Paying for Memory Care: Costs, Options and Resources | Avalon Memory Care

Paying for Memory Care: Costs, Options and Resources

When you or a loved one are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, there are many things to consider and plan for. One of the biggest concerns most seniors and their families have is paying for memory care. Since dementia is a progressive disease, the care that the individual will need increases as the disease progresses. Eventually, an individual with dementia will need around-the-clock care, which is usually administered – but not always – in a specialized memory care community like Avalon Memory Care.

Nearly 5.5. million Americans are living with a form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia or frontotemporal dementia (FTD). This number is only expected to increase as the Baby Boomers continue to age and medical technology continues to extend our natural lifespans. And that means that the cost of memory care is likely to continue to increase for many American families.

Currently, the worldwide cost of dementia care is approximately 1 trillion U.S. dollars. In other words, if dementia care were a country, it’s GDP would be the 17th highest in the world! That’s a lot of money being spent…and fortunately, there are a variety of programs available to help provide financial assistance, respite care and other forms of aid to help seniors, families and caregivers.

At Avalon Memory Care, we understand very well the cost of providing memory care – financially, emotionally and mentally. Our goal is to not just be a home for your loved one, but also a resource for you and your family members. Part of that is providing the information you need to help you make a wise decision with regards to care. To that end, we’ve put together some helpful information about how to pay for memory care, resources you can look into and where you can go to find more assistance as needed.


The Cost of Memory Care

Many seniors, if you asked them, would choose to receive care from the comfort of their current home. For the vast majority of those with dementia – especially those in the early to mid- stages of the disease – care is often being provided in-home by family caregivers or home health aides. Most home care providers don’t charge additional fees for individuals with memory issues. Instead, they have a flat rate for their various services, with added fees depending on what’s needed. The cost of in-home care can range from $16–$28/hour, for an average of $21/hr nationwide and varies by state. And that’s not including the cost of doctor’s visits and medications for those with Alzheimer’s – costs that can add up fairly rapidly.  Not all in-home care services specialize in the needs and well-being of those living with dementia.

When it comes to providing care in a memory care community, there’s no way around it – it’s not cheap. In 2019, the average cost for a month’s stay in a memory care community was anywhere from $4,000 – $10,000 (or more).

While providing memory care at home can be the more financially viable solution, there are other costs and issues that come up when a person is not living in a secure memory care community. The first of these issues is loss of income. Oftentimes, a family caregiver will have to reduce their working hours or leave their job entirely to care for a senior loved one, which puts a crimp in income flow. Another issue is safety. Individuals with dementia often have a tendency to wander, which can be difficult to curtail unless a home is properly secured.

In other words, while the cost of caring for a senior loved one at home is the cheapest option on paper, it is not always the most valuable option.


Financial Assistance Options

For most people, the cost of memory care can be covered by a variety of different sources. Some of these are more general, some are personal, and some are resources specifically designed for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Insurance – privately held policies – is the most commonly used financial tool to pay for memory care. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommends people seek out policies that offer at least:

  • One year of nursing or home care coverage, including intermediate and custodial care
  • Coverage for Alzheimer’s disease
  • A free look period, giving you the right to return a policy within 30 days of purchasing it
  • An option for home benefits without first having to stay in a hospital or nursing home.


If long-term care insurance isn’t the best option for you, is there another choice besides paying for everything out of your savings? These ideas may be worth considering:

  • Short-term care insurance – Similar to long-term care insurance, but the benefits usually run for only one year. Seniors who don’t qualify for long-term care insurance may be able to buy this kind.
  • Life-LTC Hybrids – Another option is a policy that combines life insurance with long-term care insurance. These may be more affordable and less prone to premium price spikes.
  • LTC annuities – These accounts often require a big upfront investment, but provide regular payouts to cover the cost of a wide range of senior care needs.
  • Health Savings Accounts – An option that lets people put aside money tax-free to cover medical costs, including long-term care and even premiums for LTC insurance.

Medicare does not cover in-home personal care, and its use for assisted living or nursing home services is limited. For example, Medicare will pay for care being offered in a community but not the cost of personal care services. It’s important for seniors and their family members to review their benefits and meet with counselors or social workers who can help them navigate the red tape and ensure they’re receiving the full value of the benefits they’ve received.

Personal funds are the next most-common tool used to pay for memory care. These are generally a combination of savings accounts, retirement accounts, and Social Security payment. Some individuals also pay for memory care through the sale of a family home, or a reverse mortgage that allows them to access their home’s equity.

There are also programs managed or funded by different states that are designed for individuals who meet certain criteria. These range from generalized assistance programs to other funding options designed specifically for those with memory issues like dementia.


Non-Financial Support

The old saying goes that “it takes a village to raise a child” and the same can be said for caring for someone with dementia. While financial support is important, emotional and mental support – for family members and caregivers as well as the person with dementia – is just as important. Many community organizations provide low-cost or free assistance or services to alleviate stress or provide much-needed support. This can range from transportation services, respite care, home-delivered meals, social services and others. To look for resources near you, connect with your local Area Agency on Aging or your community’s branch of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Another great resource for families, caregivers and seniors? Memory care communities like Avalon Memory Care. While of course we care for those who call us home, we are also dedicated to helping family caregivers and others who are affected by dementia – whether or not their loved one lives with us. We offer free-to-the-public events and informational sessions and are always available if you’d like to call and ask for assistance or advice.


Helpful Sites and Resources

Here are some of our top sites for finding assistance when it comes to paying for memory care and finding supportive services for you or a loved one.

  • The Alzheimer’s Association® has a 24/7 Helpline that provides assistance locating support, services and more
  • gov can help you find out which government benefits you may be eligible to receive.
  • Benefits Check-Up helps you find benefit programs that can help pay for medications, health care, food, utilities and more.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs has information on government benefits available to those who served in the military.
  • National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information is a government site that helps you plan for long-term care needs and find services.
  • Eldercare Locator is a great site that can help you find your local Area Agency on Aging and other resources.

See More Articles

  • Visiting Your Aging Parent With Memory Loss at Avalon Memory Care

    As a loving son or daughter, you naturally want the best of care for your senior parent. The compassionate assisted living caregivers at Avalon Memory Care want you to know that while your parent is living with us, he or she will receive nothing less than respectful, loving care within our comfortable, safe, and fully-staffed

  • Celebrating New Year’s Day in Memory Care

    Families often find that celebrations with their loved ones in memory care are easier when they embrace new traditions. For instance, it may not be practical to expect your loved one to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. Instead, consider throwing a New Year’s Day celebration, complete with a countdown to the first

  • Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia

    Parkinson’s disease is an incurable neurological disorder, with progressively worsening complications. Perhaps the most well-known symptom of Parkinson’s is a hand tremor, but it can also cause speech changes, muscle rigidity, and impaired posture. Eventually, as the disease progresses, more than half of all individuals with Parkinson’s will require dementia care. This particular type of


“Since my mother has lived at Avalon, I have had peace of mind for the first time since Alzheimer’s began to exact its terrible price from my mother’s life. Thank you for your part in making our lives better.”
Daughter | Ft. Worth, TX
“I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the care and love afforded to my mom over the last two weeks. Your success in finding such quality people has my gratitude and respect.”
Daughter | Dallas, TX
“We are very pleased with all of the efforts that your caring staff has made to smooth this traumatic transition.”
Son | Plano, TX
“I know my husband had the very best care in his final days. I regret that I did not know about Avalon sooner.”
Wife | Dallas, TX
“Mom spent the final 8 months of her life in Avalon Memory Care in Allen. The staff was great. There was rarely a day that my brother or I did not come by and they were always friendly to us and did their best to make mom comfortable and happy. We really appreciated them for everything they did.”
Daughter | Allen, TX
“Making the decision to place my mother in residential memory care was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. But living at Avalon has been the best thing for her at this stage of her life.”
Daughter | Allen, TX
“My grandmother has lived at Avalon Memory Care for 6 months now. I cannot speak highly enough about the warmth, dedication, and caring compassion of the staff. They always make us feel welcome and go out of their way to work with us to accommodate grandma’s needs.”
Grandson | Arlington, TX
“My grandmother spent her final days at Avalon and we couldn’t have asked for a better place to care for her. The caregivers are attentive and kind, and many of them have been with Avalon for years. If you are looking for a place to love on you and your family in a season that is inevitably difficult, Avalon is a wonderful choice.”
Granddaughter | Arlington, TX
“We are delighted with the facility of Avalon Memory Care. We just placed Grandma in an apartment with them and couldn’t be happier. It is clean and well-lit, and everyone greets us, down to the folks who clean up.”
Granddaughter | Arlington, TX

Schedule a Tour

Visit one of our 30+ campuses and experience our unique approach to memory care.

Book Now

Careers at Avalon

Explore our wide range of
career opportunities!

Learn More