Memory Care in Arizona |

Memory Care in Arizona

The number of seniors in Arizona who are living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia is staggering. In fact, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that more than 150,000 Arizona seniors aged 65 and older were living with the disease as of 2020, and it is expected that this number may increase to 200,000 by the year 2025. In Arizona, Alzheimer's disease is the fifth leading cause of death for seniors, and throughout the U.S., almost one in three people who die each year have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia.

Memory care facilities provide those living with Alzheimer's and dementia with care that is tailored to their unique needs. Memory care can take place in its own facility, or as part of a designated wing of another residential care community. Staff members of memory care units or facilities undergo specialized training in caring for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer's or dementia.

This guide will cover the cost of memory care in Arizona, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Arizona.

The Cost of Memory Care in Arizona

When figuring out how to pay for memory care, you first need to understand how much it will cost for your loved one to move to a quality community. As costs continue to rise, it's vital to have the latest details when planning for elderly care costs. In order to shed light on the impact of inflation on senior living costs, has gathered cost information from its network of over 75,000 senior living communities. These prices are based on the cost of Memory Care in Arizona and 19 other cities in Arizona.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in Arizona

Senior care costs in Arizona have increased due to inflation. Between 2022 and 2023, memory care costs rose by 15% in the state, which is higher than the 10.5% cost increase seen on a national level. Looking at nearby states, Nevada's rates increased by 4.5% and California's average costs rose by just 3.5% during this time. In Utah, costs actually decreased by 4%, dropping to $4,425 from $4,595.

For 2024, costs in Arizona are projected to be $6,209—affordable compared to California's estimated rate of $6,453. These rising numbers highlight the importance of planning ahead for senior care.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
New Mexico$4,943$5,214$5,553

Memory Care Costs in Arizona's Top Cities

Memory care costs vary across Arizona cities. On average, Scottsdale is one of the more expensive cities in the state at $7,250, followed by Phoenix at $6,725. Tucson offers more affordable memory care at $4,181. Mesa's rates are slightly higher at $4,407, though it's still around $1,000 less expensive than the state median ($5,401). Keep in mind that costs can fluctuate between facilities based on factors such as amenities, services and location within each city. 

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Senior care costs often vary between different types of care. Independent living is the most affordable option, averaging $3,009 per month, while assisted living comes in a little higher at $4,420, as it provides more assistance with daily tasks. For those requiring specialized care, memory care costs $5,401 due to its tailored support for individuals with cognitive conditions. Considering a senior's personal needs and financial resources is crucial when selecting the most suitable care option. 

Arizona Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

The Medicaid program in Arizona is known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Seniors who qualify for Medicaid may be eligible to receive support with the cost of memory care through the Arizona Long-Term Care System. This is the branch of Medicaid that supports elderly and disabled individuals living in nursing homes, memory care facilities and other types of long-term care arrangements.

  • Who Is Eligible: ALTCS is an entitlement program with no enrolment caps. Seniors must be aged 65 or over, U.S. citizens or qualified immigrants and residents of Arizona to qualify. They must also meet income and asset requirements, which vary depending on whether the applicant is an individual or part of a couple.
  • How to Apply: To apply for the ALTCS, seniors should contact the nearest ALTCS office. Alternatively, applicants can call 888-621-6880 to discuss their eligibility.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Arizona

To qualify for Medicaid, Arizona seniors must meet certain income and asset requirements. These requirements vary depending on whether the applicant is single or part of a couple. Sole applicants are allowed an income of $30,276 per year and are expected to spend most of their income on health care. When a married person applies by themselves, the spouse's income is ignored, and there's an allowance of between $27,480 and $137,400 for the spouse's community assets. In the case of dual applicants, the income allowance is $30,276 per year per person, with a combined asset limit of $3,000.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Arizona

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,276 for applicant Spouse's income is ignored$2,000
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$30,276 per spouse$3,000

To receive help with the costs of long-term care, seniors must have been assessed as having a medical need for that care. In addition to the income and asset requirements, seniors must also meet other eligibility criteria, including:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a residency permit
  • Be aged 65 or over
  • Have a qualifying medical condition
  • Reside in Arizona

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Arizona

Seniors who require assistance with the Medicaid application process or are unsure if they qualify for Medicaid can seek advice from the following organizations, including helplines, resource websites and portals.

resourcecontactdescription is a national website that offers state-specific pages covering Medicaid and other benefits. The site includes benefit guides, contact details and a quick and easy eligibility checker.
Arizona Department of Economic Security855-432-7587Arizona DES provides a helpline to assist individuals who wish to apply for Medicaid or other benefits. It offers a short online guide that includes the information seniors need to have on hand to apply and the eligibility requirements. Those with more specific questions can call the helpline for advice.
Senior Planning888-891-1516Senior Planning provides free ALTCS application assistance and helps seniors find the right care services for their needs. It can also help with applications for veterans benefits and care planning for those with special needs.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Memory Care in Arizona?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not generally cover the cost of Memory Care. Most Memory Care Facilities are considered to be "social settings," so Medicare does not cover the cost incurred in these facilities. The only exception to that is if you are receiving memory care services in a Nursing Home. While this situation is much less common, Medicare would sometimes cover the cost, depending on a number of circumstances.

That being said, Medicare does still cover qualified doctor visits, medications, etc., as it would if you were still at home, but it will not cover the cost of care received at the Memory Care Facility.

More Ways to Pay for Memory Care in Arizona

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Depending on the policy details, long-term care insurance may be used to pay for memory care services. It's best to sign up for a policy early, as coverage will likely be denied if one already has long-term care needs. More information about the intricacies of long-term care insurance can be found at
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow some homeowners to take out a loan as an advance from the eventual sale of their primary residence. This can be a good way to fund memory care in the short-term, but the loans will need to be paid back after the sale of the home. The most commonly used type of reverse mortgages for seniors is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government.
  • Veterans Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs that veterans and their spouses may use to cover health care needs such as memory care. More information about these programs can be found on the VA website.
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Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Arizona

Memory Care Regulation

In Arizona, all assisted living facilities, including those that provide memory care services, are licensed by the Division of Public Health Licensing Services, Bureau of Residential Facilities Licensing. To provide behavioral health services, these facilities are required to submit supplemental applications for approval. All facilities are inspected prior to licensing and are subject to annual renewal inspections. In cases where inspections do not uncover deficiencies, facilities may be able to renew licensing for a period of two years.

Facility Scope of Care

Assisted living and memory care facilities may provide supervisory care, personal care, directed care, behavioral health services, and ancillary services. Each facility is required to provide a detailed outline of the services it offers when applying for licensing. In addition to personal care, assisted living and memory care facilities are required to provide three healthy meals each day as well as snacks. These meals must meet the dietary needs of each resident.

Admissions Requirements

The table below provides details about who may or may not be admitted to memory care programs in Arizona.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people with:

  • Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia
  • Physical or developmental disabilities
  • A hospice or private duty nurse providing supplemental care

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Are bedbound
  • Are unable to direct self-care
  • Require continuous nursing care
  • Require continuous physical or chemical restraints, including bed rails
  • Have stage III or IV pressure sores
  • Require services that the facility is unable to provide
  • Pose an immediate threat to their own health and safety or the health and safety of other individuals

Care Plan Requirements

All assisted living facilities in Arizona are required to provide a written service plan for each resident within 14 days of acceptance. This care plan must outline the resident's medical conditions, including cognitive, physical, behavioral, or functional impairments, as well as their need for medication assistance and administration. Additionally, the written service plan must provide a detailed description of the services the resident will receive.

In any case where nursing services or medication administration are provided to a resident, a nurse or other medical practitioner is required to review and sign off on the service plan. These plans must be updated as follows:

  • Every three months for residents receiving directed care services
  • Every six months for residents receiving personal care services
  • Every 12 months for residents receiving supervisory care services

Medication Management Requirements

Assisted living facilities in Arizona are permitted to provide medication administration, as well as assistance or monitoring of self-administration and medication procurement. However, all medication administration must be carried out by a licensed nurse, while medication assistance may be carried out by a trained caregiver or certified assisted living manager. Facilities that provide administration assistance are required to store medications on behalf of residents.

Facility Requirements

In Arizona, memory care and assisted living residents may be provided with either single- or double-occupancy bedrooms. Each residential unit must be equipped with a keyed entry, as well as a resident-controlled thermostat, a bathroom and kitchen area.

In assisted living and memory care facilities with 10 residents or less, sleeping areas must be situated on the ground floor, and each facility must have at least one toilet, sink and shower per every eight residents.

Staffing Requirements

All staff members providing care in a memory care or assisted living facility in Arizona must be capable of providing all services that the facility offers. While there is no minimum staff-to-resident ratio, there must be sufficient staff on duty at all times to provide services as needed by the facility's residents. Additionally, at least one manager or trained caregiver must be awake and on duty at all times when residents are on the premises.

All staff who are responsible for providing care in a memory care or assisted living facility are required to undergo an orientation and in-service education, which must be provided by the facility manager. This training must be specific to the duties that they are expected to perform. All staff must also have first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training.

Medicaid Policy

Arizona's Medicaid plan, the Arizona Health Care Costs Containment System, does not cover the cost of room and board in memory care facilities. However, financial assistance may be available to cover the cost of memory care services under the Arizona Long-Term Care System.

Reporting Abuse

Arizona's Long-Term Care Ombudsman investigates claims regarding the quality of care or treatment of residents in long-term care facilities throughout the state. Complaints and concerns can be reported to county offices or can be made by calling the state office at 602-542-6454.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Arizona

In Arizona, there is an abundance of resources designed to assist seniors throughout their retirement. has compiled information on a range of local organizations, programs, and agencies, categorizing them based on the care services they offer for easy browsing.

Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging in is a crucial asset for retired individuals, providing advice on financial assistance, home-based care, and planning for extended care. It also connects seniors and their caregivers with local resources.

Arizona Area Agencies on AgingArizona's Area Agencies on Aging provide essential support and advocacy for older residents, enabling them to age in place. With remote and statewide locations, they connect seniors, families, and caregivers to a range of services. These include home-delivered meals and assistance in managing chronic health conditions. A 24-hour senior helpline is also available at (888)-783-7500.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in Arizona to help seniors with low income sustain their home living. These initiatives provide tax reductions, discounts on crucial services, and aid for home temperature regulation costs.

Arizona Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers discounted telephone service, enabling participants to stay connected with their loved ones through landline or mobile phones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Elderly individuals in Arizona, living independently or in elderly care homes, can avail of numerous local financial support opportunities. These aid options help reduce in-home or long-term care costs and connect them to valuable community resources.

Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)The Arizona Long Term Care System offers a comprehensive range of services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. It covers nursing home care and community-based options, enabling you to remain in your preferred residential setting. Services include in-home care, personal care attendants, assisted living, adult day health care, and more.

Food Assistance Programs

In Arizona, numerous community programs focus on enhancing the health of seniors via proper diet. These initiatives provide meal delivery, shared meals, and food bank services, guaranteeing that older citizens can obtain reasonably priced, healthy food.

Arizona The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)TEFAP is a federal program providing free emergency food packages to low-income individuals and seniors in need. Monthly food boxes include shelf-stable items like canned or dried fruits, vegetables, pasta, bread, and bottled juices. Eligibility requires a household income below 185% of the federal poverty line. Many participating distributors are available across Arizona.
Arizona C.R.I.T. Food Distribution Program928-669-1283The C.R.I.T. Food Distribution Program in Parker, AZ, provides support to low-income seniors and individuals in the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation area. This initiative offers USDA-approved foods and locally grown produce to supplement monthly groceries. Qualified elderly and disabled residents may be eligible for home meal delivery. Applications are required, and food distribution is available on weekdays by appointment.
Arizona Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP)The Commodity Senior Food Program in Arizona supports low-income seniors by delivering or offering monthly pickups of nutritious food. The program provides various packages containing canned meats, fruits, vegetables, milk, cereal, rice, and pasta, all sourced from the USDA. Eligibility is determined by income qualifications.
Arizona Meals on WheelsThe Arizona Meals on Wheels program provides nutritious meals to seniors in need. Homebound individuals can receive pre-prepared meals delivered to their door, along with companionship and safety checks from volunteers. Meal costs are determined based on individual circumstances. Seniors who are able to leave their homes can enjoy congregate meals at different locations, promoting socialization among older residents.
Arizona Senior Farmers Markets Nutrition Program (SFMNP)The Arizona Senior Farmers Markets Nutrition Program provides vouchers to seniors aged 60 and above, allowing them to buy fresh food at local farmer's markets. Eligibility is based on income. Some locations also offer Community Supported Agriculture boxes, eliminating the need to travel and shop at the market.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In Arizona, several organizations are tackling the high cost of new medical devices. They collect lightly used equipment such as wheelchairs, ramps, and walkers, distributing them to local elderly and those requiring assistance.

Arizona Loans for Assistive Technology (AZLAT)800-477-9921Northern Arizona University's program provides a wide range of assistive technology (AT) and AT-related products, catering to individuals with hearing and vision loss, as well as functional needs. With over 4,000 options available, this program offers comprehensive solutions to enhance accessibility and improve quality of life.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Arizona, a variety of programs exist to support seniors and those with disabilities in funding home improvements and repairs. These initiatives, providing grants or loans, feature different eligibility criteria tailored for retired individuals.

Arizona Weatherization Assistance ProgramThe Weatherization Assistance Program offers free funding for eligible individuals to make energy-efficient upgrades and home improvements.
Arizona Emergency Repairs and Housing RehabilitationThe Arizona Department of Housing provides community block grants to designated areas, offering financial aid for emergency repairs.

In Arizona, there are several organizations offering cost-effective or free legal aid to senior citizens. They provide advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills, and power of attorney. Some also champion the rights of the elderly in long-term care establishments.

Arizona Community Legal Services602-258-3434This agency offers complimentary legal guidance and representation to seniors and low-income adults. Skilled attorneys provide assistance with tax matters, aiding seniors in resolving IRS-related issues. They also provide support in accessing healthcare and public benefits. Additionally, the organization operates a resource center that offers self-help information and forms.
Arizona Senior Citizens Law Project866-637-5341The Arizona Senior Citizens Law Project provides free legal services to seniors aged 60 and above in Maricopa County. While there are no income requirements, priority is given to low-income seniors. They offer assistance in legal and civil matters, connecting seniors with private attorneys. Services include estate planning, will drafting, and guidance on Social Security and veteran benefits.

Senior Centers

In Arizona, elderly individuals find a community hub in senior centers, offering a range of recreational pursuits, events, and essential resources. These centers also provide health programs, dietary advice, and support for issues related to senior living.

Arizona Complete Health Avondale Resource Center623-333-2741Discover a variety of engaging activities and events at the Avondale community center. Designed for residents aged 60 and older, our offerings include fitness classes, bingo, raffles, and more. Enjoy convenient transportation service to and from the campus. Join us for a delightful time at the Avondale community center.

Social Security Offices

In Arizona, Social Security offices are crucial resources for the elderly and those with disabilities. They provide advice on retirement perks, disability benefits, and additional security income.

Arizona Social SecuritySocial Security offers financial support to retirees and those unable to work due to disability. It is funded through payroll taxes paid by employers, employees, and self-employed individuals. Monthly payments during retirement are based on past earnings.

Tax Assistance

In Arizona, a variety of tax assistance options exist for seniors and people with disabilities. These encompass possible medical cost exemptions, property tax cuts, and other tax alleviation measures.

Arizona Senior Property Tax FreezeSeniors in Arizona can protect the assessed value of their primary residence for three years with the property valuation protection option from the Arizona Department of Revenue. This program provides stability, regardless of local tax rates. To apply, seniors can submit their applications to the County Assessor for processing.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In Arizona, there are establishments ready to assist seniors with limited income facing challenges with home upkeep expenses, such as energy and utility bills. Emergency financial support might be available for individuals threatened with utility disconnection due to outstanding payments.

Arizona Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)866-494-1981LIHEAP provides eligible families with a yearly payment to help cover outstanding energy bills, deposits, and energy-efficient costs.

Veteran's Services

In Arizona, retired military personnel can find essential support through local veteran services. These organizations help veterans access their deserved benefits and offer advice on a variety of issues.

Arizona VA Benefits and Health CareArizona VA Benefits and Health Care is a support network that caters to senior veterans, offering a variety of services. It provides comprehensive health care solutions, including mental health and PTSD support. The program also aids with disability compensation, pensions, and home loans to provide financial assistance. Additionally, it offers support with burials and memorials, demonstrating its commitment to the veteran community.

Arizona COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/2/2022. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your Memory Care Facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

Am I allowed to visit my loved one in person?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Is my loved one required to quarantine after I visit him or her?No
Am I required to wear a mask if I visit my loved one in person?Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the facility at-will?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave required to quarantine when they get back?No (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors checked for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors tested for COVID-19?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly test residents for COVID-19?Yes
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