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The 5 Best Memory Care Facilities in Santa Cruz, CA for 2024

Set along the central California coast, Santa Cruz is a city that's home to around 62,000 residents. About 12% of the population are seniors aged 65 and older, which may put them at a high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, one in every nine American seniors is currently living with a cognitive impairment, and rates are on the rise. Fortunately, Santa Cruz has several dementia care programs in place to combat this issue, and it's been successful in decreasing the rate of Alzheimer's-related deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of Alzheimer's-related deaths in the city dropped by about 7.7% between 2016 and 2020.

Memory care facilities are very helpful in this effort. These communities offer a secure environment where seniors with dementia have access to support from highly trained, 24/7 care staff. This guide offers includes an overview of what living in Santa Cruz is like for seniors, how much memory care services cost and where individuals with dementia can find local support programs and services.

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Memory Care Facilities in Santa Cruz, California

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What to Consider About Memory Care in Santa Cruz

In Santa Cruz, as well as the rest of California, memory care facilities are licensed as assisted living facilities, and they’re regulated by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division. This division has strict licensing standards, which it imposes through an initial licensure process and regular inspections.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Memory Care in Santa Cruz

 

  • Santa Cruz is a relatively expensive place to live, which may be a consideration for those with limited resources. On a cost of living index based on a national norm of 100, the city rates 203.5. However, this high score is mainly driven by expensive housing, which seniors may avoid by transitioning to memory care.
  • California seniors don’t pay state income taxes on their Social Security benefits, but other forms of retirement income are subject to some of the highest income taxes in the nation. Local organizations such as the Area Agency on Aging has volunteers who provide tax filing assistance, which can help Santa Cruz seniors apply for the deductions and exemptions they qualify for.
  • On a 100-point crime scale, Santa Cruz scores high for both violent and property crime with respective rates of 38.2 and 74.4. By comparison, national scores are considerably lower at 22.7 and 35.4. The number of crimes per capita is high compared to nearby cities as well as similarly sized cities in the state, making memory care an attractive alternative to living alone for vulnerable seniors.
  • Santa Cruz’s weather is ideal, with year-round daytime temperatures ranging from 61 in the winter to 78 in the warmest part of the summer. Measurable snowfall is very uncommon, as are days with noticeable humidity, and the city gets about 33 inches of rain. Seniors in memory care facilities have access to secured outdoor areas, letting them enjoy the weather without the risk of unsafe wandering.
  • There are 237 doctors per capita in Santa Cruz, which is higher than the national norm of 210, and health care costs fall 7% below the national average. Dominican Hospital and Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center of Santa Cruz serve the area, providing access to diverse inpatient and outpatient services.
  • Residents in Santa Cruz enjoy relatively clean air, which may benefit seniors with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions. The American Lung Association gives the region an F for short-term particle pollution but an A for ozone pollution and a passing grade for annual particle pollution.

 

Paying for Memory Care in Santa Cruz

Note: Residential memory care is usually offered in assisted living facilities, and in general, memory care rates tend to be 20-30% higher than assisted living rates. No national database currently tracks memory care costs in the United States, so we’ve estimated the monthly memory care costs listed below by adding 25% to the rates listed in Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey.

In Santa Cruz, seniors pay about $6,938 per month for memory care.

The Cost of Memory Care in Nearby Cities

Memory care in Santa Cruz is hundreds of dollars over the state norm of $6,563 and the national average of $5,625. Seniors can save about $1,900 per month by opting for care in Modesto, and in Stockton, care costs are even more competitive at $4,561. In San Jose, rates are considerably higher than in Santa Cruz at $7,500, and in San Francisco, care costs exceed Santa Cruz’s norm by $960.

Santa Cruz

$6,938

California

$6,563

The United States

$5,625

San Francisco

$7,899

Stockton

$4,561

Modesto

$5,000

San Jose

$7,500

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Care

In Santa Cruz, the memory care cost of $6,938 per month is considerably higher than the cost of assisted living, which offers residential services for seniors without dementia for $5,550 per month. Older adults in the early stages of dementia may live in their own homes and pay $6,864 for in-home care and $7,007 for home health care, which is comparable to the cost of memory care. Nursing home care is considerably more costly than memory care, with rates starting at $10,646 per month.

Memory Care

$6,938

In-Home Care

$6,864

Home Health Care

$7,007

Assisted Living Facility

$5,550

Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)

$10,646

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Santa Cruz

In Santa Cruz there are options for seniors who need financial assistance paying for Memory Care. For more information about other options, who qualifies, and how to apply, visit our Memory Care in California page.

More ways to pay for memory care in CA

More Ways to Pay for Memory Care

While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for memory care, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Some additional ways to finance memory care costs include:

  • Veterans Benefits
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Reverse Mortgage

For more information about different ways to finance memory care, visit our Memory Care in California page.

Free & Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz seniors and families affected by Alzheimer’s have access to a large support network that can help them navigate care options and connect with field experts. Through the following resources, residents can find financial and legal experts, advocates and benefits advisors who can help them find ways to pay for residential dementia care.

ResourceContactService
Alzheimer's Association Northern California and Northern Nevada(831) 647-9890The Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 helpline seniors and families in Santa Cruz can call for reassurance and guidance with taking the next steps after a diagnosis. The chapter also oversees virtual and in-person support groups and has a lending library with materials that cover dementia-related topics.
Seniors Council of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties(831) 688-0400The Seniors Council houses the Area Agency on Aging for the region. This nonprofit agency has specialists who refer seniors and families to local financial and legal advisors, medical equipment loan programs and prescription drug assistance. The agency can also help individuals connect with local support groups and dementia services.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program of Santa Cruz & San Benito Counties(831) 429-1913The local long-term care ombudsman visits dementia care facilities in the region to ensure compliance with state and federal guidelines and to help facilities develop solutions for unmet care needs. The ombudsman can also advocate on seniors’ behalf in family disputes regarding long-term care or in instances of involuntary discharges.
Senior Legal Services(831) 426-8824Senior Legal Services provides free legal advocacy and information for older adults and families affected by Alzheimer’s and can assist with issues such as applying for public benefits, using assets to cover dementia care and assigning guardianship and powers of attorney. The office can also help with understanding memory care contracts.
Santa Cruz County Veterans Services Office(831) 454-7276The Santa Cruz Veterans Services Office has advisors and specialists who screen for eligibility for Aid and Attendance, disability compensation and veterans’ and survivors’ pensions, which provide funds that can be used toward memory care. It can also determine whether an individual qualifies for veterans’ home placement.
Downtown Senior Center(831) 420-6180The Downtown Senior Center has information specialists and volunteers who provide recommendations and referrals to dementia resources in the community, including support groups and informational workshops. It also provides blood pressure screenings and free income tax filing assistance.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Memory Care Communities must adhere to the comprehensive set of state laws and regulations that all Memory Care Facilities in California are required to follow. Visit our Memory Care in California page for more information about these laws.

Laws and Regulations for memory care in California

Reviews of Communities Nearby

Memory Care

Joyce

I visited this facility

Review of Westwind Memory Care

I toured Westwind Memory Care. They had a lot of activities. There was a lot going on that was interesting for the people. Like they had flower arranging going on, and people were flower arranging,...

Read more

Memory Care

Rory

I am a friend or relative of a current/past resident

Review of Westwind Memory Care

My mom moved into Westwind Memory Care. We chose it because it just seemed like it had the right kind of environment and a smaller amount of people that live there together. One of the things we...

Read more

Memory Care

Donald

I am a friend or relative of a current/past resident

Review of Sunshine Villa

My mother is in Sunshine Villa. It's a community set up on top of a hill. It's got a beautiful inner quad individual units and all the meals are there. They have recreational activities, exercise...

Read more

Memory Care Facilities near Santa Cruz, CA

Los GatosMorgan HillGilroySan JoseMontereySeaside

Other Options in Santa Cruz, CA

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The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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