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 Roanoke’s senior population continues to grow (14.41% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Roanoke, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 60.71% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group decreased by 0.5%, 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 (5.61% in Roanoke 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 Roanoke. 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 Roanoke, 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:
Brandon Oaks puts physical health and livelihood at the center of its focus when serving the community. This location partners with the Carilion Center for Healthy Aging to provide board-certified physician plans of care for residents in need. An on-site rehabilitation room is staffed with physical therapists and nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For individuals in need of memory care, resources are available to accommodate any additional needs and considerations. Memory care residents have access to private bedrooms and dining locations in addition to supplementary nursing support. Beyond the physical and medical support offered, Brandon Oaks looks after the interpersonal health of residents by hosting interest groups, social activities and wellness classes on campus.
Many residents appreciate the friendly environment at Brandon Oaks. One visitor noted the quality of their friend’s social life in the community. "It warms my heart to see how many friends she has made and how they have taken such good care of her. The Activities director is awesome and we always feel appreciated.”
Brookdale Roanoke's focus is keeping its community members happy, engaged and stimulated with a variety of activities. The community features gorgeous landscaped grounds with walking paths and a beautiful courtyard and garden for residents to enjoy. There is also a piano on-site for musically inclined residents to enjoy, as well as a therapy room and a hybrid beauty parlor and barbershop. Residents will benefit from the Clare Bridge program, which focuses on making people feel safe and included. This program includes dancing, discussions and workouts to keep resident life safe, structured and fun. There is also computer/Internet access for residents to keep in touch with loved ones.
An online reviewer said, "Staff was friendly, residents were clean and neatly dressed and seemed happy and well cared for, food at dinner looked appetizing, rooms were adequate in size, atmosphere seemed cheerful and warm."
Brookdale Salem Senior Living, which offers memory care and assisted living services, is conveniently located across the street from Lewis Gale Hospital. The memory care apartments provide easy-to-navigate floor plans with color-coded hallways and plenty of natural light. Regularly scheduled activities and events keep residents engaged by allowing them to participate in music programs, art classes, dancing and brain games. Residents can enjoy the outdoors in a secure outdoor garden and patio area. Other amenities include a library as well as on-site physical, occupational and speech therapy.
One resident is happy to find a place to belong, saying, "I could not have chosen a better place to call home. The staff are loving and have made this transition so much better. The food is wonderful with a large variety. The housekeeping and cleanliness is second to none."
At Cardinal Senior Living, seniors facing cognitive challenges benefit from specialized memory care. Long-tenured staff members use their vast experience in understanding the needs of residents, with a licensed nurse ensuring hands-on health care services. The community layout provides residents with easy access to staff offices, giving them the assurance of prompt attention to urgent needs. A certified dementia care practitioner oversees the community’s life enrichment program and activities, and a handicap-accessible bus transports seniors to shopping and medical appointments. Residents can take advantage of on-site salon services, and a licensed dietician manages the community’s dining program to provide stimulating meal experiences and adequate nutritional support.
Positive reviews describe the staff as professional and informative. A resident’s family member writes, "My mother is living in Cardinal Senior Living. It's very nice, they're very friendly, very clean, the food is good and she's very happy there. They're very helpful, they have been reaching out to me a lot. … They're really good and try to keep the residents happy.”
Easily accessible from I-81, Carrington Cottage at Botetourt Commons is an intimate community catering to the needs of seniors living with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions. The team’s compassionate, professional attitude and patient and trusting ways ensure individualized, attentive care. Seniors have access to on-site nursing services, medication administration and a vibrant life enrichment program. The dining program, managed by a chef and registered dietitian, is dementia-friendly, with the relaxing ambiance enhanced through simple table settings, easy-to-use tableware and manageable food servings. Hydration stations and snack bars are located around the neighborhood for between-meals cravings. With its scenic mountain views and inviting outdoor areas, Cardinal Cottage serves as a relaxing home for seniors.
Grateful family members feel confident that loved ones are treated with dignity and respect. One reviewer says their mom’s stay "has been a very pleasant experience. ... The staff is very engaging and truly care about the residents, they go above and beyond their job description. … Knowing that my Mom is being cared for gives me such peace of mind.”
Friendship Assisted Living has a large number of first-class amenities to ensure that residents have every opportunity to lead a fulfilling lifestyle. Residents looking for fun physical activities can visit the heated indoor pool or sign up for exercise classes. In regards to outdoor offerings, seniors can enjoy picnics on the pavilion, gardening in the greenhouse and strolls along the carefully maintained landscape. Indoor amenities include a well-stocked library, nondenominational chapel, billiards table and full-service restaurant. For those looking to socialize, Club Friendship is a popular location to meet other residents and find common interests together. If a resident joins memory care, customizable plans are available to ensure that the needs of both the resident and their loved ones are be met by the community. To support the health and wellness of everyone on site, nurses are available 24/7.
Friendship Assisted Living impresses visitors with its attention to resident needs. One visitor noted, "They have activities and a dining room and are willing to bring meals to the room if a resident is not feeling well. They also provide transportation. The staff is mostly friendly, welcoming and helpful.”
Our Lady of the Valley offers assisted living, respite, skilled nursing and memory care services. Designed with safety in mind, the memory care center houses 16 residents. With a secure courtyard, a family-style dining room, a living room and an activities room, there's plenty of opportunity for social interaction among the residents. Other amenities include a movie theater, an activities room, a chapel and a bistro. The Reflections Memory Care Program incorporates the most current therapeutic practices. This includes reminiscence therapy, sensory stimulation, pet therapy and creative opportunities. The Daily Fare activities schedule includes fun activities and plenty of opportunities to engage.
Family members note the community's foundations in Christianity and caring staff, with one family member saying, "The employees all seemed nice and also seemed to have a genuine focus on the health and well being of all of their residents. Further, Our Lady Of The Valley is one of the most beautiful assisted living facilities that I have ever visited."
Pheasant Ridge Senior Living is a vibrant community for assisted living, memory care and respite care with a robust event calendar to keep residents engaged, stimulated and entertained. The assisted living community provides personalized help in the areas residents need and creates a space for independence. The memory care community uses the modern, hospitality-minded In Our Moment program, which is a hybrid model of care to keep residents on a schedule while allowing them to embrace the little moments of unexpected joy in every day. Memory care community members even have the option of cooking classes and other offerings to bring the comfort of a schedule and the joy of little moments. Respite care can provide prepared meals, activities and other opportunities for caregivers to take a much-deserved break.
Reviewers appreciate this community's attentive staff. One said, "The staff at Pheasant Ridge is very professional and extremely attentive to the residents' needs."
Salem Terrace at Harrogate is a community that offers a variety of care levels at its convenient location on the edge of the city. Residents served by the Dogwood Memory Care Center on-site are benefited by the award-winning community design that prioritizes mental serenity and physical wellness. Specially constructed outdoor gardens provide ample space for residents to enjoy the fresh air alongside the company of staff. Other popular amenities include a high-speed internet cafe, lavish indoor lounge, seated outdoor terrace and first-class dining room. Nurses are available 24/7 to ensure the health and welfare of each resident. Additional services include physical, occupational, speech and massage therapy to support independence and dignity in daily life. Opportunities for social interaction are abundant between community features, family events and daily activities for all. For residents seeking spiritual support, volunteer-led Bible study is also available.
Salem Terrace is loved for its attentive and caring staff members. "I was really impressed with them because they took all the time in the world with us during the visit. … There were people one-on-one and they were assisting their residents, walking around with them and doing things with them,” reported a visiting family member.
The Elks A Noble Senior Living Community offers a homelike environment with its array of services and amenities. At The Elks memory care unit, seniors benefit from person-centered care based on Alzheimer’s Association dementia care practices and recommendations. Before moving in, seniors undergo comprehensive assessments, and a well-planned transition process helps them comfortably adjust to community living. The team works with family members in completing individual life stories to ensure that care plans accommodate unique interests, needs and abilities. The plans are dynamic, with regular assessments ensuring that changing needs are adequately met. Life enrichment programming focuses on overall wellness and includes stimulating activities, such as music therapy and hand massages. Residents also participate in purpose-driven activities that help maintain their current strengths and skills. Physicians, dentists, podiatrists and therapists provide health and wellness services on-site.
Residents and families commend the staff for doing their best to meet their needs. A reviewer recommends the community, saying that "my parents are doing very well with their move here. I know they are safe, and in good hands at this facility. Everything is working out very well. They have a good staff, they are very helpful, and polite.”
The Harmony Collection at Roanoke Memory Care is a retirement community that caters to seniors living with various forms of cognitive conditions. Residents receive attentive support through the community’s Best Friends memory care program, which values meaningful connections among residents, their families and the staff. The community offers an array of services and amenities for comfortable and healthy living, including basic health monitoring, cozy accommodations and common spaces, a state-of-the-art emergency call system and hydration stations. The life enrichment director draws up a robust calendar of exciting activities that improve social, physical and mental wellness. Residents indulge in arts, cooking classes or friendly discussions, and families are always welcome to participate in community activities. Dinners serve as special bonding moments with visiting friends and families, with the in-house chef serving delicious creations and favorite recipes.
Family members appreciate the team for helping them cope with challenging situations. One writes, "My mother made friends, especially from her hall and dinner companions. Another plus is the presence of occupational, speech and physical therapists on site everyday. Everyone communicated freely with me, and helped me as well as helping my mother. …they helped us along the way.”
Woodland Hills offers memory care, assisted living and independent living in an apartment-style setting. A nurse is available 24/7, as is on-site therapy. Residents with memory care needs have access to cultural, social and educational opportunities such as exercise classes, movie nights, scavenger hunts, and bingo to stay active and engaged, as well as day trips to nearby social events. Other amenities include a full-service spa, library, fitness area and theater. Residents can enjoy their meals in the restaurant or bistro. A walking trail and individual garden areas allow residents to spend time outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Family members are thrilled with the care provided, with one saying, "This community has been taking great care of my mom. They are taking every precaution to keep this building clean, safe and Covid-free. I am blessed that Woodland Hills cares so much for the well-being of the residents."