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 Rochester’s senior population continues to grow (10.98% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Rochester, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased 4.4% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group increased by 4.8%, 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 (3.38% in Rochester 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 Rochester. 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 Rochester, 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:
Nestled in a wooded area near Irondequoit Bay, Baywinde Senior Living provides independent living, assisted living and memory care. Seniors can get close to nature while enjoying the community’s secure gardens, courtyards and walking paths. Indoor amenities include an art center, library and beauty salon. The community offers many signature small-group programs for its memory care residents. These include Essence, an aromatherapy program that’s designed to reduce anxiety and depression, and Bookmarks, a reading program that helps seniors enjoy their favorite books. Baywinde's professionally trained chefs incorporate locally sourced ingredients in the freshly prepared meals, and residents can suggest new menu options. Nutritious snacks are available all day.
Visitors appreciate the numerous activities available to residents. “They had arts and crafts, games, trivia, movie nights, happy hour and men’s night,” says one reviewer. Visitors also note the facility’s comfortable environment. “The memory care unit has a smaller, warm, homey feel, and my parent’s room is nice,” a reviewer states.
GrandeVille Senior Living Community is a family-owned facility located in northern Rochester near the Seneca Park Zoo. Its focus is on providing residents with a homelike setting at an affordable cost. Residents and staff often dine together in the facility's community kitchen, and the property prepares three home-cooked meals per day. The facility offers 24-hour assistance, and all residents have access to an on-site clinic and pharmacy. Community activities are plentiful and include ice cream socials, baking groups and broomball games, along with group trips into the community. Pets are welcome at GrandeVille, and residents have access to several amenities, including an outdoor courtyard and walking paths.
Residents and loved ones describe the facility's atmosphere as phenomenal and give high marks to the diverse activity schedule. Loved ones also praise GrandeVille for its "caring attentive staff, good food [and] well-maintained rooms."
Situated on 14 acres of beautiful countryside, Heather Heights provides seniors with Alzheimer's disease and other types of memory loss with individualized care plans that focus on their strengths and needs. Staff is encouraged to be involved in residents' daily lives and celebrate their personal accomplishments and preferences. Residents enjoy a number of community amenities, including an enclosed outdoor patio, multiple activities rooms, a beauty salon and ice cream parlor. The facility utilizes the Memories in the Making program, designed by the Alzheimer's Association, and creates personalized memory boxes to help each resident connect with their story. Daily recreational activities are offered in small group settings to support physical and mental well-being, including exercise classes, music therapy, live entertainment and crafts. Heather Heights also hosts weekly church services, special holiday parties and scheduled day trips.
People appreciate the friendly staff and thoughtfully designed facility. One reviewer says, "I'm very impressed with Heather Heights. The staff is very friendly and efficient. They have bingo, a lot of musicians coming in and movies several times a week, so they keep them busy all the time." Another comments, " ... the staff is very nice, and it's a very welcoming place. The layout and the staffing stood out for me."
Peregrine Senior Living at Crimson Ridge Gardens seeks to provide highly-individualized memory care services in a safe and supportive environment. The single-level facility is easy to navigate and offers many common areas and expansive grounds with secured courtyards. There is also an on-site beauty spa, a chapel and a 1950s-style diner and snack bar. Caring staff members develop personalized plans to suit the needs of each resident. The facility hosts a number of signature programs specifically tailored to suit the needs of memory care residents, including Legacy Stories personal biography writing, Peregrine University lectures and Time Capsules keepsake box creation. A full schedule of daily activities, including chair yoga, sing-a-longs, gardening workshops and outings to local attractions and events, is offered to address residents' physical, social, intellectual and spiritual needs.
Residents love that Crimson Ridge makes them feel at home. A reviewer shares, "When you walk into the building, everyone is smiling — residents and workers. Truly such a great place for those suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia." One resident's daughter also commented, "My mother lived at Crimson Ridge for years, and they treated our entire family like family. We miss everyone. Took great care of her and us."
The Homestead, a Rochester Presbyterian Home senior community, is in the 19th Ward neighborhood of Rochester and just 3 miles from Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital and downtown. The facility's scenic outdoor amenities include vegetable and flower gardens, walking paths and an enclosed patio. There’s an arts and crafts room and an assembly room for various activities and events. Lifestyle amenities include a fitness center, beauty salon, chapel and Don & Norma’s ice cream parlor. The South Hall memory care residences are classified into three levels. The It Takes Two Family early-stage memory care residents are provided supportive care to be able to function independently, while the mid-stage Home Away From Home Family have 11 staffing allocation for closer supervision. For the advanced-stage Penthouse Sweets Family, The Homestead provides professional enhanced-care services under an additional state license.
A family member commends The Homestead for being an inclusive facility and writes, “My father and mother-in-law both currently live in and are loved by the Rochester Presbyterian Home ... A non-religious person could live here and feel completely comfortable, as nothing is pushed ... The facilities are beautiful, the price is extremely reasonable, and the staff are all wonderful!”
St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge is nestled on a 41-acre wooded campus and has close access to local commercial amenities in Webster. The pet-friendly retirement complex has a state-of-the-art community center that houses a fitness room, chapel, salon and barber shop, cafe, library and multipurpose room. The outdoor amenities, such as landscaped gardens with walking paths and a bocce court, encourage seniors to stay active. The community’s Rainier Grove memory care center staff creates an I Care Plan for each senior to learn their life story, interests and other personal details. Rainier Grove's homelike setting helps memory care residents establish a familiar routine, while its wellness programs and daily planned activities provide cognitive and physical stimulation. Emergency response systems and 24-staffing are in place to ensure everyone's comfort and safety.
A family member commends the continuum of care in St. Ann’s, and writes“It's a very nice place and well planned-out. The nurses and aides are very pleasant, and they watch out for her ... My mother's apartment, when she was still in assisted living, was huge. In the memory center she just has one room with a bathroom, but there's still enough space."
St. John's has a variety of services to accommodate residents who wish to age in place. Although it has a large campus, individual care types are separated into smaller sections that combine the comfort of a homelike atmosphere with a high level of care, which promotes better service, autonomy, safety and companionship. Its Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care facility features safeguarded entrances and exits, vibrant common areas alive with music, art and visiting pets, and enclosed outdoor courtyards, where residents can exercise and enjoy activities such as gardening. A versatile staff member called a shahbaz provides direct care, laundry, housekeeping, cooking and assistance with day-to-day tasks for a small group of residents. A full activity calendar includes religious services, bingo, drum circles, art classes, wine and cheese parties and other special events. St. John's urban location gives residents and visitors easy access to shops and restaurants for outings and day trips.
One online review states, "St. John's Home is an excellent place ... The room my dad is in, we think, is very reasonable." Visitors also note the dedication of the staff, "The staff is excellent. They're very accommodating and very good ... Overall, it is just a wonderful place."
The Landing of Brighton is an Atria Senior Living community with an ideal suburban location across from the Historic Buckland Farmhouse, behind the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park and just minutes from Monroe Community Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center and UR Medicine - Strong Memorial Hospital. The pet-friendly facility’s relaxing outdoor spaces include a patio, resident garden space and courtyard for walking, sitting and al fresco dining. The fitness center offers a venue for exercises and physical therapy, while the in-house salon and barbershop pamper the residents. There are plenty of indoor gathering areas for leisurely socialization, special events and over 200 Engage Life activities. Table service is provided in the restaurant-style dining hall, where special requests and dietary requirements are accommodated. The Life Guidance Memory Care program utilizes a whole-person approach to care and provides comprehensive family support to effectively improve the memory care residents’ quality of life.
Loved ones find The Landing of Brighton commendable for its staff and amenities, as one reviewer comments, “I found the staff to be knowledgeable and caring. It's a lovely environment with responsive staff. My family member has been there ... I would certainly recommend The Landing to others.”