Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Costs: Facts & Figures

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by 2025 there will be 7.1 million seniors 65 and older diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Because this disease can cause behavioral and emotional changes, specialized care is often needed to ensure that these individuals can continue living a full life. Increasingly senior living communities are designed to solely cater to seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, incorporating design elements such as sun-filled rooms and color cuing to help with way finding. Unfortunately for families, the cost of care at these communities is quite expensive compared to assisted living communities.

The cost of joining memory care community varies upon several factors which typically include:

Memory Care Costs by State

Unlike assisted living and nursing home costs which are published annually by Genworth Financial, there is very little published state-by-state cost information available on Alzheimer’s and dementia care. To help you budget for when a loved one needs to join a memory care community, SeniorHomes.com has compiled pricing* for each state.

StateMonthly AverageMonthly MinimumMonthly Maximum
Alabama$4,101$1,800$5,695
Arkansas$3,792$2,550$5,525
Arizona$4,106$2,318$6,210
California$4,435$2,320$8,200
Colorado$4,750$2,020$7,595
Connecticut$5,199$3,000$8,280
Delaware$4,990$3,700$7,410
District of Columbia$4,990$3,700$7,410
Florida$3,739$2,000$5,795
Georgia$3,803$2,275$5,430
Iowa$4,548$3,000$6,025
Idaho$3,165$2,495$4,000
Illinois$4,839$1,265$7,180
Indiana$4,503$1,800$8,550
Kansas$4,674$2,175$6,685
Kentucky$4,403$3,750$5,370
Louisiana$3,382$2,260$5,000
Massachusetts$5,452$2,700$8,750
Maryland$4,562$2,600$6,840
Maine$5,800$5,130$6,300
Michigan$4,255$2,660$6,020
Minnesota$4,511$2,304$5,700
Missouri$4,760$3,294$5,185
Mississippi$3,031$2,225$4,285
Montana$4,108$3,900$4,350
North Carolina$4,336$2,425$5,800
Nebraska$4,813$4,150$5,195
New Hampshire$5,142$2,900$6,900
New Jersey$5,209$3,395$7,500
New Mexico$3,440$2,895$4,125
Nevada$4,391$3,200$5,475
New York$5,004$2,975$10,099
Ohio$4,012$1,675$7,665
Oklahoma$3,663$2,340$5,590
Oregon$3,854$2,393$5,200
Pennsylvania$4,454$2,095$10,447
Rhode Island$5,270$5,050$5,490
South Carolina$3,648$2,320$5,156
Tennessee$3,599$2,000$5,800
Texas$4,440$1,950$6,300
Utah$3,956$2,000$5,850
Virginia$3,895$1,650$6,850
Vermont$5,575$3,500$7,650
Washington$3,923$2,450$5,000
Wisconsin$4,220$3,600$5,700
West Virginia$2,800$2,800$2,800

*SeniorHomes.com 2015

The states with the most expensive median monthly memory care costs are:

  1. District of Columbia - $6,000
  2. Maine - $5,800
  3. Vermont - $5,575
  4. Massachusetts - $5,451
  5. Rhode Island - $5,270

The states with the least expensive median monthly memory care costs are:

  1. West Virginia - $2,800
  2. Mississippi - $3,031
  3. Idaho - $3,165
  4. Louisiana - $3,382
  5. New Mexico - $3,440

Size of Accomodations Selected

When joining memory care community, families can typically choose between a private or companion suite. High-end communities may also offer one-bedroom floor plans. The layout of memory care apartments is usually standard across communities:  a private bathroom, bed, dresser, closet and an end table. However, residents are encouraged to decorate their room.

Communities typically offer either a month-to-month leases or one-year leases that may be renewed.

Level of Care Required

Upon admission a licensed nurse conducts an assessment which forms the basis of a care plan that outlines the level and frequency of supportive services that will be provided. Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia typically require assistance with all activities of daily living and may even require one-on-one assistance for tasks.

In most cases a point system or levels of care are used to breakdown the costs for these assisted living services. When a point system is used, each type of care and the frequency in which it’s provided determines the monthly cost. For example, medication management/administration once a day may cost an additional $150 per month while the same service provided three times a day may cost an additional $300 per month.

Levels of care may be based upon a point system as well, with this type of cost determination often providing less flexibility in monthly costs. For example, a resident may fall between a Level One and a Level Two but they must pay for Level Two care as their needs exceed Level One.

Additional Costs

Memory care communities charge a refundable deposit fee, which secures a particular apartment within the community for a specific period of time (usually two weeks). Once a resident moves in, this deposit usually applies toward the one-time community fee (terms for the name of this fee may vary). Ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, this fee is non-refundable and covers administrative expenses and the cost of apartment renovations between residents.

Other costs may include fees for private transportation, off-site activities, guest meals and use of a guest apartment within the community. There may also be a monthly second person fee if a couple lives together or a pet fee.

More Information on Memory Care Costs

For more information on how to pay for memory care costs, check out the following articles: