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 The Villages’ senior population continues to grow (30.82% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In The Villages, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 10.87% between 2014 and 2019, showing that Alzheimer’s is a serious concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (1.92% in The Villages 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 The Villages. 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 The Villages, 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:
Atria Lady Lake offers seniors numerous amenities and services aimed at improving their daily lives. Its secured campus features walking paths, a putting green and a community garden where residents can safely participate in outdoor activities. Additional features include a salon, barber shop and spa that let seniors easily maintain their appearance, and numerous common areas where residents can gather for conversations and games with their peers. Friendly staff members that are carefully trained in helping individuals with dementia are on call 24/7 to ensure residents' requests are fulfilled in a timely manner, and seniors can request escort and transfer assistance as needed. A fitness center, therapy room and cognitive learning center are available on-site, and staff members regularly hold enriching activities designed to help seniors remain physically and mentally engaged.
Residents and their family members are impressed with the inviting atmosphere at Atria Lady Lake. Visitors echo the praise, with one stating, "The place was very light and airy. It was all on one floor which was a plus. The staff was very helpful and very attentive and accommodating to their residents."
Brookdale Chambrel Pinecastle holds monthly training sessions for its staff members to ensure seniors receive high-quality care. The community provides a range of services from independent living apartments to signature memory care programs, making it easy for residents to age in place. Its professional staff members set up unique care plans for each resident that's suited to their abilities, personality, and condition. Caregivers are on hand 24 hours a day to lend assistance with daily activities, and the secured campus is specially designed with visual cues to help residents comfortably navigate the area. Seniors are served three dishes from an easy-to-understand menu each day with the offerings changing seasonally to boost interest. Stimulating activities aimed at promoting mental wellness are held frequently, and staff members regularly host games and parties to encourage social interaction among residents.
Residents and their loved ones express gratitude for the attentive staff members at Brookdale Chambrel Pinecastle. One senior's daughter says, "I told her that he liked oatmeal cookies, so she brought him that as well as chocolate. The place is very accommodating. They were playing memory games when I was there, and the residents were participating very eagerly."
Situated in the heart of Ocala, Brookdale Paddock Hills provides memory care and assisted living to seniors in a rural atmosphere, with proximity to city amenities such as shopping, dining and medical facilities. On-site common areas include a cozy community room, library and beauty salon/barbershop. Residents can sit out on the spacious porch or enjoy the fresh air in the courtyard. Meals are provided, along with housekeeping, laundry and transportation, and there’s a wide variety of activities and events. The community provides memory care using the Clare Bridge Daily Path program, an evidence-based approach to help seniors maintain and improve their cognitive function. Residents can participate in daily activities such as fitness classes and brain games. Available 24/7, staff members are trained in the latest memory care and dementia techniques.
Residents and family members love the home-like atmosphere and caring staff. One writes, "My mom is so happy here. … Everyone there makes her feel like she is truly at home.” Another resident adds, "It was a clean facility and I just felt at home and also felt there was a feeling of warmth from staff to patient and vice versa.”
CERTUS Premier Memory Care Living is a retirement community that focuses on caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive conditions. The well-planned residence features color codes, efficient lighting and visual cues that support easy navigation, with plenty of relaxing areas that promote social engagement. Utilizing evidence- and research-based techniques, the community’s signature programs help in creating positive experiences for residents. For instance, SPIN focuses on activities that enhance social, physical, intellectual and nutritional wellness, and the award-winning Musical Breath program harnesses the power of music to improve sleeping and eating habits and encourage peer interaction. Seniors stay physically fit through a variety of exercises offered through the Fits Moments program, with gardening and other simple chores serving as alternative strengthening activities for those who can’t participate in traditional physical exercises.
Family members appreciate the support they receive as they deal with challenging situations. One says, "He enjoys the freedom to roam, the delicious food, the engaging employees who show him much kindness and caring. As he progresses with this horrible disease, Alzheimer’s, they are there every step of the way. Their facility is exactly what I was looking for.”
Élan Spanish Springs is a senior living community with a boutique hotel style and a range of resort-style amenities. The Cottage memory care section focuses on creating moments of happiness for the residents each day to give them a sense of purpose and joy. Activities are designed to suit the interests and abilities of residents and may include art classes, gardening, themed sensory boxes, interactive life or work stations and Ageless Grace exercise classes. The ratio of staff to residents is high to ensure that the residents receive warm and compassionate personalized care from the staff. A team of dedicated caregivers is always on hand to assist residents in any way they can, and all staff members are certified in working with seniors with cognitive impairment disorders. Three home-style meals are served family-style each day and social interaction is encouraged.
Family members praise the excellent staff and range of activities offered with one reviewer saying, "My mom's care is very good at Élan Spanish Springs. The director does a very nice job. The nurses seem to be very professional. ... Everything seems to be 5-star. They provide laundry service, dining, music, bingo, and arts and crafts."
Freedom Pointe at The Villages offers memory care, assisted living and independent living and is located next to UF Health The Villages Hospital in The Villages, Florida. This community’s memory care program is based on a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of each resident’s remaining abilities to cultivate a sense of pride and dignity. Residents can update their appearance at the on-site beauty shop, work on creative projects in the arts and crafts studio and stay active by participating in exercise classes. They can also enjoy nutritious foods served from a menu developed by culinary associates, dietitians and dementia-care experts and dine in an environment where they can receive assistance as needed.
Freedom Pointe at The Villages earns rave reviews for being a welcoming community with caring staff members. One resident’s family member states, "They were very personable, patient and kind with their interactions with the residents as well as with all of the visitors… and overall it was a great location that helped get my wife's grandmother healthy again.”
Hampton Manor Assisted Living at Belleview provides a peaceful and serene environment to serve as a backdrop for its memory care programming. The busy activities calendar provides memory care patients with options that emphasize connections, including writing letters to loved ones and picture days. Physical fitness is also prioritized, with residents taking part in games, basketball and massage therapy. The courtyard is a common spot for resident gatherings, and the communal interior spaces promote engagement among residents as well.
Reviews of Hampton Manor Assisted Living at Belleview discuss the compassion and respect shown to residents at all levels of care. Many emphasize the staff, with one noting, "We looked at many memory care facilities before choosing Hampton Manor Belleview. The best part is the wonderful staff. Without exception, we found them to be the most caring, kind and compassionate people."
HarborChase of Villages Crossing is an assisted living and memory care community located less than 2 miles from UF Health The Villages Hospital and the La Plaza Grande West shopping center in Lady Lake, FL. The staff is trained in the latest memory care techniques and uses gentle reminders and customized care plans to help ensure that residents feel safe and comfortable. Family members are also encouraged to play an active role in their loved one’s care. The Cove memory care neighborhood provides a comfortable, inviting environment and offers programs built around activities meant to stimulate residents and enhance their mental, physical and social wellness. They can participate in guided meditation, work on craft-making projects and attend dining events.
Reviewers appreciate that HarborChase of Villages Crossing is an attractive community with kind staff and plenty of amenities. One remarks, "I liked HarborChase of Villages Crossing very much … It was very beautiful, and they had a bar when you come in. The staff and the residents were very nice. They had a chapel and gave us cookies when we left.”
Located in sunny Florida, HarborChase of Wildwood is a close-knit retirement community that offers resort-style amenities and upscale accommodations. In the community's memory care neighborhood, The Cove, seniors with memory-related conditions receive comprehensive dementia care from a professional team of caregivers specially trained in the latest memory care techniques and therapies. Designed to promote healthy, dignified living, care plans are tailored to each resident’s Silhouette of My Life profile, which chronicles past experiences and unique interests. The staff schedules meaningful activities that promote cognitive health and help achieve personal goals. Daily calendars are filled with creative cooking and painting classes, stretching exercises, IQ games, friendly discussions and other fun, productive activities that residents can share with peers and families. The community’s luxurious services and hospitality are evident in its intimate dining program, which offers nutritious food selections served in a comfortable restaurant-style setting.
People like the intimate, nurturing environment, welcoming outdoor areas and friendly staff. "Facility is quite nice and smaller than most of the others in the area. Better attention to memory care patients. Nurses knew who we were before we even met them. Mother has been very happy there. Great response to immediate needs,” says one family member.
Located in the small, peaceful community of Altoona, Lakeview Terrace serves seniors who need help with assisted living and memory care. Residents are welcomed into a warm, safe environment with around-the-clock access to the center’s professional staff. Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other impairments live in a secure gated area with supervision 24/7 by a nursing team that also offers medication management, outpatient rehabilitation, and physical, occupational or speech therapy. The in-house Life Enrichment Program stimulates the minds of residents with classes and lectures, reading clubs, Bible study and groups for theater, music and poetry. Assistance with laundry and housekeeping is available, and three nutritious meals are served per day, with special options for those with dietary restrictions. Multiple on-site activities preserve seniors’ cognitive and physical functions, including therapeutic recreation, fitness, gardening, golf and yoga. Transportation and religious services are also provided.
Reviews often praise the center’s amenities and its efforts to make seniors feel at home. As one reviewer writes, "This is one of the nicest retirement communities I’ve visited. Nice houses, neat little community with a mini-golf course. The food at the cafeteria was tasty and inexpensive — the residents never need to cook… The layout is huge, and there’s a really great fitness center.”
Mission Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care is located in south Oxford, FL, just a short distance from the Villages, with easy access to shopping and dining. Medical care is available on-site and Select Specialty Hospital is located less than 2 miles away. The community offers a dedicated and secure memory care neighborhood with a comfortable, homelike environment that provides residents with a sense of belonging. Trained staff are available 24/7 to assist with many tasks, including the activities of daily living. Memory care residents can also engage in memory games and other enriching daily activities. Amenities include a spacious common area, library, movie theater, ice cream parlor and therapy and spa suite. Meals, housekeeping, transportation and concierge services are all provided, along with a wide range of daily activities.
Family members appreciate the home-like atmosphere and caring staff. One reviewer writes, "The staff is fantastic at this facility... the leadership is fantastic. You could not ask for a better group of people to take care of your mom or dad.” Another adds, "The atmosphere was homey, and the many staff and residents we met were so friendly and welcoming.”
Located in central Florida and less than an hour northwest of Orlando, Osprey Lodge of Tavares offers a specialized memory care program, Ensemble, for seniors diagnosed with dementia and memory disorders. The program focuses on a whole-person approach that combines mind, body and spirit and uses familiar objects and routines to stimulate engagement. Ensemble neighborhoods are designed to create a home-like environment that promotes a sense of emotional security and belonging. Residents can join regularly scheduled card games and trivia nights to socialize, stay physically active by participating in daily community walks, and take baking classes to develop new skills.
People are impressed with the staff and surroundings at Osprey. One reviewer writes, "My father is a resident in the memory care facility. From the director to the cleaning crew and everyone in between have been a pleasure to work with. They get to know the family members of their residents personally. The MC nurses are providing care for my father far beyond any care I could provide. The staff is helping my family cope with the Alzheimer's process by providing their knowledge and understanding of this terrible disease. I know my father is in good hands."
Located in a vibrant neighborhood close to leisure parks and medical facilities, Regency Park Assisted Living Facility provides personalized senior care complemented by an array of convenient, homelike amenities. A nurturing environment awaits seniors at its memory care community, supported by Alzheimer’s and dementia care that includes behavior management, assistance with activities of daily living and access to 24-hour nursing care and third-party healthcare services. The staff is trained to manage the various risks and complications related to cognitive conditions, such as wandering, dehydration, weight loss, infections and behavior changes. The resident physician customizes medication programs according to individual needs and ensures that timely changes in prescriptions are in place when health conditions change. Regency Park promotes social well-being through an abundance of engaging activities. Whether it’s a cookout, afternoon movie, Sunday services or birthday celebrations, there’s always something to support seniors’ different interests and preferences.
Family members love to visit for get-togethers and are pleased with the staff’s friendly and welcoming attitude. One says, ”Everybody there knows everybody, and they all call each other by their first names. The whole staff greets you with open arms every day. They have activities and entertainment for the residents every week.
Part of The Villages retirement community in central Florida, Serenades at The Villages is a custom-built memory care community for seniors. Residents are placed in small and intimate neighborhoods around a secure courtyard to encourage independence and interaction in a comfortable, home-like setting. Visual cues help with navigation, while full spectrum lighting and home-like design and décor helps residents stay at ease. Walking paths, water features and raised flower beds provide a multi-sensory connection with nature. Meals, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance and transportation services are all provided. Dementia-certified caregivers and licensed nurses are available 24/7 to provide customized care and assistance with daily living, mobility and medication management. Residents also have access to a full spectrum of activities and programs for the mind, body and spirit, along with an individualized music and memory program.
Family members love the small, intimate community and the highly trained staff. As one reviewer writes, "Amazing care throughout the building, the caretakers have become family...5 STARS.” Another reviewer adds, "Wonderful care and such a beautiful building, well maintained building and staff is well trained. My family is very happy with the care that my mother is receiving.”
Part of The Villages retirement community in central Florida, Sumter Senior Living offers memory care, assisted living, independent living and respite care in luxurious surroundings. The community offers a dedicated, secure neighborhood for memory care residents. Specially designed neighborhood features include a calming physical environment, landmarks and sensory cues to help with navigation, and living and dining spaces presented in residential settings. The signature Village Program offers a personalized approach that engages residents in activities tailored to their former interests, skills and lifestyle. Highly trained staff is available around the clock, and can assist with the activities of daily living, cueing, reminders and medication management.
Family members and loved ones appreciate the caring and friendly staff, and the quality of the food. One family member writes, "In laws live there. It is very friendly and service is good. Food choices are very good.” Another reviewer concurs, writing, "Great staff. Great food.”
The Cove at Tavares Village uses professional assisted living and memory care services to enhance the quality of life for seniors that struggle with daily tasks. Its homelike campus is specially designed to create a comforting atmosphere where residents can relax, and friendly staff members, including nurses that receive ongoing training in elder care, are on-site 24/7. At-home visits with physicians, podiatrists and dentists can be arranged so seniors don't have to leave the familiarity of the community for routine appointments and medical care, and specialized therapies that employ massage, pets and music are included in the daily wellness programming to encourage mental engagement and stimulation. Residents can choose three meals each day from a variety of delicious menu items, and personalized dining assistance is available.
The Cove at Tavares Villages' caregivers receive high praise from one resident's granddaughter for their dedication to making residents comfortable. She shares, "The staff I have witnessed have all been attentive, interactive and caring. Clean with a lovely Hair salon and cute rooms. My grandma lives in the Alzheimer’s unit. The atmosphere is always calm and relaxing."
The Willows at Wildwood is a luxury senior community that provides memory care, assisted living and independent living. Conveniently located near The Villages in Oxford, FL, numerous shops, restaurants, parks and medical facilities are nearby. The community provides memory care residents with secured outdoor patios and specially designed dementia-friendly apartments, menus and programming with its signature Opal program. Enriching activities take into consideration each resident’s life story, skills and interests. Residents are encouraged to stay active, to perform tasks with purpose, to express themselves creatively and to participate in art, music and horticulture therapies. Amenities include a bistro, library, theater, living room and recreational areas. Meals, housekeeping and transportation are all provided. Residents can also enjoy a robust calendar of activities and events.
Family members often mention the caring staff and the quality of the food. As one reviewer writes, "The care that he receives has been good. The facility is very clean. The food is very good.” Another adds, "The staff is really great, seem interested in Dad, and remembered his name right away. They don't walk by anybody without saying 'Hi.'”
Village Veranda at Lady Lake is nestled in nature in the south of Lady Lake. In the center of the town residents can find a variety of health care facilities, including UF Health The Villages Hospital. There is a secure memory care wing, designed with security and easy navigation in mind to help seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia feel at home. The community has a communal lounge area and a beautiful courtyard with outdoor seating for residents to relax and socialize together. The specially trained caregivers deliver personalized care and assistance with daily tasks 24/7, as well as housekeeping and laundry. There are also some engaging scheduled activities, designed to reduce memory decline and to optimize physical and mental wellbeing. Activities include music therapy, brain games and stretching classes. Three fresh meals are provided every day in the dining area.
Family members praise the modern amenities and the excellent rooms, with one reviewer saying, "Overall, it was a beautiful place, because it was brand new. The staff was fine, she was the only one we talked to, the rooms were very nice, definitely adequate. The dining area was nice, large, and very clean."
Vista Lake Assisted Living provides memory care services amid a lush green Florida landscape. Each memory care resident receives a customized care plan that includes meal preferences and routines that make them most comfortable. Activities focus on being present and promoting a sense of calm. Community amenities include restaurant-style dining, screened lanais, a fireside living room and an on-site beauty salon and barber shop. The community is pet-friendly, and memory care residents have access to staff 24 hours a day.
Resident reviews emphasize the beauty of the community and the easy navigation for memory care residents. The inclusion of amenities is also a point of note. One writes, "Vista Lake was nice. I liked the courtyard... where they can go out in the memory care unit, but they can't leave. They can walk around in the yard and sit outside."
Located in a quiet semi-rural setting, YourLife of Wildwood focuses its services exclusively on memory care for residents. The community emphasizes cognitively engaging residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia to improve quality of life. This memory care approach involves scheduled outings that are combined with therapeutic sessions in music, art, culture and physical exercise. Pet therapy is also included. All of these are practiced through the YourStory program, which personalizes therapy preferences and resident interests without applying rigid schedules. Dining, personal care and health services are also customized to each resident through the YourStory program to create an experience that’s as comfortable as possible for each client. The community’s general amenities include a licensed nursing staff that’s on call 24 hours a day, daily freshly prepared meals, constant health monitoring and regular housekeeping services.
Family members and loved ones appreciate the dedicated care and the love the caregivers provide. One friend of a resident states, "Although my friend did not stay long, the last weeks of her life were the best she and I had in over a year.” Another simply says, "Beautiful community, dedicated staff, and engaged residents.”