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 Luis Obispo County’s senior population continues to grow (21.06% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In San Luis Obispo County, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 22.5% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 9.26%, 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 (7.55% in San Luis Obispo County 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 nearly a dozen hours researching senior living communities in San Luis Obispo County. 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.
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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 Luis Obispo County, 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:
Surrounded by rolling hills, Creston Village provides assisted living and memory care in the heart of California wine country. In the community’s secure memory care wing, residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia benefit from a comfortable setting and are attended by a highly trained team of nurses and caregivers, who are available 24 hours a day. The Connections program takes a science-based approach to dementia care, employing the latest research-backed techniques to assist seniors with memory loss. The schedule features diverse programs and activities designed around residents’ interests, so whether they want to try painting or yoga, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Ongoing health assessments, behavior tracking and personal check-ins help monitor resident wellness, while physical, occupational and speech therapy are conveniently offered on-site. Dining is fresh, seasonal and chef-inspired, with selections accommodating dietary needs.
Visiting loved ones note the high level of care. "Living nearby we would visit regularly and the care she has received is excellent," one relative says." There are many activities that keep her engaged and happy. The staff is very attentive, calm and caring. A great place for a loved one."
Ingleside Assisted Living Inc. is in a peaceful location in the south of Atascadero, near a number of health care facilities, including Community Health Centers - Atascadero. The community features an easy-to-navigate layout that helps residents avoid confusion and lets the staff keep a close eye on residents. Ingleside specializes in caring for seniors with memory loss, with 24/7 support from experienced professionals. Activities and social events optimize mental and physical well-being. The culinary team prepares homemade meals three times a day, and the chefs are happy to accommodate any dietary requirements. Residents can enjoy fresh air with the wheelchair-accessible walking paths that surround the community. The beautifully landscaped grounds include a porch with views of the countryside.
Family members praise the attentive staff, with one reviewer saying, "They're doing a great job, and the staff is wonderful. My mother is in a single room with a private bathroom, and it's the same for everybody. They take them for drives, they do in-home games and they have a library. It's working well."
Paradise Valley Care is a family-owned memory care home in Atascadero, a suburban city in San Luis Obispo County. Its lush 3-acre campus has a scenic ridge backdrop that can be enjoyed from the large backyard pool and patio areas. The state-of-the-art villa is designed for safe wandering and effective fall prevention. Residents benefit from a high caregiver ratio, medication assistance and scheduled on-site physician, podiatry, physical therapy and salon/barber services. Daily home-cooked meals are prepared with fresh vegetables and fruits as designed by a dietitian. The compassionate staff is well-trained in taking nonpharmaceutical approaches to managing dementia-related behaviors through daily routines, gentle redirection and being in the resident’s moment. Residents can look forward to daily one-on-ones, scheduled twice-daily group activities, weekly outings and monthly family/community gatherings.
People highly recommend Paradise Valley Care for its loving staff. One resident’s daughter says, "Mom and I know all the caregivers by name. They are consistently helpful and compassionate. The med techs inform me of any change in Mom’s health. I have never visited when she was not dressed and clean, and I visit quite a lot.”
The Oaks at Nipomo is a continuum of care senior living community that offers a range of luxury amenities. A team of professional and friendly staff is always available to assist residents with the tasks of daily living or to gently redirect difficult behaviors. There is a dedicated memory care program director who carefully creates activities and schedules therapies that are situated to the needs and abilities of each resident. All of the seniors in the memory care unit have a personalized care plan that includes details about their life history, careers, hobbies, likes and dislikes. These plans assist caregivers in providing the best possible care for each resident and making sure that they feel happy and at home. The neighborhood is comfortable and secure with safe access to a landscaped courtyard area and spacious common living rooms.
Family members praise the wonderful level of care offered to residents and their families with one reviewer saying, "They were extremely helpful, supportive of our family, and did everything they could to make sure she was comfortable. It definitely felt like there was another family member that we had when my grandmother was there."
Situated on the scenic central California coast, The Village at Sydney Creek is the area’s only community of its kind, focused exclusively on memory care. Residents benefit from a highly personalized approach, with staff getting to know their unique backgrounds and needs. The community also involves loved ones and former caregivers with residents, whether they need the occasional reminder or are living with late-stage dementia. Overseen by a licensed nurse, skilled caregivers are available 24/7 for assistance with daily living and medication management, and dentists, podiatrists and ophthalmologists visit the community regularly. Life Enrichment leaders design programs that aid cognitive abilities and associated conditions such as insomnia and depression. Residents can expect days filled with storytelling, art lessons, cooking demonstrations, spa days and scenic tours. Fresh meals are served family-style, and a secured-perimeter provides peace of mind.
Loved ones praise the caring staff. One says, "Sydney Creek cares for its residents with care, compassion and efficiency. Our family is grateful to have a safe, healthy and active environment for our loved one." Another relative agrees, adding "They are so kind and loving. Thank you for showing her respect and the love she deserves."