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Page Reviewed / Updated – January 24, 2024
Seniors comprise 16.9% of Charleston’s 153,672 residents in 2022, up significantly from the 13.5% reported by the 2010 U.S. Census. Fortunately, the city has amenities for its aging population, including health care facilities such as MUSC Health University Medical Center, which has received awards in specialties such as stroke care and neurosurgery and is recognized as one of the country’s best hospitals. Additionally, the city has 478 physicians per 100,000 people — more than double the national average of 210 — and many excellent senior care communities.
Communities that offer dementia care provide a higher level of support for seniors, along with homelike accommodations and secure outdoor spaces to ensure a safer environment for individuals who may get confused or wander occasionally. Memory care, while similar to assisted living in some ways, typically costs 25% more due to its highly specialized services and the need for more intensive staff training. Based on assisted living prices, dementia care averages $4,931 in Charleston, slightly higher than the state norm of $4,515 but well below the $5,625 national average.
In this guide, families can discover 10 of the best memory care communities in Charleston, assisting them in finding a suitable provider for loved ones with memory loss.
Brookdale West Ashley
Brookdale West Ashley earned a spot on this top 10 list because of its highly structured memory care program. The foundation of this program, Brookdale's Clare Bridge approach, is based on several decades of practical performance. It prioritizes creating a structured schedule for seniors, dominated by activities that foster physical and mental well-being. The Solace program, designed for seniors with more advanced Alzheimer's symptoms, adds additional therapeutic programming options, such as music therapy, while providing a greater level of staff support. However, the staff is on-site 24/7 regardless, and residents receive consistent care assignments, helping ensure familiarity to limit stress and agitation. The residence's soothing wall colors and homelike furnishings also help create a calming environment.
Harmony at West Ashley
Harmony at West Ashley trains its caregivers in the Reflections method — a form of memory care that uses visual and tactile aids as well as arts and music to help stimulate memories and engage seniors' minds. The staff, available 24/7, provides individualized support and includes a licensed nurse to monitor residents' health and manage medical needs. Residents' suites have bathrooms and homelike furnishings, ensuring seniors have access to a private retreat when they want to relax alone. For seniors who enjoy frequent opportunities to socialize, the community has secure indoor and outdoor areas, specialty wellness programs offering group exercise sessions and restaurant-style meals prepared by a chef-led culinary team.
Oaks at Charleston
Oaks at Charleston, a faith-based community offering memory care and assisted living, is located just a short drive from the West Ashley Medical Center. Horizons, the residence's secured Alzheimer's neighborhood, features a simple and easy-to-navigate layout with ample light and open common areas. Residents can access indoor living areas to relax comfortably and enclosed gardens to take peaceful walks or enjoy the sunshine. The staff is available 24/7 and provides individualized care while supporting independence, but seniors can also summon caregivers quickly with the emergency call system. The community offers many conveniences, such as transportation to medical appointments, housekeeping and daily meal preparation, leaving more time for seniors to socialize and enjoy scheduled activities.
Ashley Gardens is featured on this list of the best memory care communities in Charleston because of its HOPE BLOOMS life enrichment program, which provides many activities for seniors to keep their minds and bodies active throughout their golden years. The program's six pillars of wellness recognize seniors' needs for emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, physical and sensory enrichment. Additionally, the community serves daily meals based on the Rush University Medical Center MIND diet, which may support cognition and slow Alzheimer's progression. Ashley Gardens' friendly staff monitors residents' health and provides daily assistance with dressing, bathing and grooming. Care is person-centered, matching the needs and schedule of each senior.
Wellmore of Daniel Island
Wellmore of Daniel Island provides comprehensive services, including dementia care, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. It earns a spot on our list of the 10 best memory care communities because it allows seniors to age in place comfortably. Its Alzheimer's neighborhood, Reflections at Wellmore, features luxury studios with granite countertops, wood cabinets and private bathrooms. Seniors can also enjoy ample communal amenities, such as a professional salon and spa, landscaped courtyards and a library. A licensed nurse coordinates care, working closely with residents, physicians and family members to meet personal and medical care requirements. The community also has on-site rehabilitation services and offers 24/7 skilled nursing for seniors recovering from injuries or managing chronic ailments.
The Palmettos of Charleston
Memory care at The Palmettos of Charleston follows a person-centric approach where seniors are empowered to face each day with confidence. The staff encourages independence while assisting with the tasks each resident needs help with based on their individual care plans. The community provides targeted therapeutic activities tailored to the abilities of seniors with Alzheimer's, in addition to exercise programs and social events to help residents stay fit and mentally stimulated. Seniors' apartments include individually controlled heating and cooling, cable TV and wireless internet, ensuring residents have a comfortable place to rest, and they can also unwind in the spa or read peacefully in the library.
Benton House of West Ashley
Benton House of West Ashley is a winner of the prestigious Pinnacle Customer Experience Award, earning it a place on this list because of its commitment to high-quality care and resident satisfaction. The community's Beacon neighborhood incorporates secure indoor and outdoor spaces, providing variety to seniors' daily lives, while structured elements such as dining and fitness sessions occur at the same time each day to ensure familiarity with everyday routines. In addition to personal care administered by a friendly staff, physicians and therapists visit the community regularly, allowing seniors to access medical assessments without travel. Caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with medication management, daily living and mobility.
Indigo Hall offers memory care and assisted living, with Alzheimer's neighborhood residents receiving access to the same amenities but with added peace of mind from increased safety measures. The community's comprehensive care includes 24/7 personal assistance and additional on-site services such as medication management, pharmacy fulfillment, physician visits and various therapies covering most basic medical needs. Residents can also take advantage of the many communal spaces, including a salon and spa, where they can indulge in a range of rejuvenating services, fostering both relaxation and well-being. Seniors' lifestyles are enhanced further by housekeeping, transportation and restaurant-style meals, all designed to offer convenience and comfort.
Atria Mount Pleasant
Offering memory care as well as assisted and independent living options, Atria Mount Pleasant enables seniors with early-stage Alzheimer's to join the community at a lower level of care, transitioning into specialized accommodations when their needs change. The residence's Life Guidance memory care neighborhood provides seniors with the same attentive care offered in assisted living, including 24/7 support, access to telehealth services and Atria's chef-led dining program. However, staff working in the neighborhood have extra dementia training, and all common areas are secured to ensure safety. Residents also benefit from the community's Engage Life Events program, which enriches seniors' daily routines with stimulating activities such as art classes, fitness groups and cooking events.
Mount Pleasant Gardens
HealthLinks Charleston and Mount Pleasant Magazine have awarded Mount Pleasant Gardens as one of the best senior communities in the Charleston area. As a standalone memory care provider, the community focuses entirely on delivering quality Alzheimer's support, following Teepa Snow's Positive Approach to Care. Under this philosophy, caregivers use non confrontational communication techniques and encourage seniors to engage in activities they enjoy, fostering an improved quality of life. Complementing its individualized care, the community offers homelike accommodations seniors can decorate to match their tastes and a comprehensive activity program featuring extensive use of music therapy. Seniors can also enjoy beautifully landscaped gardens and walking areas outdoors.