Find memory care facilities near you.

Memory care facilities offer specialized care related to Alzheimer’s and other conditions related to dementia. This guide covers memory care services, cost of memory care facilities, and how to find memory care near you.


Comprehensive Guide to Memory Care

Memory care facilities are one of the more common facility types found across the long-term care spectrum of services. If a relative or other loved one has Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, you should know your options for choosing a community.

They’re also one of the types of care where people have the most questions about it:

  • What does it mean to receive memory care?
  • When does a loved one need memory care?
  • What are my options for facilities and payment?
  • What makes one memory care facility better than another?
  • What memory care communities are near me?

These and other questions worry adults as they transition a loved one to a memory care community.

They’re also the questions that we’ll tackle here in this guide. If you are looking for answers, resources, and next steps to finding a great memory care facility for a loved one, you’re in the right place.

LTC News is dedicated to being an online resource for long-term care information, with the ultimate aim of helping people make better choices about their health, finances, and family. Your journey to health and happiness is our most important goal.

What Is Memory Care?

If someone has memory or other cognitive trouble, they may have a form of dementia and be in need of memory care. Memory care is a form of specialized care specifically for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s and related cognitive decline.

Memory care can overlap with other forms of long-term care, but will not always be a standard part of facility care unless the facility is specifically designed to accommodate those with memory care needs.

Services Offered at Memory Care Facilities

Memory care facilities, or memory care units in larger care communities that have more services than just memory care, have a number of features that separate them from other forms of care.

Memory care facilities have 24-hour care, in controlled environments to prevent residents from getting lost.

Memory care requires specialized staff trained in practices related to memory care for those with dementia and related conditions.

Many long-term care facilities will have activities and opportunities for engagement, but memory care facilities will have activities specifically designed to aid memory retention and enhancement.

Lastly, memory care facilities offer general care beyond that which is specific to residents’ cognitive issues. Like some other long-term care communities, care is provided related to activities of daily living, which include Bathing, Continence, Dressing, Eating, Toileting and Transferring.

Related services such as housekeeping and meal services are provided as well.

Who Needs Memory Care?

There isn’t a single point at which your loved one needs memory care, but there are several signs that can help guide you to this decision. A clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia is the clearest sign, but others can lead to this point.

Broadly speaking, long-term care facilities assist with the activities of daily living, mentioned above. If someone you know is beginning to struggle with these day-to-day tasks, it may be time to seek care for them.

This metric, however, isn’t specific to memory care, and may simply mean that some form of care (including home health care, assisted living or nursing homes) is the best fit.

Memory care deals specifically with memory issues, dementia, and cognitive decline, so the signs can be related to activities of daily living but may also manifest in other ways. Here are some considerations for deciding if a loved one is in need of memory care:

  • Can they complete mental status exams? These can include simple tests such as repeating information they’ve recently received, naming objects, and doing basic arithmetic or spelling exercises.
  • Are they agitated or aggressive more often than usual? This can relate to confusion resulting from memory issues.
  • Are they progressively losing weight and lacking adequate nutrition?
  • Are they regularly taking proper medications, or are they forgetting or confusing medication schedules?
  • Do they regularly wander without a specific purpose, or forget why they entered a room?
  • Is their home not being kept up? Is a pet not being properly fed or cared for?

This list of questions isn’t comprehensive, and deficiencies may also be due to other causes besides memory, such as mobility issues. However, if the answers to such questions begin to form a pattern, it’s likely time to investigate memory care options to get expert medical opinions that can guide your decisions.

Is Dementia the Same as Alzheimer’s?

Not exactly. Dementia is the more general term, which refers to cognitive decline and memory loss. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease.

It’s true that Alzheimer’s accounts for the majority of dementia cases, between 60-80% according to the Alzheimer’s Association, but not all of them.

The two will occasionally be used interchangeably in common usage, but strictly speaking, this is the distinction between them. Dementia, then, is the broader term.

Both fall into the category of people who can receive memory care, though.

Memory Care vs. Assisted Living and Nursing Homes

Memory care is a subset of long-term care, an umbrella term that can include various kinds of care.

Frequently, memory care is compared to (or confused with) assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

Memory care, as mentioned, deals with care specific to memory loss, dementia, and cognitive decline. This type of care can happen at either assisted living communities or nursing homes, but this is not assured.

Most commonly, facilities will specialize in memory care and only admit residents who are in need of care related to memory. However, some assisted living facilities or nursing homes will have memory care units alongside their more traditional care units.

As such, it’s important to understand the specific services offered by a community you may be considering. And if you’re searching for memory care, finding homes that specialize in this care is a necessity.

Find Memory Care Near Me

It’s important to have a plan to research memory care facilities, and we’re guessing that you’re reading this because you’re looking for some answers.

The resources and considerations below are designed to make your task easier.

Our care directory can start you on your journey to finding an ideal memory care facility near you that meets your needs.

Below that, we discuss some questions you can ask memory care facilities to ensure they’re meeting the care standards your loved one deserves, and that you’re aware of the types of services each facility offers.

LTC News Care Directory

LTC News has one of the largest long-term care directories in the world, and the best part is, it’s free to use!

The directory has over 80,000 listings in total, with thousands of memory care facilities nationwide. You can also see the average cost of memory care facilities near you with our geographic searches.

Directory listings include location, amenities, and will often include reviews and photos to help you better assess memory care near you.

We believe in making information and resources freely available for those in need of long-term care. To find memory care communities near you, enter your information below!

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Questions to Ask Memory Care Facilities

Coming prepared with questions for facilities will help you to better assess them. Here are some things you can discuss with a memory care facility to understand their services better and determine if it’s the right fit.

  1. What activities and therapies are used at the facility to assist with memory issues? [Note: every facility will have a list, but this will allow you to compare techniques between facilities]
  2. How are staff assigned to residents? How many staff members will your loved one have to work with on a regular basis? Lower staff per resident can create a sense of normalcy and routine, and can avoid confusion for residents.
  3. Are there services that the facility’s base fee doesn’t cover? What are these, and what are the costs? Are they optional? This could include things like transportation services and specialized activities.
  4. Can I see the activity calendar for this week? Is it possible to observe one of the activities in progress?
  5. How often is information communicated to family or loved ones of the resident? What type of information is shared, and how is it shared? Getting updates can be beneficial.
  6. Can I see an example of a care plan? How are they created? While privacy issues will prevent you from seeing an actual care plan for a resident, the staff should be able to walk you through how one is created.
  7. How is the facility itself designed to accommodate those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory issues?

This isn’t a comprehensive list of questions, but can start to give you a sense of how the memory care facility operates, and how a care plan would be implemented for a loved one residing there.

The end goal is to feel confident in your decision on a memory care facility. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions once you’ve visited several memory care facilities, since you’ll think of new questions as you see more facility types and take tours of each.

Example of a Memory Care Treatment Plan

We’ve talked in mostly abstract terms about memory care plans. And the reason for this is that every plan will be different, different organizations handle treatment and therapy plans differently, and this kind of specialized plan is one that needs to be prepared by the staff at the community who will be caring for your family member.

However, the types of therapies that some organizations use are well-known, and can be used to talk about what you can expect in a therapy plan for residents of a memory care community.

Brookdale Senior Living is a large organization with hundreds of communities nationwide and tens of thousands of residents at their facilities. They’re among the organizations that outline the style of memory care they advocate. While plans are individualized, there are some elements that can be found in numerous therapy plans:

  • Morning brain “workouts” including discussions and games
  • A variety of physical activities
  • Outings that feature stimulating experiences
  • Art, music and book classes
  • Nutrition that supports cognition

Additionally, monitoring and safety technology is used in their communities to prevent falls, encourage engagement with community activities, and provide comfort and companionship.

As stressed in the questions we mentioned above, they strive to assign the same staff members to residents, to avoid confusion as a result of change.

They also have hybrid plans for those in late-stage or early-stage dementia, since the needs of these residents will differ significantly.

These are some best practices across the memory care space, so Brookdale won’t be the only organization that utilizes some or all of them. However, they’re a useful case study in the types of considerations that go into creating a treatment plan for those suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s or related conditions.

Cost of Memory Care

According to various cost indexes, the median cost of memory care in 2024 is approximately $6,000 per month, or $72,000 per year.

For comparison, the median cost of assisted living is $4,373, and a semi-private nursing home room is $8,240 per month. These two figures are from the LTC News Cost of Care Calculator, which measures current costs of care and provides estimates of future costs.

Memory care usually falls between those options in price, because the level of care is higher than that of a typical assisted living facility, but lower than a typical nursing home.

It’s important to note that these are national averages, and can vary significantly state to state and in individual regions. The figures can help you prepare for the costs associated with memory care, but you’ll want to research facilities near you to get more exact figures.

To see the average cost of memory care in your area, check out our comprehensive care directory, which includes thousands of memory care facilities.

Looking for care now? Find Memory Care facilities near you

Paying for Memory Care

If the costs listed above seem alarming, the good news is that there are financial vehicles and programs that can assist with payment.

However, the worst thing you can do is lack a plan of how to pay for memory care costs, or simply assume that a governmental program will cover you. Protecting wealth and assets is possible in these situations, but requires planning.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Perhaps the best way to ensure you have extended coverage for memory care costs is via Long-Term Care Insurance. Policies vary in benefit amounts, but policy costs pale in comparison to the costs of extended memory care.

LTC News works with Long-Term Care Insurance Specialists who can help you create a policy that meets your needs and protects your assets, should you need to transition to some form of long-term care.

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Home Equity or Reverse Mortgage

Use of home equity is a viable way for some to pay for long-term care costs. Understanding how reverse mortgages work is a necessary first step before considering this, but can avoid using other forms of wealth to fund memory care costs.


Medicaid covers several care types related to memory care and long-term care in general. Medicaid laws can vary from state to state; be aware of those that affect you. Additionally, many Medicaid benefits are dependent on spending down other forms of wealth, such as retirement funds. These may also apply to your spouse. 

For those wanting to avoid these restrictions, there are ways to protect yourself. Long-Term Care Insurance is one prominent option. Others can include trusts and annuities, but there are often lookback periods on these that make them eligible for Medicaid consideration. Check out our article on Medicaid and IRA assets for more on these limitations and considerations.

Veterans Benefits

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Aid and Attendance program provides benefits to certain veterans and widowed spouses of veterans. If your relative is a veteran or widowed spouse of one, they may be eligible for benefits that will help them to pay for care.

Self-Pay and Other Payment Methods

Given the high cost of memory care, self-pay via personal wealth is not a common option, but it remains a possibility. Other financial vehicles such as bridge loans, selling off life insurance policies, or short-term care insurance can also be considered. We’ve covered the most common payment methods above, but if none of them meet your needs, these are some additional possibilities.

Transitioning a Loved One to a Memory Care Facility

There are numerous potential strategies for helping a relative or loved one move into a memory care facility.

First and foremost, are they able to understand what the move means for them, and can they take part in the decision process? Ideally, they’re involved in making the decision, but depending on the state of their condition, they may be too confused to understand the full implications of the move. Dementia can make a transition harder, which is why it’s important to plan ahead.

Regardless, speaking with them and helping them to understand can be crucial, regardless of their mental state. Some expert sources suggest sticking to a script and using the same phrases repeatedly, so that the messaging to your loved one is the same from all family members.

Another key element of the transition is making their new living space feel like home. This can mean setting up their living space with items that remind them of their current home, family members, friends, and other items that hold nostalgic value for them.

The staff at the memory care facility should also be involved in this transition. Since you won’t be around full-time, it’s important to understand how the staff will be easing the transition and encouraging your family member to engage with their new community. This can give you messaging to reinforce when you visit them, to help reinforce the encouragement from staff members.

Lastly, transitioning to a memory care facility isn’t just about the move. It’s about their lifestyle once they’re there full-time. To assist with this, scheduling regular visits and encouraging them when they engage in new activities can help your loved one to feel welcome in their new home, and not forgotten or neglected.

The experts at the memory care facility you choose will be able to give you additional considerations and strategies to ease your loved one’s transition, but this can get you started in the right direction toward helping them to feel safe and happy in their new home.

Top Cities for Memory Care

Explore Memory Care options in these major metro areas:

New York, NY
New York, NY

New York, NY

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Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

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Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

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Houston, TX
Houston, TX

Houston, TX

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Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

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Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

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Frequently Asked Questions About Memory Care

We’ve covered a lot of major topics and biggest questions we get about memory care, but here are some additional common questions you may have as you begin your search for a memory care facility.

Do Memory Care Facilities Allow Pets?

There isn’t a “yes” or “no” answer here for all facilities. Some will allow pets, while others are more limited in being able to offer this perk. As you research a memory care facility, be sure to ask about this if you’d like a pet to accompany your loved one.

Can Memory Care Kick You Out?

Evictions from memory care and assisted living facilities are legal, so long as facilities don’t violate their own policies or any contractual agreements. However, laws regarding evictions in care facilities are managed on the state level, so it’s important to know the laws in your state.

Are Memory Care Facilities Covered by Insurance?

Traditional health insurance does not generally cover disabilities. Alzheimer’s and related dementia conditions qualify as a disability, and would therefore not be eligible. Other forms of payment such as Long-Term Care Insurance, disability insurance, or governmental programs such as Medicaid.

What Comes After Memory Care if a Resident Needs More Care?

While memory care facilities offer specialized care, it’s possible for a resident to need higher levels of care than the facility offers. While the specific care needs of the resident may alter this path, the typical next step for higher levels of care is a nursing home. These facilities will be staffed appropriately for higher levels of care needed by some residents.

Is Memory Care Tax Deductible?

It can be, yes. It depends on your financial situation, but there are tax deductions and credits related to memory care that you may be eligible for. Additionally, Long-Term Care Insurance premiums can be tax deductible as well. It’s important to check with a tax professional to make sure you’re taking advantage of these benefits.

Is Memory Care Covered by Medicaid?

Yes, Medicaid pays for various long-term care charges, including some services related to memory care. However, Medicaid laws can vary significantly based on where you live. Be sure you understand your state’s laws before assuming that all memory care services will be covered by Medicaid.

Is Memory Care Skilled Nursing?

Memory care is considered a skilled form of care. However, skilled nursing facilities, often called nursing homes, offer types of skilled care that won’t be available at facilities that specialize only in memory care. Many nursing homes will offer memory care for Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions.

Additional Reading: Research Memory Care Near You

Now that you have more information on memory care facilities, their services, costs, and considerations on who needs memory care, we encourage you to use the LTC News Care Directory to search for memory care facilities near you.

If you’re still gathering information before that step, though, below we’ve listed our top resources for researching, assessing and paying for services from a memory care facility.

  1. Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities - see an overview that compares these care types directly.
  2. Long-Term Care Insurance Cost - See costs based on age and benefits, and examples of policies that will meet your long-term care needs.
  3. Cost of Care Calculator - see median costs by state and care type.
  4. Preparing Following an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis - what steps should you take?
  5. Predicting the Risk of Alzheimer’s - what are the signs, and tools used to predict risk?
  6. Wandering Creates Challenges for Those with Alzheimer's and Their Families - how you can avoid risks associated with wandering loved ones.

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