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 San Diego’s senior population continues to grow (15.6% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In San Diego, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose 29.8% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 7.95%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is higher than the rest of the nation (10.6% in San Diego vs. 6.46% in the U.S.).
In order to help families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer's find the support and care that their loved ones need, we've compiled information below about the cost of Memory Care, how to get financial assistance to help make care more affordable, free resources, etc. Also included are reviews of the best memory care facilities in the area, which cover pricing, types of care provided, residents' reviews, and more.
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Note: Memory care is typically provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, and in general, costs 20-30% more than standard assisted living services. No authoritative cost data is available for this type of care, so we estimated memory care rates by adding 25% to assisted living fees in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.
Memory care in San Diego costs an average of $6,844 per month, which is approximately $1,200 more than the national average but only $281 more than California's average. The cost of memory care in Southern California varies widely, with San Diego somewhere just above mid-range. Seniors in San Diego pay around $1,800 more per month than those in Riverside and almost $300 more than Los Angeles seniors, but they pay approximately $800 less than seniors who live in El Centro.
Memory care costs more than assisted living due to the increased level of security and advanced nursing care often needed for seniors who have Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Memory care in California costs $6,844, which is around $1,400 more per month than the cost of living in an assisted living community. It is almost $4,000 more per month than adult day health care and slightly more than in-home and home health care, which are $6,387 and $6,473 respectively. Memory care in San Diego isn't the most costly type of care available in Southern California, however. This distinction goes to nursing home care, which is almost $1,500 more per month for a semiprivate room.
Since not everyone can afford to pay for memory care out-of-pocket, it's important to find alternative methods to help make memory care more affordable. Some of these options include:
For more information about your options for making assisted living more affordable, visit our guide to Memory Care in San Diego.
In a large city such as San Diego, many organizations offer dementia-related care services. The table below compiles free or low-cost resources for families in the San Diego area who need advice, information or other assistance in caring for a loved one with dementia.
|Alzheimer's San Diego||858-492-4400||The San Diego Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association offers classes and workshops on healthy aging and dementia-related topics. It also provides opportunities for those with memory issues to enjoy social activities and outings. The Vitalz program connects seniors living alone with a volunteer or social worker via the phone once a week.||San Diego, CA|
|The Neurological Institute, UC Sand Diego Health||858-534-9061||This specialty program offers programs and information for seniors with memory impairments. Patients can apply for inclusion in clinical trials for new medications or treatments. They can also receive neuropalliative care through social and emotional support.||La Jolla, CA|
|Elder Law and Advocacy||858-565-1392||This nonprofit organization offers free and low-cost legal services for seniors who need counseling and advocacy services to apply for Medicare, Medicaid Part D or other health insurance programs. It also provides health monitoring and legal assistance for nursing home residents.||San Diego, CA|
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 San Diego, 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:
The memory care program at Atria Rancho Peñasquitos is known as Life Guidance, and it's built around allowing people with dementia to live an engaging and joyful life. Taking cues from research has allowed Atria Rancho Peñasquitos to design a physical activity program with at least two exercise options each day shown to limit cognitive decline. Staff also encourage social connection as being part of a caring community decreases stress. Thoughtfully designed spaces include a display of personal photos and mementos outside each resident's room to help them find their way back. All memory care staff at Atria keep their training updated so that they can provide the best care for each resident.
Many reviewers of Atria Rancho Peñasquitos take the time to mention the excellent staff, with one reviewer describing them as "extremely nice, patient and caring." Residents also appreciate the clean, comfortable environment that "feels more like a resort" than an aged care home.
Located in a beautiful, resort-like setting with panoramic views of the North County San Diego valleys and foothills, Belmont Village at Sabre Springs provides seniors with several living options. Independent Living in the Mission-style community features a pool, putting green, lush grounds and walking trails. Assisted Living is also available, but Belmont really shines with its four levels of Memory Care. The communitys innovation and award-winning Circle of Friends program addresses the needs of residents with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and early to moderate-stage memory loss. The 7-day-a-week program pairs seniors of similar ability in small groups for personalized, therapeutic activities. Residents with later-stage dementias are supported in a smaller, self-contained Alzheimers Neighborhood thats easier to navigate. Caregivers are called PALs (Personal Assistance Liaisons). Belmont boasts some of the longest-tenured employees in senior living, and this job satisfaction results in exceptional care.
Belmont Villages country-club-like setting and continuum of care options are popular with both residents and loved ones. My dad has been a resident here for over 10 years. He has gone from independent to assisted living to memory care. At each level, he has received the attention he needs. The PALs have been wonderful,� one family member shared.
Surrounded by beautiful grounds and gardens, Brookdale Carmel Valley is a senior living community that offers assisted living and memory care services, along with around-the-clock skilled nursing services for seniors in the San Diego, California, area. With a newer approach to care that allows residents to age in place, this pet-friendly community is ideal for seniors of all ages. Residents enjoy a wellness center and walking paths to keep them active along with planned social events and live entertainment�so that they stay socially engaged. Restaurant-style dining and�transportation services are provided. Residents can exercise in the fitness room or participate in computer classes. Religious services are offered along with gardening and arts and crafts to keep residents busy.
Family members and visitors�compliment the facility for its cleanliness and attentive staff members. One resident said, There are a lot of activities throughout the day. We have an exercise class every morning and afternoon, and, yesterday, I took a painting class. They have live music some afternoons, and groups of people go to the movies.�
Casa Aldea�Senior Living in San Diego, California, boasts a personal and carefree living environment, integrating life enrichment programs with state-of-the-art technology in its custom-designed community. Its spacious accommodations are equipped with an emergency call system, which monitors residents behaviors and allows the staff to quickly respond to any situation. An inviting dining atmosphere encourages social interaction among the residents while�they enjoy the food prepared by the on-site culinary staff, and point-of-sale tablets efficiently facilitate dining orders. The well-designed community offers venues for regular and seasonal activities, such as painting lessons�in the arts and crafts room, water aerobics in the swimming pool, cooking classes in the Community Center Kitchen or movies at the theater. Providing memory care in dedicated residences, the staff continuously trains on the best and latest therapeutic methods to provide the best possible care, coupled with patience and compassion for each resident.
On a number of reviews, the community was praised for its cleanliness, state-of-the-art facilities and described as beautiful and luxurious. Families appreciate the activities offered to residents. They have art classes, exercising, movie nights, entertainment such as piano players and guitar players come,� says one reviewer.
Situated on sunny, picturesque Coronado Island just across the bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado Retirement Village offers luxurious assisted living and memory care in a resort-like setting. This is a family-owned and operated facility that's committed to maintaining a nurturing and understanding environment where residents have the opportunity to take advantage of concierge medical services. These include everything from emergency treatment to mobile delivery of medications. Coronado Retirement Village has earned five Golden Awards for their first-class medication management and care program. This community creates an extensive calendar of fun events that includes activities like taste testing with a restaurant chef, trivia, movie nights, casino games and happy hours with live music and entertainment. There's also a licensed therapist on site who provides complementary fitness and physical therapy services. Seniors who enjoy the outdoors will love Coronado Retirement Village's proximity to the Tideland's Park and Beach & Dog Park.
The feature I liked best about CRV was the staff. My Mom could not express her needs the last 15 months of her life. But the staff were so gentle with her, they anticipated her needs. This is rare. Also my dad had freedom to roam in a very safe community on his scooter. said the daughter of one resident.
Fredericka Manor is a pet-friendly facility that has a multitude of programs to encourage seniors to stay active. Creative residents have opportunities to learn painting, sculpting�and even to play a ukulele, and visiting musicians provide entertainment for those who don't perform themselves. The Resident Speakers' Circle encourages residents to share stories about their lives and passions, and there are many clubs that are lead by residents to�keep social calendars full. Food in the facility is fresh and seasonal and an on-site registered dietitian ensures meals are nutritious and filling. The memory support neighborhood in Fredericka Manor�is protected inside and out and�outfitted with the latest engagement technologies, and it features sunny rooms and an award-winning design. Residents can sit on their front porch and visit with friends who are strolling along the beautiful tree-lined paths.
Residents of Fredericka Manor mention the friendly community and activities that encourage people to stay active and involved. As one reviewer put it, "they have very vital, active people still running around in there." Many also�speak of the well-appointed accommodations and spacious grounds, calling them, ". clean, very nicely decorated, beautifully done."
Located close to downtown San Diego, residents of Golden Living of Point Loma enjoy easy access to parks, stores and other local attractions. The facility provides both assisted living and memory care. Residents live in private or shared apartments with walk-in closets, and each room has a balcony or patio access. For safety, each apartment has sprinklers, fire alarms and an emergency call system, and the buildings common areas have security cameras. These common areas include a library, hobby room and courtyard. The living room features a baby grand piano. The community offers daily activities to help residents maintain their physical and cognitive abilities, and residents can choose to participate in activities that interest them. Golden Living of Point Lomas staff includes an on-site nurse and on-call dietitian.
Reviewers mention the facilitys activities: They have chair exercises, all kinds of activities and outings,� says a residents family member. People love the community for its food and appreciate that special diets, such as diabetic diets, can be accommodated. The food is quite good,� notes a visitor.
HarborView Senior Assisted Living provides Alzheimer's and dementia care in a boutique assisted living setting. The family-run community is operated within an elegant, historic 1927 Italian Renaissance home overlooking the San Diego Bay where residents can enjoy nature through the landscaped gardens with fountains, walking paths and a large outdoor patio. Daily fitness, spiritual and educational classes occupy residents' time along with social engagements, such as group outings to Balboa Park. A visiting pianist provides musical entertainment, and children are invited for special occasions and intergenerational discussions. The 24-hour staff is highly trained, and a licensed nutritionist serves residents tasty, healthy meals in the formal dining room.
According to loved ones, HarborView Senior Assisted Living shines thanks to its high quality care and excellent location. One reviewer says, The rooms have unbelievable views, the food is prepared to the resident's liking or needs, the care is superb, and the location is ideal. It is truly a gem of a home for elderly in need of 24 hour care and supervision.�
Paradise Village offers Independent and Assisted Living to San Diego South Bay seniors in a resort-like, gated community. The Mediterranean-style 12-acre facility also contains Parkview, a Generations Memory Care Community. This state-of-the-art facility is meticulously designed to create an environment for those with dementia that ignites feelings and sparks memories. An antique car parked in the entryway of the Parkview Neighborhood sets the tone. The community includes colorful murals, a Snoezelen Therapy Room, outdoor atriums�and secured courtyard areas with water features, greenhouses and gazebos. Residents live in 56 Friendship Suites with shared baths and 10 suites with private baths. The small, sparsely furnished bedroom is designed to reduce the risk of falls and provide a relaxing contrast from the many common areas by minimizing sensory stimulation.
Family members rave about the exceptionally caring staff and the vibrant social life at Paradise. Many seniors discover a new circle of friends and activities. The memory care neighborhood is highly praised. One woman wrote, My dad is 84, fairly young for any memory care group, but is as content and engaged as possible. When I visit, which is often, he is always involved in some activity or other.�
Located in National City, Plaza Village Senior Living is a close-knit community. Its cozy neighborhoods contain just three or four bedrooms to create a homelike environment for seniors. Each neighborhood has its own kitchen, living room and dining room, and pets are welcome. A community emergency pendant system, coupled with close supervision, helps keep residents safe. Seniors participate in games and activities that help enhance their memories and are given the opportunity to reminisce about the past. Other scheduled activities include music therapy, live entertainment and ice cream socials. The community organizes special events for families to help residents stay connected. Housekeeping, laundry utilities, cable and phone services are included in the facilitys flat rate pricing.
Visitors to the community appreciate the environment it provides to residents. It was a clean place and the residents appeared to be happy and very satisfied,� comments one visitor. Reviewers have consistent praise for the facilitys friendly, dedicated staff. A family member notes, They treat my grandmother like a member of their family."
St. Pauls Villa is located just a few blocks from Balboa Park and other San Diego attractions. This newly remodeled assisted living and memory care community encourages residents to retain as much independence as possible. Several levels of care are available, so seniors changing needs can be accommodated. Certified Nursing staff are on-site 24/7 to ensure residents are well cared for and safe. With the launch of their new Reflections Memory Care Program, trained care and activity staff provide a well-rounded experience catering to each individuals personal style. The community's REFECT model of care focuses on kindness and personalized relationships. St. Pauls boosts a full chaplaincy program, custom activities, outdoor excursions and plenty of exercises, arts and entertainment. Residents rave about the meals which are prepared by the onsite chef. All apartments are private with private bathrooms.
St. Pauls Villa receives praise for its caring staff and friendly atmosphere. The staff was nice and welcoming,� says one visitor. Reviewers note the communitys well-maintained facilities. The place was very clean; it was like living in a 5-star hotel,� says one reviewer. Other reviewers mention the facilitys many activities.
Stellar specializes in dignified dementia care� in a four-floor facility in San Diego. Despite the size and urban location, once inside, theres a warm, homelike atmosphere. Residents are cared for by compassionate, highly skilled staff members that know how to put even the most challenging individual at ease. Stellar offers memory care residents comfortable private and semi-private rooms with private bathrooms. There are multiple dining and activities rooms, and something engaging is always happening, whether its bingo, crafts, music therapy or gardening. The location supports exciting field trips to concerts in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and the Del Mar Fair. Family members are encouraged to be active participants in loved ones customized care plans. Theres a strong emphasis on community engagement at Stellar, although its rooted in the person-centered care thats tailored to the changing abilities and needs of each resident.
Family members appreciate the high staff-to-resident ratio that provides loved ones with attentive care. Many�compliment the spotless� surroundings. One wrote, I cannot say enough in praise of this facility. The care given to my mother was professional, respectful and gentle. The facility itself is clean, inviting, quiet and well maintained.�
Sungarden Terrace offers assisted living and memory care in a homelike environment. The communitys memory care residents live in a secure, separate unit, and the halls are decorated with murals to help residents reminisce about the past. This unit has a secure outdoor space, which includes a patio, that�gives residents plenty of opportunity�to get fresh air and exercise. Memory care residents also have their own community room and dining room where residents can choose from a selection of healthy meals, and meals can be adjusted to suit dietary needs and preferences. The facility considers residents interests when planning the activity calendar, which includes exercise classes, card games, sing-alongs, religious services and other activities that keep residents engaged.
It is not like a hotel; it is more like a community,� one visitor says. Another says, this place is amazing. Its a home away from home.� The facility receives compliments about its food, and family members of residents note that their loved ones look forward to mealtimes.
The Montera offers its residents a continuum of care,�giving them the option to stay in the same environment as their needs change. Residents with Alzheimer's disease or dementia are welcomed to the memory care neighborhood, which is designed to encourage interaction and a sense of purpose. Secure outdoor areas inspire seniors to spend time in nature and living areas have inspiration stations aimed at awakening the senses. A personalized plan is�put in place for the physical care of residents as well as enrichment activities, which draw on the resident's interests and skills. The Montera also believes the well-being of the whole family is important and family nights, celebrations and volunteer opportunities allow family members to stay connected to their loved ones.
The wide range of activities�are�appreciated by reviewers, with one saying, "There's some kind of activity all the time. I never thought my mom would participate but I constantly find her in the activity room talking to other people and doing things." Staff were described as compassionate, helpful and knowledgeable.