care, housekeeping, dietary, activity, maintenance or office support. Beautiful, clean building and lovely gardens and lawns. If you need rehab, skilled nursing, assisted living or memory care, Webster is the place to go."
Wentworth Senior Living, located in a historic seaport town, provides a variety of senior living options, including independent living, assisted living and memory care. The community offers the All Points program to challenge the abilities of memory care residents and encourage independence in an adaptive environment. Each senior in the memory care program participates in daily enrichment activities to stimulate the senses. Residents enjoy amenities, such as transportation services, a bistro, a library, a therapeutic wellness center and restaurant-style dining. Wentworth has a full calendar of activities for residents that includes dancing, mental exercises and religious services.
Residents and families love Wentworth's welcoming environment. One says, "The staff at Wentworth are absolutely amazing; they go above and beyond for not only the residents but also the residents' families. Every member of staff throughout the building ensures a caring and supportive environment. ... The building is beautiful and well maintained, and the staff are hard-working, skilled, and compassionate people."