Once you begin researching the cost of memory care, you’ll soon discover there’s a wide range in the price of communities across the United States. Key factors like unit floor plans, location, amenities, and a person’s health care needs can affect the price. While some memory care facilities charge $3,000 a month or less, others can cost more than $10,000 a month, with a few communities crossing the $12,000 threshold, according to the most recent analysis by A Place for Mom (APFM).
It’s often the first question many seniors and their caregivers ask when starting their search: “What’s the average cost of memory care?” However, the median cost of memory care is a better starting point. This is because the median is just the middle, not the average — it’s not affected by concentrations of extremely high or low prices. The national median of all memory care facility costs in the U.S. is $5,800 a month, according to APFM data.
Of course, location can affect both the median and average cost for memory care facilities. A community located in a large metropolitan area, near a desirable destination, or in an area with a higher cost of living is often more expensive.
The average cost of memory care by state varies significantly because of factors such as the cost of living in a given area and high concentrations of high- or low-cost communities. In-home dementia care may be more expensive than options in memory care communities.
Median remains the best indicator of the true middle cost for an area, but state to state, the median cost can also vary greatly. The difference in median memory care costs between the most and least expensive states — Maine at $8,632 and South Dakota at $2,875 — is over $5,000.
In addition to the median cost of care, we’ll include the 10th and 90th percentile of memory care costs below. The numbers in the 10th percentile column mean that 10 percent of a set of data is below the data point (the price), and 90 percent of the set is above. Ninetieth percentile means the opposite: 90 percent of a set of data is below the data point (the price), and 10 percent of the set is above.
Find out how your state compares to the national median cost of care. Note that Vermont, Wyoming, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia are excluded from this chart because their data sets aren’t large enough to paint a full picture of the cost of memory care. Due to state regulations, data from Oklahoma, Nevada, and Texas isn’t publicly available.
|State||Median cost of memory care||10th percentile||90th percentile|
The data in the table above is from 2022 and represents 11,035 memory care move-ins.
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Housing, meals, and 24-hour care for seniors with dementia are standard in memory care facilities. At a minimum, memory care communities should offer a safe, secure, intentionally designed environment for their residents, but most communities also provide memory-enhancing therapies and specialized opportunities for socialization. Note that the price of an individual memory care community doesn’t necessarily reflect the number of amenities or quality of care offered.
While features and amenities vary, memory care facilities typically offer:
It’s important to note that memory care can overlap with assisted living and can even be offered in specialized wings or areas of assisted living communities. The goal is to help residents retain as much independence as possible. Seniors in need of constant medical supervision are more likely to find the care they need in a nursing home.
It depends. According to Sue Johansen, executive vice president of the APFM Community Network, “About 65% to 70% of memory care is a la carte.” In such arrangements, a community will charge a base rate but have the resident or their family complete an assessment to determine what support services will be required. The base rate plus the cost of the services needed, as determined by the assessment, will result in a total cost.
However, Johansen noted that memory-care-only communities are more likely to be all-inclusive. In an all-inclusive setting, residents pay one monthly fee regardless of care needs. This is different from assisted living costs, which are often determined based on level of care. A few services in memory care may cost extra, like incontinence care, diabetic injections, beauty services such as manicures and haircuts, internet service, and special outings.
You may still be asking yourself, “How much is a memory care facility compared to other types of communities?” The answer varies, of course, but memory care costs generally exceed assisted living by $1,000 or more a month, even when communities are in the same town or area, according to APFM Senior Living Advisor Lynn Moore. This is because:
For caregivers to clearly understand costs and avoid surprises later on, Moore said to ask the following questions.
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The good news is that even if you live in a state that’s expensive for memory care, low-cost options are available.
If you think your loved one may benefit from memory care and you’d like more comprehensive information about the cost of care in your area, reach out to one of A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors. They can discuss your family’s unique needs and budget, offer memory care recommendations, and help schedule tours with local communities — all at no cost to you.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader. Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter, and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site. Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not endorse the contents of the third-party sites.
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