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How Much Does Memory Care Cost? A State-by-State Guide 

Written by Grace Styron
 about the author
7 minute readLast updated July 12, 2023
Reviewed by Saul ChapnickAssisted Living Executive Saul Chapnick has extensive experience revitalizing distressed facilities and ensuring new ones start strong.

Once your loved one receives a memory loss or dementia diagnosis, then comes the question of how to get them the care they need. How much will it cost? Who will pay for it? Memory care costs can vary quite a bit depending on key factors like location, care level, the size of the facility, and what services and amenities they may offer. Because dementia is a progressive condition, it’s important to understand and plan for the cost of memory care as it may increase over time.

Key Takeaways

  1. The national median cost of memory care is $5,800 per month. Median monthly costs range from $2,975 in South Dakota to $9,150 in Vermont.
  2. Memory care is one of the more expensive types of senior care. Dementia caregivers are required to undergo intensive training, which can be expensive and contributes to high memory care costs.
  3. Memory care costs aren’t only affected by location. Other factors, such as a person’s required care level and the size of the memory care facility, can also contribute to cost differences.
  4. Memory care facilities are often all-inclusive, so the price you pay covers all services. However, some facilities use tiered or a-la-carte pricing models.

Defining memory care

Memory care refers to a long-term housing and support solution for seniors with memory loss, dementia, and other forms of cognitive decline. It’s one of the higher levels of senior care and provides a secure environment where people can age as safely and comfortably as possible.
Memory care is specifically for seniors who have been diagnosed with some type of dementia or are experiencing significant difficulty with memory, language, and other daily functions. These communities are staffed by specially trained caregivers and nurses and provide 24-hour supervision, cognitive therapies, and other dementia-focused services. Memory care communities offer many benefits to seniors with dementia and typically feature secured entrances and exits to prevent dementia-related safety risks.

What’s the cost of memory care?

The national average monthly cost of memory care is $5,924. However, averages can be affected by areas with significantly high or low prices. The median can sometimes be more reliable as it splits all costs right down the middle, with half being higher and half being lower. The national monthly median cost of memory care is $5,800.[01]
At a state level, where your loved one lives matters. Memory care costs tend to be higher where the cost of living is higher. The state with the lowest monthly median cost of memory care is South Dakota at $2,875, while the state with the highest is Vermont at $9,150. Being closer to a city center may also increase costs, while suburban memory care communities typically cost less.
Use the table below to learn the median monthly cost of memory care for your loved one’s state.[01]
State*Median monthly cost
New Hampshire$8,100
New Jersey$8,150
New Mexico$5,000
New York$7,153
North Carolina$5,945
North Dakota$6,150
Rhode Island$7,170
South Carolina$4,250
South Dakota$2,875
West Virginia$5,500
*Cost data for Washington, D.C., and Wyoming are not available.

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What’s included in memory care facility costs?

Services and amenities vary from community to community, but most memory care facilities will provide the following:
  • Assistance with eating, grooming, bathing, toileting, incontinence care, and dressing
  • 24/7 supervision
  • Secured entrances
  • Healthy meals and snacks throughout the day
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Assistance with managing medications
  • Dementia-specific activities
Many memory care facilities are all-inclusive, meaning rent, utilities, meals, and all other services are bundled into a single base cost. However, some communities use a tiered pricing model in which pricing increases as a person’s care level increases. Others use an a-la-carte pricing model in which an individual can select which services they’d like to receive and which they’d rather opt out of. Before selecting a care provider, be sure to ask what their pricing model is.

Understanding pricing: What factors can affect memory care costs?

Aside from location, below are a few examples of other factors that may play a role in the cost of your loved one’s memory care.

Level of care needed

Memory care itself is one of the most advanced senior care types. Because Alzheimer’s and dementia are progressive conditions, memory care must be provided in progressive stages. So, within the general category of memory care are more specific subcategories of dementia care levels.
During the early stages of memory loss, Alzheimer’s, or other types of dementia, symptoms are often pretty minimal and require only a small amount of care. At this time, your loved one may simply need companion care or occasional assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating, bathing, and using the restroom. These services don’t necessarily require a care provider to have advanced medical training and, thus, can be fairly inexpensive.
Advanced memory care requires very specific skills. Dementia caregivers must complete intensive training, from basic communication and de-escalation techniques to advanced continued education in dementia care techniques. As your loved one’s condition progresses, their symptoms will become more and more severe, causing them to require a greater level of assistance and supervision. Generally, greater levels of care require the nurse or aide to have more significant levels of training or certification, which leads to higher rates for the care they provide.

Services and amenities provided

Specific features differ from one memory care community to the next. Most memory care providers offer a selection of memory-specific services and activities. Some communities are also able to provide a range of more advanced services and therapies, such as sensory therapies and pet therapies. The cost of services and amenities can vary depending on what a community offers and which services you and your loved one choose to opt into. Generally, the greater the service, the higher the cost.

Floor plan selection

Memory care communities are designed to mitigate confusion and wandering among their residents, so unit floor plan options and the general layout of dementia-specific facilities are typically pretty simple. The unit your loved one will have in their memory care facility will likely be either a private studio-style room or a small shared room. Rooms may sometimes have a small kitchenette with a sink, but are often simply a combined sleeping/living area with an attached bathroom.
Similar to most apartment-style living, choosing a smaller room or a shared room with a roommate can be more cost effective than choosing a large private room. Keep in mind that a smaller floor plan may also provide a less confusing living arrangement for your loved one to navigate.

Talk with a Senior Care Advisor

Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.

To help you understand a community’s costs — and avoid any surprise fees — be sure to ask the following questions before signing any paperwork:
  • What’s the price, and are there any charges that change from month to month?
  • Is this community all-inclusive? If not, what services are included in the base price, and what involve additional charges?
  • Are there various floor plans available? If so, what are the price differences?
  • Are there move-in incentives, such as end-of-year rates or rate lock-ins?
  • What types of insurance and health benefits do you accept?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio during the day and at night?

Finding a memory care community that fits your needs

It just takes a phone call. A Senior Care Advisor can offer guidance and help connect you with local, budget-friendly memory care communities that suit your loved one’s needs. They can also answer any questions you may have and help schedule community tours, all at no cost to you or your family.


  1. A Place for Mom. (2023). A Place for Mom Proprietary Senior Living Price Index.

Meet the Author
Grace Styron

Grace Styron is a writer at OurParents specializing in assistive technology, memory care, and home care. Before writing about healthy aging, she worked for an online women’s lifestyle magazine and as a grant writer for a nonprofit regenerative permaculture farm in Virginia. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University.

Reviewed bySaul Chapnick

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