Looking for memory care services for a loved one, but confused by how much they may cost? You’re not alone. There are several different factors that go into the monthly cost of memory care services, including lifestyle options, pricing structures, and the extent of care your loved one need
If you’ve been looking, you likely have realized that many assisted living communities have special memory care services for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Although having both types of senior care in the same community is quite common, there are also stand-alone communities for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
What’s the difference between assisted living and memory care communities?
Memory care communities, and special memory care areas within senior living communities, have similar care models to assisted living, but with enhanced services for safety and security to provide reassurance for you and your loved one. Additionally, memory care services come with specially trained staff.
What impacts the cost of memory care?
Like with assisted living, memory care pricing is impacted by different levels of care, different lifestyle levels, and different laws by state.
Whatever your expectations for monthly costs, it’s probably either more or less than the actual price. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to give families a clearer picture about what to expect when it comes to the costs of care.
Although it’s impossible to provide you with an exact figure on what you will spend every month, we can give you a better view of what actually goes into the monthly and yearly costs.
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What is the monthly cost range for memory care?
When considering what monthly costs, first think of what assisted living will cost. Genworth’s yearly report tells us that the cost of assisted living in the U.S. ranged from $3,000-$6,690 per month.
Memory care costs depend on location—at least in part.
Genworth also has a handy state-by-state chart that can give you a general idea of assisted living costs in your area. Although it’s a good starting point, remember that there is more to consider.
Memory care is going to cost more than assisted living.
If your loved one needs special services due to Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, you’re aware of how crucial it is for seniors with memory issues to stay safe. Memory care services usually encompass all levels of dementia and Alzheimer’s, and these services can add 20-30 percent to monthly senior living costs due to the increased intricacy of care and safety measures.
In this way, assisted living can be considered a base price, and memory care services are added on.
Which factors impact monthly memory care costs?
Beyond the level of care, there are a few other factors that impact the cost of memory care.
1. Cost of Living
Genworth has already told us that costs range from $3,000 in Missouri to $6,690 in Delaware.
Cost of living is one of the biggest pricing factors. If you live in Pennsylvania and your cousin in Minnesota tells you that monthly costs shouldn’t be more than $3,300, take the general cost of living in your state and area into consideration first.
Plus, assisted living and memory care regulations differ from state to state. If one state has more regulations than another, it could make a big cost difference.
2. Wants, Needs, and Comforts
“Wants, needs, and comforts” include care level, surroundings, activity level, amenities—everything.
Your loved one should feel completely home in their new community, while also being safe and secure. Get a clear understanding of your loved one’s wants, needs, and comforts so you can be prepared for how that impacts care costs. Nobody needs financial surprises, especially not when you’re budgeting for a loved one’s memory care.
Things that impact costs for your loved one’s care can include:
- Type and frequency of medical services
- Memory care-specific activities and programming
- Intensity level of the individual’s care needs
- Whether your loved one requires a private room
3. Differing Costs Between Communities
Two communities in the same town or city could offer the same services, look the same, provide the same level of care, but have a different pricing structure. It all depends on how the community sets up their billing and how they run their business. There are different pricing models, including an “all-inclusive” model and one that’s more “à la carte.”
Start talking about memory care pricing.
We’ve given you an idea of what memory care will cost, but we can still dig deeper. When you’re looking for care for your loved one, you want to get as much information about pricing as you possibly can.
That’s why we created The Insider’s Guide to Understanding Memory Care Pricing. When you go on your physical or virtual tours, keep the guide handy so you know the right questions to ask.
Originally published October 2021. Revised August 2023.