Everything You Need to Know About the Cost of Memory Care: A State-by-State Guide


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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, services, and a person’s health care needs can affect the price. While some states’ memory care facilities cost around $4,000 a month, others can cost nearly $9,000 a month, according to the 2024 long-term care cost report by A Place for Mom.

Key Takeaways

  1. The cost of memory care varies from $4,000 to $9,000 per month. The location, floor plans, services, and your loved one’s care needs all affect prices.
  2. The price includes an array of specialized services. Memory care features services beyond what you would find in assisted living, like cognitive support therapies.
  3. Communities have different pricing structures. While some communities charge one flat monthly rate, most charge a base rate plus the cost of additional services.
  4. Find memory care that fits your family’s budget. Our advisors can help narrow your search based on price range and other important community features.

How much does memory care cost?

The national median cost of memory care in the U.S. is $6,200 per month, according to A Place for Mom’s 2024 report on the cost of long-term care.[01]

Oftentimes, many seniors and their caregivers start their search for memory care costs by Googling “What’s the average monthly cost for 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 in certain areas.

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.

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.

Monthly memory care costs by state

State Median cost of memory care
Alabama $5,095
Alaska $5,000
Arizona $6,000
Arkansas $5,500
California $6,260
Colorado $6,400
Connecticut $8,000
Delaware $7,704
District of Columbia $8,743
Florida $5,295
Georgia $4,600
Hawaii $9,900
Idaho $5,600
Illinois $6,950
Indiana $5,761
Iowa $6,298
Kansas $6,824
Kentucky $5,260
Louisiana $4,720
Maine $9,670
Maryland $7,500
Massachusetts $8,500
Michigan $6,000
Minnesota $7,250
Mississippi $4,830
Missouri $6,345
Montana $7,685
Nebraska $6,708
Nevada $6,797
New Hampshire $8,850
New Jersey $8,498
New Mexico $4,703
New York $7,720
North Carolina $6,347
North Dakota $6,555
Ohio $5,995
Oklahoma $5,938
Oregon $7,504
Pennsylvania $6,425
Rhode Island $6,700
South Carolina $4,687
South Dakota $3,210
Tennessee $5,388
Texas $5,980
Utah $4,600
Vermont $10,370
Virginia $6,435
Washington $7,633
West Virginia $5,808
Wisconsin $6,865
Wyoming $4,025

The medians above are taken from an analysis of 11,506 residents who moved into a memory care community within A Place for Mom’s network in 2023. These median memory care facility costs are calculated based on actual monthly costs paid by families within a resident’s first month of moving in.

The most and least expensive states for memory care

Memory care costs vary significantly across the U.S. due to factors like cost of living differences and availability. The most expensive state for memory care is Vermont, while the least expensive state is South Dakota.[01]

See the 10 most expensive and 10 least expensive states for memory care below.

Most Expensive

  1. Vermont $10,730
  2. Hawaii $9,900
  3. Maine $9,670
  4. New Hampshire $8,850
  5. Washington, D.C. $8,743
  6. Massachusetts $8,500
  7. New Jersey $8,498
  8. Connecticut $8,000
  9. New York $7,720
  10. Delaware $7,704

Least Expensive

  1. South Dakota $3,210
  2. Wyoming $4,025
  3. Georgia $4,600
  4. Utah $4,600
  5. South Carolina $4,687
  6. New Mexico $4,703
  7. Louisiana $4,720
  8. Mississippi $4,830
  9. Alaska $5,000
  10. Alabama $5,095


Is memory care all-inclusive?

Yes, most memory-care-only communities are all-inclusive. Therefore, residents and their families only pay one monthly fee for all services and amenities available on-site. Because dementia can be unpredictable, these communities typically allow residents to receive more specialized services as care needs increase without an increase in monthly fee. However, in some communities, a few advanced care services or amenities may cost extra.

Assisted living with memory care

It’s important to note that memory care can sometimes be offered in specialized wings or areas of assisted living communities. The goal in these cases is to help residents retain as much independence as possible while aging in place. Within A Place for Mom’s nationwide memory care network, less than 15% of communities only offer memory care, while other communities offer multiple care options.[02] For instance, it’s not surprising to see these so-called multi-care communities with independent living, assisted living, and memory care all on the same campus.

Because most memory care communities are a part of assisted living communities, many on-site services can be added on for seniors as they age.

“About 65% to 70% of memory care is a la carte,” according to Sue Johansen, executive vice president of the A Place for Mom Community Network.

In such arrangements, a community will charge a base rate, but have the resident or their family complete a care assessment to determine what support services will be required. The base rate plus the cost of the add-on services, as determined by the assessment, will result in a total cost.

According to Mark Young, who recently moved his mom from assisted living into memory care within the same community, the transition ended up saving them money. His mom was receiving level 5 care (the highest level) in the assisted living area, resulting in more expenses. However, because memory care staff is specially trained in dementia care, his mom was level 3 in the memory care side of the community, an intermediate level of care. The difference in care levels helped their family save almost $1,000 per month, while she received the specialized care she needed.

What’s included in the price of memory care?

Because most memory care communities share a building or campus with an assisted living community, the base rate only includes standard amenities and services. While features and amenities vary, memory care facilities typically offer the following with the base rate:

  • Housing
  • Three nutritious meals a day, plus snacks
  • 24-hour care and supervision with a low patient-to-caregiver ratio
  • Safety protocols, including gated entrances, video surveillance, and systems to monitor residents for wandering
  • Emergency response systems (for medical emergencies)
  • Housekeeping and landscaping services (to reduce resident stress and responsibility)
  • Assistance with bathing, dressing, and other activities of daily living
  • Medication management
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Memory-enhancing therapies and social activities

The a la carte model common in some multi-care communities may incur additional monthly or one-time fees for the following advanced care services and amenities:

  • Diabetic injections
  • Incontinence care
  • Salon services (haircuts, manicures, and other spa treatments)
  • Pet fees
  • Internet or cable service
  • Special outings


Ways to save on memory care costs

Many memory care cost factors are uncontrollable. Touring multiple communities and asking the right questions can help cut down on costs.


Consider a roommate. For seniors who prefer companionship, splitting the cost of a room with another memory care resident can almost cut the price in half.

• Move at the right time. Communities often set move-in goals, so check in at the end of a month, quarter, or year for lower prices.

• Ask for a deal or move-in incentive. Prices can be looked at as a starting point for negotiation. Some communities will let you know of upcoming incentives or offer veteran discounts. They may even work with families who are just shy of affording the asking price.

The cost of memory care vs. senior living

You may still be asking yourself, “How much is a memory care facility compared to other types of communities?” According to A Place for Mom’s data on the cost of senior care, memory care is approximately $1,200 more than assisted living and double the cost of independent living.[01]

Expenses may vary depending on the location, but memory care costs generally exceed independent living and assisted living costs. This rate increase is typically due to the following factors:

  • Dementia care requires specific skills and ongoing memory caregiver training. Memory caregivers are trained in practices like person-centered care, redirection techniques, and specific communication methods to help manage common dementia behaviors like confusion, anxiety, and aggression.
  • Memory care communities have lower resident-to-staff ratios, with an ideal ratio being 5-to-1.[03] People with dementia require more attention than those in assisted living. While providing support when needed, memory care professionals take the time to encourage residents to do as much as they can for themselves. This model of care requires a caregiver to remain engaged at every moment.
  • Memory care communities offer a safe and secure environment to help prevent wandering and unwanted visitors with advanced systems and locks. They also have unique building layouts and design features to reduce confusion and support wayfinding.
  • Memory care activity programs include unique social events and therapies that are highly personalized to accommodate the unique needs of seniors with dementia. Activity schedules are usually designed to help residents eat, sleep, and exercise better and they accommodate residents’ capabilities, according to Maureen Bradley, a former executive director of a memory care community, who now works at A Place for Mom.

12 questions to ask about memory care costs

APFM Senior Living Advisor Lynn Moore recommends that families ask the following questions so they can clearly understand a community’s costs and avoid surprises later on:

  1. What’s the price? While the base rate mentioned above will likely apply, specific care charges can change month to month depending on factors like time of year, vacancy, and staff availability.
  2. What’s included? What’s not? Many communities charge an all-inclusive monthly fee, but some communities set different prices based on care needs. Be sure to clarify the care and services included in the price.
  3. How much are the various floor plans? Most memory care communities have studio or shared room options. Some offer one- and two-bedroom units for a higher price.
  4. Does the price increase annually? Memory care prices typically increase 3% to 8% a year. Ask prospective communities about previous rate increases and their policies for communicating these changes to residents.
  5. Is there a community entry fee or deposit? Many communities charge a one-time community fee, ranging from $1,000 to the cost of the first month’s rent. The median memory care community fee is $2,750, according to A Place for Mom’s proprietary data.[02] This fee covers the extra services and one-on-one time needed to help a new resident adjust to the community.
  6. Are there any move-in incentives? Many communities offer discounts, such as:
    • End-of-year rates. Deals are common around the holidays, when fewer people want to move.
    • Rate lock-ins. Some communities may offer to freeze their rate — called a “rate lock” — for two years or more.
    • Waived community entry fee. This initial payment may be eliminated as an incentive.


  7. What’s the maximum amount of care offered? Your loved one’s care needs will be evaluated as part of the move-in process. However, care needs may change over time. Knowing the maximum price and care options available can help your family plan accordingly.
  8. How often will care plans be reviewed? If your loved one goes to the hospital, or if their health changes, they may need different services and treatments. A plan outlining required care is important to your relative’s health, and it can affect costs.
  9. Which activities and amenities are included in the cost? Some communities may offer additional specialized activities in addition to those regularly scheduled on their events calendar. Your family may have to pay extra for things like golf outings, aqua therapy, or more extensive crafts.
  10. If your loved one chooses a nonprofit community, is there a foundation that can provide assistance once their funds run out? Sometimes, nonprofit communities partner with organizations or foundations that can help long-term residents cover their care costs. Check with a prospective community to see what options may be available.
  11. Will I need to purchase any specialty items? Ask if there are any items related to your loved one’s care that you’ll need to pay extra for. “Many communities still require you to pay for personal items like incontinence supplies and personal hygiene items,” Moore notes.
  12. What happens if our family can no longer pay? Is there a grace period if unforeseen financial difficulties arise? Does the community provide any resources? “In most cases, the family and community will monitor financial resources together,” Moore explains. “If the family is spending down during the look-back period, additional options may be presented. When funds are exhausted, the loved one may need to be relocated to a community that accepts public assistance, like Medicaid.”

During his search for his mom’s care, Young learned that many residents used savings and pensions from their working days to fund memory care. But because those funds may be limited for some, he advised that anyone searching for memory care ask whether communities accept Medicaid. He said you never know when your loved one may run low on private funds and need it.

How to find affordable memory care communities

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.

This article originally appeared on APlaceforMom and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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