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 Santa Monica’s senior population continues to grow (14.66% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Santa Monica, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 43.36% between 2014 and 2019. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 12.22%, showing that Alzheimer’s is a serious concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is higher than the rest of the nation (11.14% in Santa Monica 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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For memory care facilities, COVID-19 rules and regulations are typically set at the state level. You can view specific rules on our guide to memory care in California. These rules change often, and many communities have policies in place that go above and beyond what's required by the state, so you should contact your local community for more information. Additionally, you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging to learn more.
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 costs vary from place to place, affecting decision-making for many seniors and families. In Santa Monica, the average senior pays $6,563 per month for memory care.
Santa Monica's average memory care cost matches that of California overall, but it's significantly higher than the national median of $5,625. Santa Monica is somewhat more affordable than the nearby coastal cities of Oxnard and San Diego, which have respective average costs of $7,188 and $6,844. However, farther inland, Bakersfield has a markedly lower average of $4,688 for memory care. Riverside is another inland option, with a median cost of $5,000.
Santa Monica features several types of care providers. Nursing homes are the priciest, charging a typical monthly rate of $9,125 for a semiprivate room. Seniors pay an average of $2,562 less for memory care. In-home care and home health care are cheaper with matching average costs of $5,911 per month. Assisted living's median rate is $5,250. Adult day health care stands out as particularly affordable as the typical provider charges $1,652 per month.
Note: Data for Santa Monica was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Los Angeles, was used instead.
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 Santa Monica.
The aging process and memory-related conditions present many challenges. However, seniors and their families can find allies in the form of organizations and programs, such as the following, that offer information, referrals and certain types of direct help.
|Alzheimer's Association, California Southland Chapter||800-272-3900||The Alzheimer's Association oversees support groups for caregivers and educational programming for individuals with dementia. It also operates a 24/7 helpline where callers can access support during crises, decision-making assistance and general information. There's no charge for using the helpline, and assistance is available in many languages.|
|WISE & Healthy Aging||310-394-9871||WISE's offerings include the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. These advocates look into the concerns of residents of long-term care facilities. Family members can also raise concerns for investigation. WISE's other programs involve caregiver counseling, educational seminars and care management, among additional activities.|
|Alzheimer's Los Angeles||844-435-7259||Specialists at the Alzheimer's Los Angeles helpline educate and inform callers as well as offering referrals. The organization also has care counselors who give individualized dementia-related advice to seniors and family members. Informative workshops and programs for individuals with early memory loss are also available.|
|Older & Dependent Adult Services||800-510-2020||Los Angeles County's ODAS oversees a program called Linkages that offers care management. Another initiative, the Supportive Services Program, aids older adults and caregivers through respite care and Alzheimer's day care, along with other options. ODAS can also inform callers regarding offerings such as health insurance and legal counseling.|
|UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program||310-582-6200||Participants in the Dementia Care Program take part in a 90-minute consultation with a specialist, plus an ongoing care plan and follow-up visits. Their caregivers receive 24/7 access to assistance and advice from the program. A dementia diagnosis is required, and other eligibility criteria apply.|
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 Santa Monica, 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 between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Atria Park of Pacific Palisades provides memory care and assisted living in a beautiful and upscale setting. Numerous conveniences, including shops and restaurants, are just minutes away, and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and St. John’s Health Center are within 5 miles. Residents have a choice of spacious floor plans and can take advantage of multiple dining areas, a full-service salon, and a rooftop terrace with mountain and ocean views. Memory care residents live in a dedicated Life Guidance neighborhood, which offers a safe and secure environment, both indoors and outdoors. The dedicated staff is trained to focus on residents’ strengths and to celebrate their successes, while the community's Engage Life program offers residents a wide variety of activities tailored to their life, talents and preferences.
Reviewers gave the community praise for the caring staff and the overall community. One family member writes, "The caretakers are the best. They are caring, loving, patient and kind. The facility is well-maintained, clean and the food is great.” Another adds, "Great environment overall. The people are happy, the food is good, and the care is extensive.”
Belmont Village for Senior Living Hollywood Hills enjoys a lovely climate that encourages relaxation in the community's walled courtyard. Memory care staff are available 24/7 to conduct individualized activities and preserve residents’ health and dignity, while licensed nurses and visiting physicians meet their medical needs. A whole-brain fitness plan forms the framework for therapy, while the Circle of Friends program matches residents of similar levels of dementia and creates small groups for intellectual stimulation and socialization. Trained staff monitor wandering residents and behavioral problems as they facilitate activities that help residents to reach optimal memory function. Restaurant-style meals at Josephine’s Café, a private outdoor space and smaller, navigable living areas make residents' stay more pleasurable. Belmont Village offers housekeeping, personal laundry and linen services, and private transportation is provided. Cats and small dogs are welcome.
A resident's relative says, "My grandmother is currently receiving Alzheimer's care… The staff is made up of well-trained professionals, who are very friendly."
Belmont Village Senior Living Encino is located close to medical facilities and places of worship. The memory care neighborhood is a small, self-contained area that's easy for residents to navigate. Specially trained caregiving staff is available around the clock to assist seniors with the tasks of daily living and medication management, and the on-site nurse carries out daily wellness checks to monitor the health and well-being of residents. The memory care section has access to a private outdoor area where seniors can safely take part in activities and enjoy the sunshine. Each resident has a unique care plan that focuses on their individual abilities and care needs. The community uses the Whole Brain Fitness Program that creates just the right activity challenge for each resident, depending on their abilities and interests, with the goal of preserving brain health.
Family members praise the professional staff and the attractive facility, with one reviewer saying, "It is a beautiful facility. Circle Of Friends is where they have the whole program for moderate dementia. The care is very personal. My mother has nurses and caregivers 24/7. Everyone has been helpful. My mother has a beautiful apartment and loves the food."
Situated in an upscale residential neighborhood in Los Angeles, Belmont Village Senior Living Westwood is a memory care, assisted living and independent living community. Conveniently located, seniors have easy access to world-class shopping and dining, entertainment venues, along with the UCLA Medical Center. Memory care residents received an individualized care plan based on their abilities and needs, and they live in a dedicated area, supported by a licensed nurse with trained staff available 24/7. The community’s Circle of Friends evidence-based memory care program offers a structured curriculum of mental and physical activities designed to help improve cognitive reserves. On-site, seniors can enjoy numerous activities, outdoor spaces that include a courtyard, walking paths and a swimming pool, and inviting indoor spaces that include a bistro, fitness center and screening room. Chef-prepared meals, housekeeping, transportation and concierge service enable a worry-free lifestyle.
Reviewers are impressed with the food and the caring and professional staff. One resident writes, "The staff is excellent, with pleasant personality, and helpful. The food is very good, and they have a French chef here.” Another family member adds, "Extremely professional, and the caregivers are exceptional.”
CityView has a sought after location on La Brea Avenue in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. It’s near The Grove, Pan Pacific Park and Hollywood, and a few minutes from the Museum Row, Olympia Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This upscale mid-rise retirement community has a central courtyard and boasts a rooftop deck with stunning city views. The Court at CityView consists of 30 memory care studio suites, located on the third floor for residents with early-stage memory loss and the fourth floor for those with later stages of dementia. Three levels of care are offered at The Court, and all memory care residents benefit from Level 1 services such as personal care, medication management, 24-hour supervision and monthly wellness checks. Level 2 includes mobility assistance, wheelchair transfers and incontinence care, while Level 3 includes the addition of extended intermittent assistance.
A satisfied resident’s son writes, "She has some memory issues but is still able to coexist within the regular community. I would attribute this to the staff’s understanding and professional demeanor. She is happier and healthier now than she’s been for several years because of the stimulation and interaction she gets from the CityView community and lovely caring staff.”
Melrose Gardens is in the vicinity of Poinsettia Recreation Center, located in the Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles. It’s close to the West Hollywood Gateway mall and less than three miles from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This boutique senior living community has two dedicated memory care neighborhoods. Club Melrose is located within the main two-story building and accommodates seniors with mild cognitive impairment who are able to function independently. The Cottages, a separate single-story home, is for residents with dementia who need higher levels of care. Residents have access to secured outdoor spaces. A full range of breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner selections are offered daily, including wholesome entrees, soups, salads, homemade desserts and fresh fruits. Residents can enjoy regular activities such as fitness classes, live entertainment, pet visits and scheduled field trips. Melrose Gardens participates in the adopt-a-grandparent program for intergenerational enrichment.
Families admire the people and atmosphere of Melrose Gardens. A memory care resident’s daughter writes, "My mom has been here for one year now. It is a small, sweet and safe place for her. She has dementia but is still living on the active side of the street. They accommodate her special diet, natural medicinal treatments and eccentricities with ease.”
Offering memory care services in a small family-like atmosphere, Meridian at Bella Mar provides a home to seniors across the Santa Monica area. The community utilizes the Montessori Moments in Time program, which involves engaging seniors in cognitively supportive activities and situations. Because family connections are important, Meridian offers support groups and education so residents and their families can walk through Alzheimer's together. Every resident has an individualized treatment program that takes into consideration their interests and health goals. Seniors can participate in musical groups, including chorus and grooving, as well as exercise groups including chair exercise and chair chi. Board games and family storytime are also available. Dining at the Meridian lets residents socialize with their fellow seniors.
The staff and facilities are loved by seniors, with one writing, "It is calm, relaxing, and warm... The caregivers have been there 10-20 years each, and they love what they do — they are good at it too!... They help with everything... I value and respect their careful consideration of my family's wishes and needs."
Located in the San Fernando Valley, Pacifica Senior Living Northridge provides memory care and assisted living for seniors over the age of 60. The community is located in a residential area, but is conveniently close to highways, shopping, dining and health care facilities. Northridge Hospital is just minutes away. A specialized memory care program includes staff trained in the latest memory care techniques. Memory care residents are encouraged to take part in life-enriching activities that include tactile exercises, social outings and dementia-specific activities, such as creating memory boxes and scrapbooks. On-site, an activity center, community garden and covered patio encourage residents to socialize. Chef-prepared meals are provided, in addition to housekeeping, scheduled transportation and assistance with the activities of daily living. The community also offers numerous activities and events for residents.
Reviewers give the community praise for its caring staff and the excellent food and service. According to one resident, "Excellent service and caring by all. Clean rooms, caring personnel all through the facility. Food service is excellent.” Another family member writes, "Couldn't be happier with the professionalism and caring of the staff.”
Silverado Beach Cities Memory Care Community is located in the heart of the South Bay, just blocks away from several beaches and parks. It's connected with health district medical offices and urgent care facilities and offers easy access to restaurants, shops and nearby attractions. The community's purposefully designed memory care features include lean rails in hallways, light-filled spaces and personalized memory boxes outside rooms that help with navigation. Outdoor spaces, including sports areas and a deck, allow residents to enjoy the fresh air and stay active. The community provides three different levels of care for residents at different stages of dementia-related conditions in three different neighborhoods, supported 24/7 by highly trained staff. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of activities tailored to their specific history, interests and abilities, and families are encouraged to stay involved.
Reviewers are impressed with the caring and professional staff. One family member writes, "The staff is warm, respectful, kind and loving with the residents even when they are unaware that you’re watching. They are happy and caring by nature.” Another adds, "The staff are all delightfully positive, sensitive, cheerful and gentle and skilled in the art of redirection.”
Silverado Beverly Place Memory Care Community is centrally located near West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Many conveniences and amenities are nearby, including shopping, dining, entertainment and health care facilities such as Cedars-Sinai Hospital. The dedicated memory care community offers specially designed features, including lean rails in hallways and personalized memory boxes outside rooms to help with navigation. Residents have access to outdoor spaces, including gardens and a secure courtyard with walking trails. Three different neighborhoods provide different levels of care for residents at different stages of dementia-related conditions. Staff is trained in the latest memory care techniques and available 24/7. Residents are offered sensory programs and numerous activities tailored to their histories, abilities and interests. The community also encourages frequent intergenerational programs and social outings to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
Family members and loved ones praise the community for its dedicated and caring staff. One writes,” This facility is amazing, and the staff is incredibly dedicated. They regularly stop and chat with the residents and are highly attentive to everyone's medical and emotional needs.” Another adds, "The staff at Beverly Place is terrific and the programs are excellent.”
The St Benedict Menni community has offered memory care services to Santa Monica seniors for over 20 years. The community focuses on seniors that are still mobile, providing them with secure garden spaces so they can stroll without getting hurt. Residents also have access to an emergency call system in case they need assistance from staff. Activities support seniors' health, provide entertainment and engage their cognitive abilities. Arts and crafts classes, musical events and games are available in addition to cooking classes and exercise classes. Seniors also have access to a library and Jacuzzi. Religious services are held on-site as well as nearby. Mealtimes offer socialization and nutrition to residents.
Residents love the community, with a visiting family member writing, "I liked the atmosphere, it looked clean, and open, and it had a big lawn where my mom could walk around. The grounds were lovely. The staff was lovely. She can have a little apartment there. Everything about it was wonderful. It's gated, and there's a guard at the gate. The facility was great."
Located just south of Beverly Hills, Sunny Hills Assisted Living provides assisted living and memory care to seniors. Several hospitals are located just a short drive away, including Cedars-Sinai Hospital and UCLA Medical Center, and amenities such as shopping and dining are nearby. Specially trained staff is available 24/7 to care for and support memory care residents, who receive specialized attention and tailored activities to enhance cognitive abilities. Caregivers form meaningful bonds with residents, encourage them to exercise their interests and provide assistance with the activities of daily living as part of an individualized care plan that is monitored on a daily basis. On-site amenities include a beauty salon, bistro and outdoor courtyards. Meals, housekeeping and transportation are provided. Residents can also take advantage of a full calendar of social, recreational, education and spiritual activities and events.
Family members and loved ones appreciate the professional and caring staff. As one reviewer writes, "My mom's been a resident here for over a year now… The administrator and the staff are very professional, attentive and caring. I was impressed they knew where my mom was whenever I visited (my mom always walked around). "
Located in the heart of Hollywood, Sunrise of Beverly Hills offers sophisticated living for those in their twilight years. Along with respite and assisted living-level care, the community offers help for those dealing with Alzheimer's and other memory-related conditions. The Reminiscence Neighborhood offers comfort to residents and connects them to their past, reminding them of places they used to live and visit. Residents are kept safe with an emergency response system in each apartment and security doors between each facility. Residents remain engaged with daily life through the Live With Purpose program, which provides music and art therapy along with physical activity to support their health. Residents can also connect with nature to remain grounded. Small pets are allowed to live at the facility, or alternatively, residents can enjoy playing with the live-in house cat and dog.
A family member of a resident wrote, "My mother found a home at Sunrise of Beverly Hills Senior Living and my family found peace of mind. ... Each member of the Sunrise of Beverly Hills staff treated my mother with patience and loving respect as we navigated her transition to senior living. The entire staff worked to ease this transition for her."
Sunrise of Hermosa Beach offers memory care services to seniors across the Hermosa Beach area. Close to the ocean and offering a peaceful atmosphere, the community keeps residents safe with secure spaces and emergency call systems. The electronic health record system also helps protect residents' health as they are closely monitored, and any changes are reviewed by physicians who adjust treatment. As part of the community's Live With Purpose program, seniors have access to a wide range of activities to engage their senses, memories, and abilities. Seniors partake in Wii Sports for physical fitness and fun, while lectures, discussions and arts and craft activities support their cognitive abilities. For enjoyment, games, story time, gardening and book clubs are available.
A family member of a resident writes, "This community has helped my brother become healthier and happier than he was prior to moving there. He has diminished memory and started in assisted living and then transferred to their memory care. All staff have been loving and care for him and responsive to our family. Management works hard, and the food is surprisingly good. I highly recommend."
Located in a lovely, quiet area, Sunrise of Playa Vista is a memory care and assisted living community for seniors conveniently located just minutes from a marina, beach, parks and nature trails, along with Marina Del Rey Hospital and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Memory care residents live in a dedicated Reminiscence neighborhood that's designed to be comfortable, easy to navigate and secure. Highly trained staff provide 24/7 care, and residents are offered memory-focused activities and exercises tailored to each resident’s history, interests and skills. Common areas include a bistro, recreation room and outdoor gardens, and daily social, educational, recreational and spiritual activities are offered. Services such as housekeeping, laundry and maintenance enable an easy, worry-free lifestyle.
Reviewers give the community praise for its helpful and compassionate staff. According to one family member, "The Sunrise staff has been wonderful! Each department head has been very efficient in seeing that all my mom's needs are met. Everyone we have met has been friendly and extremely helpful.” Another adds, "The people are good to work with. They are compassionate and considerate."
Located just minutes from Santa Monica Beach, Sunrise of Santa Monica offers memory care, assisted living and respite care. Numerous shopping, dining and entertainment options are within walking distance, and several hospitals, including UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, are located just a few blocks away from the community. On-site, residents can enjoy thoughtful indoor and outdoor community spaces including sunrooms, lounges, patios on every floor and a 24-hour bistro. Residents can also choose from a wide variety of social, recreational, education and spiritual activities. Freshly prepared meals cater to special diet needs and individual tastes. A dedicated Reminiscence neighborhood, specially designed to be easy to navigate, provides a comforting yet secure environment for memory care residents. Staff is trained in the latest memory care techniques, including validation therapy, and is available 24/7. Reminiscence residents are also encouraged to take part in meaningful and memory-specific activities and programs.
Family members and loved ones were impressed with the caring and helpful staff at Sunrise of Santa Monica. According to one reviewer, "All the staff are all very nice, friendly, and helpful.” Adds another, "Sunrise is a beautiful, well kept facility with a very helpful, friendly staff.”
Situated in a quiet and secluded, yet easily accessible, area, Sunrise of Woodland Hills provides memory care, assisted living and respite care to seniors 62 years and older. The Hollywood Freeway, Westfield Topanga Plaza and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center are all located nearby. The community offers two different neighborhoods for memory care residents. For residents with early stage memory loss, the Terrace Club neighborhood balances independence with guidance on maintaining normal routines. The Reminiscence neighborhood is designed to be secure, comforting and easy to navigate for those who need more structure and support. Staff, who are available 24/7, are trained in the latest memory care techniques, including validation therapy. Residents are also encouraged to take advantage of memory-focused exercises and activities. They enjoy lush grounds with walking paths, patios, indoor common areas and a calendar full of activities and events.
Family members and loved ones are impressed with the caring staff and beautiful space. As one reviewer writes, "Wonderful place for Mother! Beautiful, helpful and everything she needs right there. Kind caregivers! We are thrilled!” Another adds, "An amazing place with great caretakers and a truly compassionate team. Leadership folks are exceptional. They took great care of my dad.”
Offering a safe and secure home just a few miles away from Venice Beach, Sunrise Villa Culver City offers memory care services to seniors on the Westside. The Life Story Program run by the community affords seniors a connection to their past through writing and talking about it with fellow residents. The Terrace Club neighborhood promotes independence by having memory care residents focus on home and life skills. Resident support groups give peer comfort to those also dealing with their own memory struggles. Through the Live With Generosity program, residents participate in activities that are based on their former occupation to help them feel connected to their past.
Residents and their families rave about the community, with one saying "Their culture treats everyone like it's your family," while another writes, "Amazing community, amazing staff. Nothing else to say! Highly recommend." "I can't imagine my family member being in a better place than Sunrise Culver City," says a family member of a resident.
Centrally located in Culver City, Terraza Court is an assisted living and memory care community. It's surrounded by several eateries and is near Veterans Memorial Park. For seniors with various forms of dementia, a full-time nurse oversees resident care. Residents who need help with their daily routines or medication administration can receive assistance around-the-clock. Specially trained staff provide personalized care that focuses on individual history and hobbies. With a packed daily calendar of mental, physical and social activities, residents can make meaningful connections that improve their quality of life. The rooftop terrace provides a quiet place for enjoying the outside alone or with a small pet.
One reviewer states, "The staff members were great, caring, loving people and really friendly to me. Whenever they interacted with any of the residents, it was a really positive vibe. It was my favorite."
Welbrook Santa Monica is a memory care community offering a home to Santa Monica seniors. The staff, who are on-site 24/7, utilize the Welbrook Moments memory care program that helps seniors feel valued as well as providing them with the care they need for memory retention. The program involves the use of sight, smell, touch, temperature and hearing stimuli to calm residents. Seniors are monitored through a system of sensors and silent pagers to ensure they get help when they most need it, but without startling them even further. Each resident can participate in activities as per their likes and interests, which gives them genuine enjoyment but also makes them feel successful. Chefs provide the residents with their favorite meals in a nutritious form.
The staff often receive praise, with one family member writing, "Our mother has been at Welbrook Santa Monica since the beginning of 2020... The skilled staff has been dedicated to taking good care of her. They are kind, attentive and keep us informed of the status of our mother's health and how she is doing."