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Page Reviewed / Updated – September 8, 2023
Known for attractive downtown streets, vibrant cultural events and beautiful lakeside scenery, Madison offers metro amenities and small-town charm. As the state capital, Madison is the hub for Wisconsin’s government, and of its 272,903 residents, 12% are seniors. Working with Dane County, the city raises awareness and guides businesses and public venues in dementia-friendly practices. Its Metro Transit system has earned recognition for its dementia-friendly accommodations and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts offers Memory Cafes. Home to the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and an Alzheimer’s Institute Chapter, the school provides access to alternative therapies based on cutting-edge research through the UW Health Neurology Memory Clinic.
Memory care communities in Madison charge an average rate of $6,000 monthly. Although greater than the state average of $5,750 and the national average of $5,625, lower health care costs and greater access may alleviate some concerns. The cost of memory care is approximately 25% higher than basic assisted living due to added security measures and the specialized nature of dementia care.
In a memory care environment, residents can live in a community of peers, benefit from programming to minimize stress and manage dementia symptoms and receive 24-hour health care in a secure setting. Continue reading and explore our list of Madison’s top 10 memory care communities.
Oak Park Place Madison
Located on the city's East side, Oak Park Place Madison offers independent, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. We highlighted Oak Park Place for its personalized, adaptive care plans and on-campus health and medical services. In its secured Autumn Lane memory care neighborhood, highly trained staff utilize resident histories and preferences to guide them through daily routines and engaging programs. In addition to multisensory activities using music and art to spark creativity, the community offers peer groups to encourage social interactions, including a community choir, book club and knitting group. Autumn Lane residents are regularly re-assessed to meet changing needs and the on-campus rehabilitation center helps facilitate retention of everyday skills.
Brookdale Madison West
Convenient to shopping at West Towne Mall, the Brookdale Madison West community offers assisted living and memory care. The community utilizes Optimum Life programming and the Clare Bridge approach to dementia care. Residents with cognitive impairments are guided through daily activities designed to engage the senses and inspire purposeful living. Morning activities include targeted B-Fit exercises and educational and devotional activities. In the afternoon, opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with the walking club, paint, play Brain Fit games or sing-a-long with their favorite music genre encourage their favorite hobbies. Dementia-friendly dining with picture menus, table-side assistance and personalized seasoning levels encourages healthy eating habits, and it accommodates dietary restrictions.
Tennyson Retirement Living
Tennyson Retirement Living is located in a residential neighborhood near Warner Park and is convenient to the Dane County Airport for visiting out-of-town families. Tennyson provides assisted living and memory care, as well as community-based residential housing for adults. The multistory building boasts video camera security, an after-hours resident call system and a personal pendant alarm network for 24-hour emergency response. Senior residents with dementia are monitored with monthly wellness visits and receive ongoing assessments by a registered nurse on staff. They also receive help with ambulation and transfers to help prevent falls and encourage physical activity. Meals can be supplemented with finger foods and snacks to ensure residents eat enough calories throughout the day.
Oak Park Place Nakoma
Situated off the beltway in a historic neighborhood, Oak Park Place Nakoma offers assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation in one convenient location. Its inclusive care structure uses a clinical assessment of resident needs to craft a bundle of services tailored to meet all requirements. In the Autumn Paths program for memory care, highly skilled caregivers use research-proven methods to engage with residents, assist with familiar daily routines and manage dementia symptoms. The program builds on individual strengths and successes, honoring personal choices and encouraging meaningful interactions and memories. Structured programming includes pet visits, music therapy and sensory activities to encourage reminiscing. Additionally, the community offers support group meetings to family members and ongoing senior health education.
All Saints Memory Care
Nestled into the backdrop of a suburban park, All Saints Memory Care is part of the All Saints Neighborhood campus, offering spirited senior living and a continuum of care. The campus design centers around its Main Street amenities, which include a wellness center, greenhouse, pharmacy and chapel, open to all residents. In memory care, seniors are monitored by 24-hour licensed nursing staff and receive discreet personal care assistance to help preserve their dignity and everyday function. Daily activities include lively sing-a-longs, familiar games, walking groups around campus, gentle stretching and seated exercises. Live entertainment and scheduled outings encourage residents to socialize and celebrate special events and holidays.
Heritage Monona Senior Living
We chose Heritage Monona Senior Living for its progressive approach to health service, focus on non medicated symptom management options and ongoing staff training program. Staff members receive instruction from unit leaders certified in Best Friends relationship-building techniques. Its Toddy's Touch memory care program blends specialized therapies and signature programs to provide engaging activities which support cognitive health. Innovative use of non-medication treatments includes A Measure in Time, which eases agitation and encourages reminiscing with a personal playlist of favorite songs. Pet therapy and intergenerational visits from community groups add fun social activities. The memory care neighborhood has its own living and dining room and is designed with no dead-end corridors to help residents easily navigate to common areas.
The Ridge at Madison
In the southern suburb of Fitchburg, The Ridge at Madison offers a full spectrum of senior living options, including independent, assisted living, memory and respite care. The community fosters independence with predictable routines and meaningful activities in a secure setting using its signature Moments memory care program. Seniors with cognitive impairment live in semi private accommodations and receive personalized assistance according to their needs. The memory care neighborhood is monitored 24 hours and secured with keypad entry to prevent wandering. Dietician-approved meal options include freshly prepared, seasonal specials and comfort-food favorites served three times daily. In addition to daily on-campus activities, residents can enjoy group outings to scenic local destinations via the community van.
Heritage Middleton Senior Living
Heritage Middleton Senior Living offers luxury retirement accommodations with views of beautiful Lake Mendota and the forested Jacobsen Nature Preserve. The community offers specialized memory care and two service levels of assisted living, providing personalized care plans tailored to individual needs. Corridors in the memory care neighborhood purposefully lead residents to common living areas where they can socialize with peers and to the secured outdoor courtyard to relax in the fresh air. Studio and one-bedroom suites with private bathrooms come unfurnished or furnished, allowing residents to decorate as much or little as they please in order to create a comfortable personal space. In the dining room, restaurant-style meals, soups and salads are made daily from fresh ingredients.
Brookdale Middleton Stonefield
Located in a quiet residential neighborhood, the smaller community environment at Brookdale Middleton Stonefield provides a secure homey atmosphere for residents with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. The community's single-floor design enables them to move about more freely and a central courtyard with seating offers a secure outdoor space. Residents can enjoy gardening in the greenhouse and woodworking crafts in the workshop on campus, or simply relax with a book in a fireside chair in the living room. Clare Bridge programming offers structured activities with sensory therapies including art and music, gentle physical exercise and games. Consistent care assignments help residents settle into their familiar routines to help maintain everyday skills and cognitive health.
Home Again Living Waunakee
Home Again Living Waunakee earns a spot on our top 10 list for its award-winning team approach to assisted living and memory care. Specially trained direct care staff work in cooperation with the medical team and community director to meet individual needs and proactively manage health and well-being. Its signature Thrive program enhances daily activities with sensory therapies using music, light and art to encourage creativity, practice tactile skills and empower residents with a sense of accomplishment. Offering a continuum of care on one campus, residents with dementia live in a dedicated memory care neighborhood, safeguarded by secured entries and 24-hour staffing. Studio suites have ample closet space and private bathrooms with safety bars and walk-in showers.