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 St. Louis’ senior population continues to grow (9.89% growth between 2013 and 2017), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In St. Louis, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose 71.4% between 2013 and 2017. To put that in perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 7.32%, 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 (6.6% in St. Louis 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 more than a dozen hours researching senior living communities in St. Louis. 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 St. Louis, 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:
Altenheim St. Louis is located in the southern part of the city, situated on the banks of the Mississippi River. Its residents enjoy a customized plan, known as the Life Enrichment program, which focuses on activities that are most likely to stir past memories. Residents can select their own room to get a view of the Mississippi, and staff members determine what daily tasks residents can do to help establish routines. Family members and friends are always welcome to visit, and the facility is pet-friendly. Meals are prepared on-site, and the menu includes rotating selections as well as some favorites that are always served. Amenities include a beauty salon and library, and residents can take part in various activities, such as gardening clubs, movie nights and fitness classes.
Residents and loved ones say that the facility is well-kept, stating, "It’s always very clean, pleasant, calming, staff is polite and very helpful." Loved ones appreciate that activity rooms exist on all floors and say, "We went into one activity room, and there were 10 people playing cards. The activities seemed to be very adequate."
Located in Swansea, Illinois, Bradford Place is a comfortable facility that has been offering assisted living and memory care for more than 20 years. Bradford Place provides a warm, homelike environment and takes pride in its patient, caring staff. The memory care area houses just eight residents, and it has private spaces for dining and daily activities. In addition to meals, housekeeping and laundry, residents receive personalized care from specially trained staff members. Daily programs consider each resident's life experiences, interests and personality type while incorporating elements for increasing appetite, decreasing mood swings and encouraging socialization. With an individual emergency response system, nightly room checks, 24-hour staffing and perimeter security, Bradford Place makes resident safety a high priority.
Residents describe Bradford Place as a clean and comfortable place to call home. A family member also expressed admiration for the full slate of activities commenting that "they've got something going on every day."
Brooking Park is a not-for-profit, faith-based life plan community that offers a spectrum of services. Though Brooking Park has a very large facility, its secure memory care household only serves 20 seniors at a time. The household is designed with a homey, open floor plan that includes a spacious kitchen and beautifully decorated common areas. The staff members who serve in the memory care household are specially trained in assisting residents who have Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other memory-related issues. Thoughtfully planned daily activities include spiritual, social and recreational choices to help keep residents active and engaged in the community. All residents receive daily housekeeping, personal laundry services and chef-prepared meals. When it comes to medical care, the staff collaborates with resident physicians and offers in-house medical and dental services as well as physical, speech, and occupational therapy as needed.
Residents and family members alike describe being pleased with their decision to choose Brooking Park. One resident said, "I can honestly say the professional staff exceeded my expectations." A family member shared that the care her relative received "was thoughtful, compassionate and responsive not only to her needs but ours as well."
Located across the state line in Freeburg, Cedar Trails provides independent living, assisted living and memory care to seniors in the St. Louis area. The community is pet-friendly, and staff will even walk and feed residents’ dogs for a small fee. To help seniors build comfort and trust, the facility assigns specific caregivers to each resident. There are no set meal times in the restaurant-style dining room; instead, seniors have the freedom to eat whenever they want between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Community barbecues, happy hours and Sunday brunches provide opportunities for residents to socialize with their neighbors. At the life stations located throughout the memory care cottage, seniors can participate in self-directed activities that help engage their memories. In this cottage’s backyard, seniors can tend plants with the garden club.
Cedar Trails receives consistent praise from visitors for its friendly staff. "The staff and administration made my mom feel very comfortable,” one reviewer says. "The support staff is outstanding in their sincere and personalized attention to each resident,” another reviewer agrees. Reviewers also say the facility is clean and well-maintained.
Fountain View Manor is a homey, welcoming memory care community in Granite City, Illinois. This facility cares for residents with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia through a special partnership with the Center for Applied Research in Dementia. The facility was designed with these residents in mind, and the specially trained staff uses the Spark method to provide personalized care. Fountain View residents enjoy chef-prepared meals with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Dietary considerations for specific health-related needs can be accommodated easily since the meals are freshly prepared. Thanks to a cozy fireplace and piano, the dining area has a cozy homelike ambiance. An on-site lifestyle coordinator plans a variety of activities to keep residents engaged, and coordinated transportation services make it easier for seniors to travel to appointments or special events.
Residents and their loved ones describe the staff at Fountain View as involved and caring. One friend comments, "It was obvious by watching them work and talking with them that they cared deeply about the residents they supported." In particular, seniors describe being treated with dignity, compassion and patience.
McKnight Place Assisted Living, located just off Interstate 170 in St. Louis, is an upscale assisted living and memory care provider. Residents live in luxurious studio or one-bedroom apartments with bay windows, granite countertops and other high-end features. With many convenient on-site amenities, residents are free to watch movies in the theater, tend to plants in the greenhouse or enjoy cold treats in the ice cream parlor. The facility’s driver provides transportation in a luxury business car. Memory care residents have access to additional amenities, including an enclosed courtyard with a fountain. They even have an aviary and aquarium. Through the Forget-Me-Not program, each resident’s care program is customized based on their interests and strengths.
McKnight Place Assisted Living receives compliments for its many amenities. "They also had gorgeous outdoor spaces and an atrium with a gigantic birdcage,” a visitor says. Reviewers also mention the many activities available to residents. "They have activities like sculpting, painting and gardening. You can be as busy as you want to be.”
Sycamore Village is located on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in the St. Louis suburb of Swansea. Memory care residents complete an assessment before joining the community, giving staff a sense of the resident's history and personality to help them adjust to the new surroundings. Residents receive personalized 24-hour care, and the facility includes specially designed furniture and wander-prevention systems for safety. Amenities include walking paths, putting greens and a spa, and residents engage in several activities, such as bingo, movie nights and fitness classes. Meals are served in restaurant-style dining rooms and prepared on-site by an executive chef. Residents also have the option of eating in their rooms or enjoying a private dining room when loved ones come to visit.
Residents and loved ones are pleased with the helpful demeanor of staff members, saying, "The staff is friendly and knowledgeable; they answer all of our questions and have tons of patience." Loved ones also appreciate the condition of the rooms, stating that the property "has very nice large rooms and is well decorated. It’s very pretty and well taken care of."
Located minutes from Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Interstate 70, The Boulevard of St. Charles Senior Living is an independent living, assisted living and memory care community in St. Charles, Missouri. This facility provides well-appointed accommodations, many of which have kitchenettes or full kitchens. Residents can work out in the fitness room, watch a movie in the theater or read a book in the library. They can also participate in shuffleboard games and ice cream socials. The Memory Care Garden Club is an especially popular activity that allows residents to beautify the community. The facility even welcomes pets and can arrange for them to be fed, walked and looked after for an extra fee.
The Boulevard of St. Charles gets plenty of praise for having kind, considerate staff members. One resident’s relative writes, "I like the staff. Everybody seems to be super good. They're very nice, easy to work with, informative and cooperative.”
The Villas of Holly Brook is located in a quiet neighborhood right off South Buff Road. This facility provides care plans tailored to each resident's needs and cognitive capacity to help memory care patients continue to lead active, vibrant lives. It has family and friend support groups to help loved ones learn more about memory-related diseases and how they can maintain positive relationships. Wellness staff is on the premises around the clock for any resident needs, including medication management, housekeeping and laundry, and transportation services are available. An indoor and outdoor courtyard are provided for the residents so they can enjoy the company of other seniors in a secure area, and the garden space provides the opportunity to sit, relax and enjoy nature.
Reviewers praise the facility for its beautiful modern decor and note that the staff is friendly and accommodating. One reviewer says, "The property was amazing! The employees were wonderful. My Dad was treated like a member of their own family. We couldn't have found a better Home for our Dad. If anyone is looking for a place for loved ones, you wont find a better place than Holly Brook!"