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 Tacoma’s senior population continues to grow (21.73% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Tacoma, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased by 20.47% between 2014 and 2019. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is slightly higher than the rest of the nation (6.84% in Tacoma 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 Tacoma. 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 Tacoma, 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:
Bridgeport Place Assisted Living is a senior living community located in University Place, WA. Residents in need of memory care join the In The Moment program, which removes structured daily schedules in favor of resident choice and friendly assistive guidance from trained staff. Apartments are available in several unique floor plans, and each features emergency call systems for safety. An on-site chef creates delicious and healthy meals from scratch each day, and the community dining room provides an open and social dining experience. Residences have access to a variety of targeted memory care programming throughout the day, including art expression classes and personalized music sessions, as well as chair exercise and walking clubs in the courtyard. Additionally, the Continuing Education program involves local educators for discussions, classes and projects such as creating memory journals for moments of recollection.
Residents and their families praise the community's warm and inviting atmosphere, and the staff is often commended for its personable care. One family member says, "My mom has resided at this facility for years and thinks of it as a comfortable and safe home. The staff has been very kind and compassionate."
Cascade Park Gardens specializes in memory care, which means that programming caters to various cognitive conditions. The community utilizes person-centered care as a construct for memory care, which means that each resident gets a customized care plan upon moving in. Residents participate in activities to aid in cognitive skill retention, including current events discussions and physical fitness activities. Additional options for engagement include bingo, movie nights with popcorn, scenic drives around the greater Tacoma area, aromatherapy sessions and painting classes. Private and shared living spaces offer a modicum of independence, while also encouraging memory care residents to interact with one another. This also allows staff to offer residents as much assistance as they need with the activities of daily living.
Residents and their loves ones offer kudos to this community for the specialization in memory care, which creates beneficial programming that is effective and engaging. The environment of the facility and its living spaces are also noted. One writes, "The staff was very friendly, very open ... the way the staff treated me, it was excellent."
GenCare Lifestyle Federal Way is a short walk from numerous retail shops, banks, restaurants and state parks. Its 24-hour nursing staff is trained to assist residents with everyday activities, including bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing, dining and medications. The community's memory care program is designed to exercise the mind of those with cognitive issues, and a secure outdoor walking area is available. GenCare offers short-term respite care of loved ones when family members need a break. To remain active, seniors can take part in daily exercise classes and social activities and visit the fitness center and the sports court. Its bistro-style dining has gluten-free and diabetic-friendly menu options. Residents can get their hair done at the salon and use the available transportation services to travel to doctor's appointments or shopping trips. GenCare keeps rooms tidy with its weekly laundry and housekeeping services.
Reviewers share that GenCare Lifestyle Federal Way has professional staff and is a nice community to live in. One writes, "The whole facility was modern, clean, and set up really nice. There were a lot of lights, and it was homey. The staff was very informative."
GenCare Lifestyle Tacoma at Point Ruston is a luxury senior living community that offers scenic views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountains. The Peak memory care program features comfortable suites with easy access to spacious and secure outdoor courtyards. All staff members are specially trained in the latest techniques for assisting seniors with cognitive disorders. A team of caregiving guides is available 24/7 to support, monitor and assist residents, and the program director is there to ensure that every senior experiences moments of joy and purpose in their daily lives through a variety of activities and social events. Some of the activities offered include pet therapy, music therapy, intergenerational programs, light exercise classes and art classes. Each resident has a personalized wellness program that is designed to meet their individual physical and mental needs. Complimentary scheduled transport is provided.
Residents appreciate the resort-style amenities and excellent staff, saying, "The staff is amazing, accommodated all our needs. The building is generally clean and the atmosphere makes you feel like you live in a resort without being in an actual resort. The aesthetics of the place is very pleasant and the residents are very friendly and social."
Hearthside Manor Memory Care is a unique memory care community that consists of four beautiful buildings with nine apartments each, providing individualized care and interaction within a smaller group of seniors. Weekly housekeeping and laundry services are provided. Professional caregivers are available 24/7 to assist residents with their activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, grooming and personal hygiene. The community offers active life enrichment programs such as Brain Builders for seniors with mobility issues to play cards, puzzles and board games and Brain Music to play personalized music selections to stimulate good memories and happy times. Three delicious homestyle meals are served in the main dining room in a family-style setting. Snacks are available throughout the day.
Family members praise the compassionate staff, with one saying, "Hearthside Manor is a wonderful place. The kind and caring staff is the absolute best. They took such good care of my husband before he passed. I am so thankful to have found this facility and would highly recommend it.”
Meridian at Stone Creek is an award-winning senior living community with scenic views of Mt. Rainier. Its pet-friendly apartments are situated close to shopping, dining and entertainment venues. Its memory care residents live in a safe and secure neighborhood, specifically designed to accommodate those with memory loss and enabling them to live as independently as possible. Treatment plans are created through assessments of each resident and are customized to their specific needs and abilities. Spaces have additionally been designed for ease of navigation and are visible from all common living areas. The community’s amenities include a 24-hour concierge, a full-service salon, daily fitness classes and housekeeping services. Meridian at Stone Creek also offers a number of lovely outdoor areas and walking paths that allow residents to spend quality time in a natural setting.
A resident’s family member is grateful for the lifestyle and support their mother enjoys at the community, saying, "We love it there. The staff is very knowledgeable and caring. The food is great and the variety on the menus is awesome. ... I would recommend The Meridian at Stonecreek to all my family and friends. Thank you the Meridian for the awesome experience.”
Merrill Gardens is located across from the Sounder train station in historic downtown Auburn, near restaurants, stores and a variety of entertainment options. Its memory care program is designed to meet the needs of residents living with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive issues. A caring staff is available 24/7 to assist seniors with everyday necessities, including bathing, dressing, grooming, dining and medication management. To keep residents as active as possible, the community employs an Active Living Program Director who oversees a wide range of activities, including yoga, swimming, bingo, movies, picnics and even bread baking. The community boasts a theater, a library and secure outdoor courtyards for residents to safely use. Its restaurant-style dining room is open for seniors to enjoy a home-cooked meal on their own schedule. Merrill Gardens provides a convenient transportation service for residents who need to get to a doctor's appointment or who may want to do some shopping.
A family member writes, "I would highly recommend Merrill Gardens of Auburn to anyone looking to move their loved one into an Assisted Living Facility in the area. I am very happy I found Merrill Gardens for my mother."
Merrill Gardens at Tacoma is a continuum of living senior community located in a peaceful neighborhood. The Garden House is the memory care-specific section of the community where seniors with cognitive disorders can relax in a safe and secure environment that has been specifically designed to meet their needs. The team of memory care staff spends time getting to know the meaningful details of each resident's life so they can create activities that are enjoyable and ensure they receive personalized care that is tailored to their needs. Some of the activities offered include music therapy, art therapy, light exercise classes, brain games and supervised outings to local attractions. Families are encouraged to take part in activities with their loved ones. A team of certified caregiving staff is available 24/7 to carefully monitor residents and provide assistance or support as needed.
Family members are impressed by the well-maintained facility and the wonderful caregiving staff with one saying, "Merrill Gardens provides us the freedom and comfort to know Mom is within a caring and very well managed facility that provides a wonderful home for Mom between our weekly visits."
Mirror Lake Village Senior Living Community provides memory care to seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive issues. The specially trained staff is available 24/7 to assist residents with the activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming and personal hygiene. Individualized care plans are created to meet the level of care each resident needs to promote their mental, physical and social well-being. Residents are encouraged to maximize their independence by engaging in life-enrichment activities including arts and crafts, cards, bingo, movie night, exercise classes and walks through the beautiful enclosed courtyard. Restaurant-style dining is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and residents have the option to order the daily special or from the anytime menu. Snacks and beverages are available all day at the Bistro Lounge.
Seniors describe the beautiful, spacious apartments, with one saying, "A beautiful new place to make a home. Fresh, modern cottages and spacious apartments ranging from Independent living all the way to Memory Care. The staff is always so helpful and greets me with a smile.”
Narrows Glen is a senior living community located in Tacoma, WA. Its Enliven Memory Care program combines specially trained staff and purposely designed living areas to create a neighborhood conducive to continued mental well-being and health. Floor plans, which are spacious and easy to navigate, feature private bathrooms and emergency call systems in each residence. The 24/7 staff assists with personal care needs, and licensed nurses offer consistent health monitoring and oversight. Daily schedules for each resident include music and art expression, technology sessions focusing on brain fitness and engaging games to promote socialization and mental health. Family-style dining serves delicious, healthy meals in a familiar setting. Additionally, small group activities happen organically and are encouraged by the staff.
Residents and their families consistently praise the community for its inviting, homelike atmosphere. Reviewers praise the staff's personable care, with one family member saying, "Narrows Glen Senior Living has the most thoughtful and helpful team of employees. The facility is always clean, and the residents are well cared for and happy."
Normandy Park Senior Living is an assisted living and memory care community located 10 miles south of downtown Seattle. A secured memory village within features the Today's Memories program, which focuses on residents' histories, health care needs and personal interests to develop individualized care plans. Full of natural light and open spaces for easy navigation, the secure neighborhood is designed with familiarity and calm in mind. Residents live in private or shared apartments, each equipped with emergency call systems for peace of mind. Trained staff is on hand 24/7 to assist with daily personal care needs and provide consistent, familiar companionship. The community's outdoor courtyard is secure, allowing residents to safely walk along the paths and view the peaceful landscaping without accidentally exiting the grounds. Daily activity schedules are structured around engagement and socialization, including craft groups and computer lessons for mental stimulation.
Residents and their families consistently praise the staff and their commitment to compassionate care. One daughter of a resident says, "The caring staff understands the unique needs of my mom. They truly get to know their residents and their families. So friendly and thoughtful!"
Olympic Alzheimer's Residence is a Prestige Care community that provides memory care in an idyllic tree-studded setting along the Tacoma Narrows and offers a secure courtyard with gardens and walking paths for residents to safely enjoy the outdoors. This community exclusively cares for seniors with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of memory loss, allowing staff to focus on the particular needs of these residents. The award-winning Expressions Memory Care Program keeps residents active and engaged by creating meaningful events out of everyday activities and giving residents creative outlets for expressing themselves, tailored to each individual's needs and preferences. The Ageless Grace program enhances the body and mind by using games and physical activity designed to activate and restore neural pathways. Other offered activities include gentle yoga, book club meetings, choir practice and poetry. Residents are also allowed to keep small pets.
What sets this community apart for the residents and their families is the warm staff who get to know each resident personally. As one family member states, "She has had extraordinary care by some of the most patient and caring people! They take such good care of each of the residents, even though some cannot speak of their needs."
Located in Tacoma, WA, Peoples Retirement Community is dedicated to providing a safe and engaging neighborhood for seniors. Residents in need of specialized memory care live in the self-contained Special Care Unit, a purposefully designed secure neighborhood staffed by trained memory care specialists. Private apartments are equipped with emergency call systems and feature shared bathrooms, while the staff utilizes regular safety checks throughout the day to assist with personalized daily care needs. The Special Care Unit also contains enclosed courtyards for ample outdoor opportunities, as well as familiar surroundings to help with navigation. An on-site wellness clinic offers comprehensive health care for all residents, including regular health screenings, illness treatments and injury recovery. Daily schedules are based on personal needs and desires, allowing residents to partake in activities and engagement opportunities that recall memories, promote socialization and enhance positive feelings.
Residents and their families consistently praise the staff for its kind and compassionate care, and the community is commended for its homelike environment. One family member says, "The staff have gone beyond to try and make my mom's transition a good experience."
Pioneer Place Memory Care Community is located in Tacoma, WA. Designed specifically for memory care, the community showcases comfortable, homelike features such as cozy lounge areas, safety-oriented building designs and security equipment throughout the neighborhood to ensure resident safety. Specially trained staff are on hand 24/7 to assist with personal care and routine safety checks, and the community has access to local clinical and physician services. Residents live in private or shared apartments that can include furnishings or are ready for favorite belongings from home. Delicious, healthy homemade meals are served three times each day, with nutritious snacks and beverages available at all times. Engaging programming focuses on residents' favorite hobbies and activities, such as gardening groups, sewing arts and sharing stories with friends.
Residents and their families praise the warm and inviting community, and especially the compassionate staff. One family member says, "They took wonderful care of our mother. The staff went above and beyond on a regular basis, and their compassion was felt whenever we would visit."
Prestige Senior Living Auburn Meadows is located in a quiet neighborhood, within close proximity to downtown Seattle and the Puget Sound area. It has an award-winning memory care program that provides the most advanced techniques in dementia care and keeps residents involved in life engagement activities. It also provides residents opportunities for self-expression through programs focusing on arts and creativity and learning and spirituality, turning daily activities into positive, meaningful experiences. Activities are also centered around the joy of cooking and eating, creativity and enjoyment through art and music, inner peace through spiritual practice and regular physical exercise through classes or walks along the community’s tree-lined paths. Prestige also fosters happiness and longevity in residents and encourages socializing and making meaningful connections with others as a highlight of daily living experience.
Visitors appreciate the community’s spaciousness, many activities and caring staff. One says, "The staff is very helpful. They are very kind and accommodating. The rooms and apartments are very nice and very large. ... They have trips and exercise programs. They have painting programs too. ... It is very nice.”
Spring Ridge is a one-story retirement community situated on manicured grounds featuring gardens, enclosed courtyards and views of Mount Rainier. The community's 24-hour dementia care team provides personalized support that helps seniors with Alzheimer's and related conditions enjoy distress-free days and rediscover old passions. An activities director also plans monthly life enrichment calendars featuring daily events and activities adapted to individual talents, interests and cognitive limitations. These include music sensory programs, ice cream socials, puzzles, word searches, bingo and life story chats. All memory care studios are easy to navigate with space for treasured pieces of familiar furniture. Residents receive regular snacks and three daily portion-controlled meals selected from dietitian-approved, homestyle menus. Community conveniences include cable, weekly housekeeping, scheduled personal transportation, regular health checks and a private dining room for special celebrations.
Seniors here enjoy the caring attitude of the staff. One says, "I am living at Spring Ridge. It's an extremely nice place, with very helpful attendants. ... The food is very well prepared with a lot of variety." A family member mentions, "The best thing (and most important to us) is the open communication. We know we can call anytime with questions or concerns."
The Cottages at Edgewood is a purpose-built memory care community that consists of three cottages of 20 residents each for an intimate environment with maximum personal attention. Interior courtyards let residents safely exercise and walk within a secure space, and each cottage has a kitchen, a dining room, laundry and a living room area so residents feel at home. The highly trained staff is available 24/7, and licensed nurses are available on-site five days a week. A physician visits the community once a week to deliver health care is provided. Daily activities keep residents engaged based on their individual abilities and needs.
Family members love the quality of care available here. One said, "I just had the best experience, seeing caregivers dance with her and other residents in the living room. … [The former director of nursing] worked hard getting her on the right medications. I feel like I have my aunt back again!"
Located roughly 14 minutes southwest of Tacoma city center, The Cottages at University Place is a tranquil memory care community comprised of self-contained, cozy cottages that border Meadow Park Golf Course. Each cottage provides a small group of seniors with familiar, homelike surroundings and one-on-one, round-the-clock care and supervision. Free movement around the community is never restricted as main exit doors open into a secure, manicured courtyard featuring walking paths and comfortable seating areas for socializing or relaxing. Some community members enjoy scheduled group flower arranging classes, birthday parties and holiday celebrations while all benefit from tailored daily activities designed to minimize dementia-related distress. Licensed nurses are on-site every day of the week and provide 24/7 on-call services for emergencies. A visiting physician also provides weekly on-site consultations for residents with travel limitations.
Family members value the clean community, reassuring communications and skilled caregivers. One community member's son says, "The administrative staff are super attentive, the buildings and grounds are home-like and well-kept and the caretakers seem to really care about [my mother]...every time I've been over there the cooking odors coming from the kitchen smell delicious."
The Village Senior Living is a vibrant community that takes a holistic approach to memory care. It focuses on emotional support for memory care residents, as well as mental stimulation through activities such as practical tasks — including writing — games and puzzles. The community hosts frequent social gatherings to encourage residents to interact with one another at barbecues, ice cream socials and storytelling times. Physical activity options for memory care residents are organic and include walking, dancing or gardening, depending on personal interest. Art is a component of therapy here, with access to arts and crafts, decorating and other forms of expression. Nutrition is part of the emphasis on quality care, so mealtimes are centered on stimulation and comfort, while snacks are offered to residents throughout the day.
The ability to participate in different activities is one of the things residents say they enjoy most about this community. One writes, "I decided to move into The Village. I like to teach crafts and sew, and I've met people who do both here. I'll be able to volunteer and do some good in the community."
Village Concepts of Auburn - Brannan Park is conveniently located near performing arts venues, retail shopping, restaurants and golf courses. The village includes a park with a scenic view of Mount Rainier, encouraging memory care residents to engage with nature. Its dedicated care staff is trained to assist seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive impairments. Three nutritious meals are served each day along with coffee and snacks. Residents are encouraged to stay active by going on social or recreational outings, exercising at the wellness center, reading in the library or watching a movie in the media room. All activities are encouraged to promote cognitive stimulation and social interaction. The community's other amenities include an on-site hair salon, chapel, bistro and weekly housekeeping and laundry services. In partnership with other communities, residents enjoy baseball, ice cream socials, local trips and friendly games of bean toss.
Reviewers appreciate the community's welcoming atmosphere. One says, "Brannan Park (Village Concepts of Auburn - Brannan Park) is very clean with really nice staff members. It's very warm, cozy, and comfortable. The clients there seemed to be happy and friendly."