Dementia, and specifically Alzheimers, is a serious, growing problem. In fact, 1 out of every 10 adults over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s dementia. As Somerville's senior population continues to grow (18% growth between 2015 and 2020), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Somerville, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased 10% between 2015 and 2020. Additionally, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group increased by 22%, showing that while Alzheimer’s is a serious concern in the region, the associated deaths have decreased recently. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (3.9% in Somerville 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 Somerville. 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 Somerville, 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:
At Atria Marina Place, memory care residents can have their safety and comfort prioritized with secure entrances and exits and individualized care plans. Daily tasks are handled by staff with extensive dementia training, including bathing, grooming, toileting, mobility assistance and meal escorts. Trained physicians perform regular medication reviews, and technicians can provide medication assistance under the supervision of licensed nurses. With housekeeping, personal laundry and linen services available, residents can live a maintenance-free lifestyle and focus on their well-being. On-site family-style dining experiences foster a sense of community in a welcoming atmosphere. A salon is available for residents to get pampered and take care of their aesthetic essentials. Seniors can receive emotional counseling through an Alzheimer's and dementia support group and take part in daily educational, social, cultural and fitness opportunities, all of which are expertly tailored to individual needs.
Staff at Atria Marina Place treat residents like family. One reviewer writes, "Coming from a healthcare background myself, I know what I want for my own loved one in terms of quality of care, [and] Atria Marina Place does not disappoint."
Chestnut Park at Cleveland Circle is a senior living residence offering memory care. Memory care in this community is divided into five levels that provide varying care depending on each resident's unique needs. The first level is the Mind & Memory Plan, which consists primarily of cueing and reminders for residents with mild cognitive impairment. The fifth level, the Mind & Memory V Plan caters to residents who need total assistance with all aspects of care. Residents reside in a multi-sensory and secure environment where they receive 24/7 care from an expert staff educated in memory loss and dietary support that includes texture-modified diets. The community fosters active living by engaging residents in arts and crafts, music and exercise classes that provide opportunities for socializing. Day outings, movie sessions and parties add another layer of engagement to a packed activity calendar.
Family members describe Chestnut Park as a warm and caring place for seniors. One says, "This is a very nice community.The staff is wonderful. They are always there when we need some help. It is a very well-maintained and clean community, my mother's room is well-kept when I visit. There are many activities offered. They have very good food here, and the meals are great."
Benchmark Senior Living at Waltham Crossing provides memory care to Waltham, MA. The memory care program provides secure, pet-friendly public spaces and residential areas so residents can move independently. On-site physicians and rehabilitation services from the wellness center support residents' physical health. Caregivers provide multiple levels of care with daily living, from light assistance with grooming to full support with ambulation and continence care. The outdoor spaces connect together with grilling stations and seating areas. Residents can watch cooking demonstrations from local chefs or relax with family and friends in the sunroom. Chefs serve three restaurant-style meals and staff can assist at mealtimes. Scheduled transportation is provided to medical appointments and community events. Housekeeping and laundry services are available.
Family members say staff treats their loved ones with respect and compassion. One writes, "The leadership staff has provided incredible support to help my mom feel comfortable. My mom's requests and any concerns were listened to attentively, and a sincere effort is made to meet her needs."
Atria Longmeadow Place is a memory care and assisted living provider located 11 miles northwest of Somerville. With the 24-hour Lahey Hospital and Medical Center just a few minutes away, residents can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with quick, convenient access to medical attention. The community offers a range of spacious accommodations equipped with kitchen facilities, and living quarters are regularly cleaned by a housekeeping service, with laundry for clothing and linens provided. Seniors living with Alzheimer's disease or dementia can benefit from on-site occupational therapy services, and qualified nurses provide basic medical care and assist with medication management. The shared living space features several amenities that help residents to maintain a social and active lifestyle, including a fitness room, a swimming pool and a large outdoor garden.
Residents and relatives praise the community's staff for their friendly manner. One family member writes, "My mother has been a resident of Atria Longmeadow Place for the past four years. We've been very happy with the kind and supportive community created by the wonderful staff."
Memory care residents entering Sunrise of Burlington live in intimate memory care neighborhoods for the familiarity of seeing the same caregivers and neighbors every day. The community provides two levels of memory care to cater to residents with different expressions of Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia; each employs a highly specialized Life Enrichment Manager who customizes residents's care programs with engaging daily activities. Memory care staff are certified in the Validation method, employing an empathetic approach to reduce stress and foster a feeling of fulfillment in each resident's life. Sunrise offers a range of activities in which residents can elect to participate, from gardening and music classes to arts and crafts workshops and off-site group outings. The community staffs a resident nurse, and offers physical therapy as well as medication management, hospice care and assistance with activities of daily living.
Residents and their families praise Sunrise of Burlington's culinary selection and overall commitment to care. One family member writes, "They really care and treat my mother with dignity and respect. Other places felt like they were putting on a show when I visited. My mom loves the food and she is pretty picky!"
Holiday Maplewood Place has a custom-designed layout with secure entrances and exits to keep memory care residents safe and secure. Staff help manage restless behavior, such as wandering, by offering everyday opportunities for fun, fitness and socialization through activities tailored towards residents's interests. Staff trained in dementia care create a personalized care plan for each senior, and offer 24/7 support that includes personal care assistance, medication management, mealtime and event escorts. Light linen services, weekly housekeeping and apartment maintenance help reduce the stress of everyday living. The community is pet-friendly, allowing seniors with dementia to benefit from the friendship, support and stress relief associated with caring for a companion animal. Full-service, family-style dining encourages residents to connect with their neighbors in a comforting and social atmosphere for three chef-prepared meals daily. Staff monitor residents requiring low-sugar and low-salt diets during mealtimes.
Residents and relatives appreciate the patient, attentive staff at Holiday Maplewood Place. One family member writes, "The staff is caring and completely dedicated to all the residents there. I can sleep better at night knowing that [my dad] is safe and well cared for."
Evans Park at Newton Corner is a memory care provider located seven miles west of Somerville. Residents are within minutes of two 24-hour medical facilities, the Newton-Wellesley Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center. The community offers six tiers of memory care and creates highly individualized plans designed around each resident's needs and condition. The premises are secured and closely monitored to ensure the safety of seniors prone to wandering, and caregivers use multisensory environments and activities to enhance cognitive functioning. Seniors can choose from a range of accommodations with kitchenettes and complementary Wi-Fi. Caregivers can be contacted around the clock with an emergency call system and assist with bathing, dressing and other activities of daily living. The community offers a range of stimulating activities, including fitness classes, musical events, book clubs and tai chi.
Reviewers praise this community for its welcoming and attentive staff. One family member writes, "If you are looking for a community that will care and embrace a loved one and make them a part of an extended family, I highly recommend Evans Park in Newton Corner."
The "person-centric" Neighborhood program guides memory care at Wingate Residences at Needham. Each resident receives ongoing care assessments and a personalized care plan that includes help with daily living activities, medication management and individualized enrichment activities designed to strengthen the body and the mind. These include exercise sessions, aromatherapy, games, music and pet therapy. The community allows freedom of motion indoors and out while maintaining full security, and elements of the community like lighting, flooring, art, furniture and decorations all contribute to creating a familiar space that is comfortable and easy to navigate. Patios and gardens encourage safe and enjoyable outdoor living. Caregivers maintain constant communication with residents's families and health care professionals, and perform hourly wellness checks on residents into the night. Seniors have access to an emergency response system and on-site physician visits.
Residents and their families appreciate the caring staff and good communication at Wingate Residences at Needham. One says, "The staff are excellent, engaged, respectful and friendly to residents and their family and friends. Most importantly, when we have had concerns, the administrators and staff have responded immediately."
The Reflections memory care program at The Residence at Watertown Square focuses on self-expression, independence and meaningful experiences. The program revolves around the Five Principles for Vitality, starting with Continued Learning, which keeps minds active. The second is Arts & Culture, incorporating music, visual arts, storytelling and movement. The third principle is Physical Fitness, for which seniors are encouraged to join in regular exercise sessions that are appropriate for their abilities. Community Connections are critical to the Reflections program, and caregivers strive to interact with residents in a manner that respects their dignity and fosters new relationships. Finally, the Wellness & Self-Care aspect of the program ensures that all of residents's daily needs are met, including personal care, medication administration, health care coordination, wellness checks and three healthy and delicious meals per day.
Residents and relatives have high praise for the staff at The Residence at Watertown Square. One reviewer says, "They are professional, and their advice has made us all understand our options and future course of action. [Everyone is] extremely friendly."
The Residence at Melrose Station is a modern senior living community welcoming memory care residents. The Reflections memory care program focuses on the person as an individual and not on their condition, and all staff members are certified by the National Institute for Dementia Education. Each resident has a personalized wellness plan to ensure they get the support they need with daily activities. Staff are always on-hand to provide reminders throughout the day and gently redirect behaviors as needed. The program uses the five principles for vitality to help residents thrive on a daily basis, comprised of arts and culture, continued learning, wellness, physical fitness and community connections. All of the daily activities are based around these five principles, designed to foster life experiences that provide a sense of purpose.
Residents and relatives praise the community's high standard of care. One reviewer writes, "You are greeted with smiles, the team is so supportive to their clients and when you leave, you do have the assurance that you are leaving your parent in good hands."
Springhouse Senior Living offers memory care to seniors with dementia, Alzheimer's disease and memory loss. The community features the Beth Israel Deaconess Community Healthcare of Jamaica Plain house calls program, which implements regular health care checks to maintain residents's well-being. The schedule includes multisensory stimulation routines and is designed to resemble daily activities to provide seniors with a sense of comfort. Nurses are available in the community 14 hours per day through the week to attend to residents's needs, including administering medication and responding to emergencies. Caregivers encourage residents to participate in social activities overseen by a Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Seniors have access to restaurant-style meals according to their nutritional requirements, and assistance with activities of daily living is available, including bathing, grooming and laundry service.
Residents praise the well-kept grounds and the attentive care team. One reviewer writes, "I'm content with everything at Springhouse. The staff is thoughtful, kind, and caring. [the layout is] luxurious and clean."
Providence House Assisted Living home features the Beechwood Memory Care Program, which aims to assist residents with memory impairment complete day-to-day activities. Pleasant common areas curate a secure, familiar atmosphere for residents living with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and caregivers encourage opportunities for seniors to live comfortably, express themselves freely and engage socially. Staff members are trained to cater to residents's emotional, cognitive, spiritual and physical needs to make them feel seen and understood. Three meals are served daily in the community's dining room, and residents can expect as-needed help with activities of daily living, including medication management. An individual care assistant sees to each resident's unique needs.
Residents have high praise for the quality of life at Providence House Assisted Living. One says, "I made the best decision of my life when I came to Providence House. I immediately felt at home when I got there, since everyone was so welcoming. I've never been happier or healthier."
Benchmark Senior Living at Woburn provides memory care in Woburn, MA. The Called To Care program specially trains staff to provide empathetic and informed care to each resident. Staff members personalize care plans and can aid with daily living activities, including grooming, ambulation and mealtime assistance. The Benchmark Strong program encourages residents to stay fit by participating in fitness classes, including community Olympic games. Themed journey stations allow residents to look back on happy memories, and seniors can relax or socialize in secure outdoor spaces. The community hosts live shows and musical entertainment. Chefs serve three seasonal meals each day in sensory dining rooms that are designed to encourage appetite. The community is pet-friendly, and caregivers provide weekly housekeeping and laundry service.
Residents and relatives note the warm, cheerful atmosphere. One reviewer writes, "The people are very, very friendly there. We met a couple of the residents, and they were very nice and outgoing."
Residents entering AVIVA's memory care program are assigned a health and wellness care plan that draws from family members's input and assessment by the resident's dedicated medical team. Staff caregivers are trained to focus on each resident's unique strengths and abilities, and respond to non-verbal signs of pain by offering customized treatments and solutions. Residents can choose from a variety of floor plans with on-site housekeeping and maintenance services available. The community serves three chef-inspired, nutritionist-approved meals each day in the common dining area, where residents are free to mingle and form new social connections. The activities program offers residents a daily dose of social, cognitive and physical stimulation, with activities such as tai chi, memory stimulation, gardening, virtual travel, puzzles and meditation. Round-the-clock staff are available to assist with medication management and assistance with activities of daily living.
Residents and families value the courteous staff and wide array of resident activities. One family member writes, "My mom has nothing but nice things to say about every staff member she deals with. [they] have bingo, card games, and travel programs."
The Parc at Harbor View Senior Living community offers memory care to seniors with Alzheimer's, dementia and other conditions related to memory loss. Memory care residents receive 24/7 care through an award-winning program called SPARK, aimed at rehabilitative techniques that increase interaction, improve cognitive skills and give residents a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Customized evaluation tools determine each resident's skills and strengths to increase effectiveness of care. SPARK has something for each resident, including gardening, maintaining bird feeders, taking yoga classes, dancing, socializing with animals and taking supervised nature walks. The Culinary Club program give residents the opportunity to work directly with chefs, obtain their own ingredients and prepare and cook meals to enjoy among themselves. All activities are designed to keep seniors active, reducing depression and negative thoughts. Seniors can expect assistance with medication management, bathing, dressing, laundry and housekeeping and daily meals as needed. The community is secure, and a central fireplace prevents confusion and wandering.
Residents and relatives appreciate the high quality of care at The Parc at Harbor View Senior Living. One says, "They are pleasant, kind, and helpful. They offered great assistance. The housekeeping is frequent, and the community is clean."
The Falls at Cordingly Dam is a memory care community in a charming suburban location 12 miles west of Somerville. With the main campus of the Newton-Wellesley Hospital just minutes away, residents can receive prompt medical attention when needed. Qualified nursing staff create personalized care plans for each resident to ensure the care provided reflects the individual's needs and condition. Multisensory experiences, such as music and art therapy, are used to improve cognition and mental functioning. Residents have access to skilled nursing and physical therapy on-site, and help is provided with prescriptions and medication management. Living quarters are equipped with cable television and Wi-Fi, and emergency call systems are located throughout the premises. A number of amenities allow residents to engage with their interests and hobbies, including a computer room, hiking trails and a fitness center.
Reviewers praise the community's staff for their professionalism. One family member writes, "The Falls [is] well appointed, comfortable and welcoming. The directors are knowledgeable, communicative and compassionate. they set a tone of dedication and excellence."
Memory care residents at Prospect House Assisted Living and Memory Care can choose from several floor plans within a secure memory care neighborhood with around-the-clock emergency staffing. The one- and two-bedroom apartments come equipped with a kitchenette and roll-in shower, and common areas are designed to be accessible and imbued with a homelike feel. Chef-inspired meals are served daily from the seasonal menu, with in-room meal service as an option. The community sponsors regular social, educational and exercise activities to keep residents engaged, including live musical performances, arts workshops, cultural events and visiting guest speakers. Residents are free to use the library to tuck into their new favorite paperback, and have access to a private dining area for family reunions or special occasions. The community arranges transportation to and from shopping or appointments, and provides a laundry and housekeeping service.
Prospect House residents and their families take notice of the community's activity offering and approach to care. As one reviewer writes, "They have a full variety of social activities everyday, [which] also includes weekly trips out. The relationships between the residents and the staff are more like a family."
Brightview Arlington is specially designed for residents with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other forms of memory limitation. The community encourages independence and participation in social programs that tap into each resident's abilities and interests. Residents benefit from the signature Mind & Music program, which helps enhance group activities and helps keep residents calm. Infusing music into the daily schedule also evokes a sense of inclusion and creative expression among the residents, as playlists are personalized to include each resident's favorite songs and allow them to chime in with drum circles and singing. The comfortable gathering spaces host numerous activities that feature devotion, outings and physical exercise to complement reminiscence programs and lifelong learning. The staff is comprised of skilled caregivers who assist residents with medication management and daily living activities. Residents can experience restaurant-style dining with chef-prepared meals daily, including no-sugar, low-sodium and vegetarian options to address resident feedback and preferences.
Residents and relatives emphasize the daily engagement seniors enjoy at Brightview Arlington. One reviewer writes, "The staff is providing the care [my brother] is supposed to get. He likes all the activities and [is] enjoying the outings. I would recommend them to my family and friends."
Residents entering The Arbors's Reflections Memory Care Program live in private one- or two-bedroom suites within the community's secure, home-like memory care neighborhood. Each resident has access to caregivers and daily personal care plans, which incorporate information relating to needs, preferences, strengths and limitations from family members. The community caregivers are trained in Montessori methods to validate residents's feelings and emotions, promoting a feeling of calm and understanding. Activities and roles are designed to generate a sense of meaning and purpose in residents's everyday lives. Trained and certified staff are available around the clock to assist with daily living activities, including dressing, bathing, ambulation and medication administration. The community features a multi-sensory dining experience to ease feelings of appetite loss and anxiety and encourage the formation of new memories and friendships.
Residents and relatives appreciate the community's attention to detail and engaging itinerary. One reviewer writes, "The dining is very clean and presented very nicely. They have music, bingo, and outings. my grandmother is very busy."
Maplewood at Weston provides memory care to residents near Somerville, MA. Residents receive customized care from 24/7 caregivers to help them with their daily lives. Caregivers assist with grooming, dining and medication management. Licensed nurses at the wellness center coordinate care with doctors and family members, and residents can call nurses at any time with an emergency alarm pendant. Wellness programs provide activities including group games and musical therapy that are designed to keep residents physically and mentally active. Residents can sit or walk with friends on secure outdoor patios and landscaped pathways. Chefs serve meals from an open kitchen, and residents enjoy their meals in multisensory memory care dining rooms designed for comfort. Staff provides daily housekeeping and laundry services. Complimentary transportation is provided to medical appointments and shopping centers.
Family members appreciate the welcoming and informative staff. One writes, "They provided a seamless transition incorporating him in the community with activities, care, and good food. The staff was very responsive to our questions, and attended to the safety and wellbeing of my father as he adjusted in his new home."