Memory Care in Colorado |

Memory Care in Colorado

According to research from the Alzheimer’s Association, 76,000 people aged 65 and older were affected by Alzheimer's disease in Colorado in 2020. By 2025, the number of Alzheimer's cases in Colorado is expected to grow to 92,000, an estimated change of 21.1%.  In 2019, 1,909 Colorado residents died from the disease, an increase of 168.1% since 2000, which makes Alzheimer's the sixth leading cause of death in the state.

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 Colorado, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Colorado.

The Cost of Memory Care in Colorado

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 Colorado and 22 other cities in Colorado.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in Colorado

From 2022 to 2023, the average cost of memory care in Colorado rose from $5,326 to $5,958. This 12% increase is higher than the 10.5% spike seen on a national level. Other states also show different degrees of impact, including the 28% increase observed in Wyoming. Interestingly, costs in Utah actually fell to $4,425 from $4,595.

Looking to 2024, Colorado's rates are expected to increase further to $6,382. This trend is consistent in neighboring states, including Nebraska, which predicts a 15% increase by 2024. Thinking ahead and budgeting for care can help ensure seniors remain in a good financial position.

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 Colorado's Top Cities

There are a range of different costs for memory care services across Colorado. Among the state's top cities, Denver is one of the more affordable options at $5,532 per month. It's followed closely by Colorado Springs at $5,795. Aurora and Fort Collins are more expensive with average rates of $7,139 and $7,250, respectively. This highlights the importance for individuals and families to carefully consider their budget and preferences when choosing a city for memory care. 

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

As different types of senior living offer distinct care services, programming and amenities, costs can vary greatly. Self-reliant seniors may opt for independent living. At $2,802 per month, it's the most cost-effective solution and allows seniors to maintain the greatest autonomy. Assisted living offers a balance of support and independence and comes at a monthly cost of $4,630. For those requiring specialized attention, memory care costs $5,958 per month, as it provides tailored, dementia-focused support. 

Colorado Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Colorado's Medicaid system, known as Health First Colorado, doesn't directly pay for room and board in alternative care facilities (ACF) that offer memory care or have Alzheimer's special care units (SCUs). However, it can cover some personal care services that residents with Alzheimer's disease and dementia receive, including grooming, bathing, housekeeping and mobility support, through the Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver (EBD).

Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver

The Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver is intended to help seniors aged 65 and older who are at risk for nursing home placement. It provides the services these seniors need to delay or prevent the need for institutional care. In addition to receiving regular medical benefits through Health First Colorado, those accepted into the waiver program can receive 24-hour oversight, medication administration, nonmedical transportation, transition services, electronic monitoring and various other services provided in a memory care setting.

  • Who Is Eligible: To qualify for the EBD Waiver, residents must have a low income and be aged 65 and older with a significant functional impairment. Disabled applicants aged 18 through 64 are also eligible. All applicants must be assessed as needing a nursing home level of care.
  • How To Apply: Applications can be submitted online through the Colorado PEAK system, in person at the local county Human Services Department office or over the phone by calling (800) 221-3943. An application can also be printed, completed and mailed to the address listed in the form's instructions.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Colorado

The eligibility for Medicaid in Colorado is based on 300% of the federal poverty level. In 2022, a single applicant can earn up to $30,276 per year and own up to $2,000 in assets. In a two-person household where both members are applying, the income limit is doubled, and the asset limit is $3,000. When only one household member is applying for Medicaid, the applicant may have up to $30,276 in income and $2,000 in assets. The non-applicant's income isn't counted, and they can have up to $137,400 in assets.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Wyoming

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,276$2,000 for applicant & $137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$60,552$3,000

Applicant must meet other eligibility criteria in addition to functionality, income and assets, including:

  • Having U.S. citizenship or legal resident status
  • Being a resident of Colorado

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Colorado

The following resources may help seniors and their families understand the available benefits and apply for Medicaid coverage for memory care services.

Colorado SHIP & SMP888-696-7213The State Health Insurance Assistance Program for Colorado can help seniors access Medicare, Medicaid and other state benefits. Seniors and families can call or visit locations to apply for coverage or resolve issues with existing benefits. Counselors are available for help in communities throughout the state.
Benefits.govOnline is a federal online resource that provides a lot of valuable information about Medicaid and other state benefits in Colorado. The site includes a questionnaire that can help seniors and families discover state and federal benefits they may be eligible for but don't currently receive.
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless303-293-2220This coalition strives to help low-income residents of Colorado access the benefits they deserve but aren't currently receiving. A person doesn't need to be homeless to get help from this organization.

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

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 Colorado

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.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Colorado

Memory Care Regulation

Memory care is generally provided in residential care facilities, commonly known in Colorado as assisted living residences and alternative care facilities. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is responsible for the regulation and licensing of assisted living. The state requires facility administrators to be certified in the scope of care provided, such as having a background curriculum that covers Alzheimer's for an administrator of a memory care facility. New staff members must also receive training related to the specific needs of the resident population.

Facility Scope of Care

In Colorado, assisted living residences and alternative care facilities aren't permitted to provide a high level of nursing care on a full-time basis, such as the level of care in a nursing facility. However, residents can receive short-term and moderate nursing care if needed while remaining in the facility. This allows memory care to be provided in an assisted living setting for the majority of people.

Residents of ALRs and ACFs are entitled to:

  • All meals and assistance with activities of daily living
  • Medication administration and homemaker services
  • 24/7 security, social care and supervision

Admission Requirements

Each facility sets its own admission requirements, and management is required to produce a copy upon request. For example, alternative care facilities (ACFs) are certified to accept Medicaid members, while other facilities are specialized in nature and only accept people who benefit most from the services provided, such as people with Alzheimer's.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

People who are:

  • Physically disabled or blind
  • Diagnosed with Alzheimer's or related dementia
  • Diagnosed as mentally ill
  • Receiving behavioral treatment

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Cannot be prevented from harming self or others
  • Need permanent nursing care
  • Have needs that can't be managed safely

Care Plan Requirements

Colorado's regulations require an initial assessment to be performed on each new resident of an assisted living facility, and this is used to formulate a care plan for the individual. This plan must be worded clearly, using terminology that the general public understands, and it must be made available to the resident, family members or authorized agents upon request. Residents with a specific health issue, such as Alzheimer's disease, must be placed on a care plan that provides appropriate services and amenities, and this includes an appropriate set of activities for the resident's physical and cognitive function.

Medication Management Requirements

Prescription and nonprescription medication must be ordered by an authorized practitioner, clearly labeled with the individual's full name and stored on-site in a secure location. By default, residents of assisted living facilities are entitled to keep and manage their own medication, which is known as self-administration, although this is less likely in a memory care situation due to declining cognitive function. Residents who are assessed as unable to self-administer must be assisted or have their medication administered by a nurse or qualified medication administration person (QMAP). If a resident cannot self-administer and the facility has no QMAP, the resident must be discharged.

Facility Requirements

State regulations require that assisted living facilities be properly and safely maintained, which includes the exterior grounds, resident areas, staff rooms and storage spaces. Facilities must also maintain an ability to properly serve the resident population, such as having at least two wheelchair-accessible entry and exit points if there are any residents using wheelchairs and having handrails on all staircases. Common areas and dining rooms must meet accessibility standards. Private bedrooms must be at least 100 square feet or 60 square feet per occupant in a shared bedroom, and the maximum occupancy is two. There must be a minimum of one bathroom for every six residents, with at least one bathroom for every floor that houses residents.

Staffing Requirements

The Code of Colorado Regulations states that an assisted living residence must have at least one staff member on duty at all times who is capable of performing CPR. Beyond this minimum, the facility administrator must devise a plan for routine staffing levels that takes into account the number of beds, the health condition and needs of residents, as well as the set of services outlined in the resident agreement and care plan. The appropriate routine staffing level is assessed and ultimately determined by state regulators.

Medicaid Policy

In Colorado, Alternative Care Facility (ACF) is a term used specifically for assisted living facilities that are certified for Medicaid reimbursement by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. In most cases, a resident of an ACF who is enrolled in Medicaid will be covered for all personal care services received in the facility, such as mobility assistance, hygiene or help getting to appointments. However, the cost of room and board isn't covered by Colorado Medicaid or its waiver program.

Reporting Abuse

Colorado has strict policies and severe penalties for facilities, staff and administrators who abuse residents, whether emotionally or physically, or create unsafe environments for residents and other staff. Management must report any allegation of abuse against a resident to their family or emergency contact within 24 hours. Members of the public who wish to report an issue in an assisted living facility should contact the Health Facilities Department at (303) 691-4045 or submit a complaint form online. Fax, email and postal options are also available. Criminal allegations should be followed up with the police.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Colorado

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado Area Agencies on AgingThe Area Agencies on Aging in Colorado provide a wide range of services and programs to assist older adults in maintaining their independence and accessing necessary support. These services include case management, transportation, and health screenings. AAAs offer personalized programs, such as adult day programs and congregate and home-delivered meals, to meet individual needs. Their objective is to help seniors lead fulfilling lives while receiving the assistance they need.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in Colorado 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.

Colorado Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers discounted telephone service, enabling participants to stay connected with their loved ones through landline or mobile phones.
Colorado Old Age PensionThe Old Age Pension program provides eligible individuals with up to $771 per month for senior living and care expenses. It may also make you eligible for the Health Care Program, offering medical coverage to certain seniors who don't qualify for Medicaid.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Elderly individuals in Colorado, 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.

Colorado Program of All-Inclusive Care For the Elderly (PACE)PACE is a managed Medicaid program that provides comprehensive health care services for the elderly. It includes skilled nursing, personal care, transportation, and therapies. Seniors can receive support services at home with the assistance of a PACE home care coordinator. PACE covers all services included in Medicare and Colorado's Medicaid plan.

Food Assistance Programs

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado Works Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program855-855-4626Colorado Works is a state program that provides Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It offers support to low-income seniors by helping with energy bills and heating/cooling repairs. The program also includes the Old Age Pension, providing financial aid and healthcare cost assistance. Eligibility is determined by income and residency requirements. Benefits can be received for up to 60 months.
Colorado Volunteers of America Meals on Wheels720-501-3367Meals on Wheels is a nationwide organization that delivers meals to seniors in Colorado who cannot cook or access food. In addition to meeting the nutritional needs of older adults, volunteers also monitor the health and well-being of isolated seniors, providing a valuable service.
Colorado Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)855-855-4626The Colorado Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides financial aid to low-income seniors in Colorado, helping them purchase food. Seniors who meet the eligibility criteria can receive monthly funds through electronic benefit transfer cards. To apply, seniors need to provide proof of income status and family size. SNAP serves the entire state of Colorado.
Colorado Meals on WheelsColorado Meals on Wheels offers complimentary, hot, and nourishing meals to homebound seniors aged 60 and above throughout the state. Our dedicated volunteers not only provide nutritious food but also prioritize the safety of the individuals they assist. Seniors are encouraged to contribute based on their ability. Furthermore, we offer nutrition education services to help seniors maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado Dave's Locker720-624-6486Dave's Locker is a non-profit organization that offers complimentary medical equipment to seniors in need in the Arvada region. Our wide range of inventory includes wheelchairs, bathroom aids, grab bars, canes, knee scooters, and more. We depend on the kindness of community donations and the commitment of volunteers to fulfill our mission.
Colorado Hospital Equipment Lending Program720-598-6126The Assistance League of Denver offers complimentary loans of medical equipment, including wheelchairs, bath benches, and walkers, to individuals who require them. Borrowers are kindly asked to return the equipment once they have finished using it.
Colorado South Metro Medical Equipment Closet720-443-2013Our equipment closet provides temporary loans of medical equipment to adults during their recovery from injuries or illnesses. The maximum loan period is three months.
Colorado DME Loan Closet970-668-2952The Community & Senior Center provides a loan closet for temporary borrowing of durable medical equipment like walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, and commodes. This program, conveniently located within the center, offers easy access to essential equipment for individuals in need.
Colorado Tri-Lakes Care Loan Closet719-481-4864The Tri-Lakes Care Neighborhood Nurse Center offers complimentary loans of various mobility aids, including walkers, canes, non-powered wheelchairs, crutches, and toilet seat risers. These essential equipment items are graciously donated by members of our community.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Elderly residents of Colorado with certain income brackets have access to local aid for prescription medication expenses. They might also be eligible for health coverage and other programs providing complimentary or reduced-cost healthcare services.

Colorado Old Age Pension Health and Medical Care Program800-221-3943The Medical Care Program provides a variety of health care services for older adults who do not qualify for a Health First Colorado plan. It includes hospital services, home health care, dental surgeries, durable medical equipment, and medical transportation. The Old Age Pension also offers limited coverage for medications. This program is known as the Modified Medical Plan, State Medical Program, or the OAP State Only Program.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado Weatherization Assistance ProgramReduce your heating and cooling expenses with complimentary energy conservation solutions from your nearby weatherization provider. They'll perform an energy audit and provide cost-free services like infiltration sealing, furnace repair, LED light installation, solar energy, and air source heat pumps.

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program719-471-2096The Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for seniors in assisted living facilities, protecting their rights and well-being. They visit, investigate complaints, and educate on long-term care. Their advocacy promotes residents' autonomy, dignity, and a cooperative environment among residents, families, and staff. They aim to enhance care delivery and ensure a harmonious living condition.
Colorado Legal Assistance for Older AdultsOur department specializes in providing legal services to seniors, ensuring their rights are protected and helping them navigate the complexities of the legal system. We offer advocacy and representation services to ensure seniors have the support they need. Our goal is to empower seniors with a clear understanding of their rights and provide them with the necessary assistance to access the resources they require.
Colorado Legal ServicesColorado Legal Services (CLS) offers free legal assistance to seniors aged 60 and above who meet specific income, asset, and legal problem requirements. CLS may also consider cases that align with their priorities, regardless of income, based on resource availability. They handle a range of cases including family law, consumer debt, tax litigation, and issues related to SSI disbursement or government benefits. Online, phone, and walk-in applications are accepted.

Senior Centers

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado 2-1-1866-760-6489Discover a wealth of senior services with just one call to 2-1-1. Get the support you need for long-term care, disability, and aging resources. Find tailored assistance for seniors and caregivers through our website. Access valuable information and resources to meet your specific needs.

Senior Engagement

In Colorado, numerous initiatives are in place to keep seniors involved and energetic. These encompass health programs, opportunities for volunteer work, and supportive communities, all designed to promote social participation and improve the quality of life.

Colorado Benefits in Action888-496-4252Benefits in Action is a nonprofit organization that helps seniors and caregivers navigate health insurance options. Our counselors provide detailed information on state insurance plans, assist with applications, and offer guidance on financial assistance for nursing home care. We are dedicated to finding the most suitable insurance coverage for seniors' unique needs.
Alzheimer's Association Colorado ChapterThe Colorado chapter of the Alzheimer's Association provides support for individuals receiving memory care and their families. They also fund research and raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease. Their local services, resources, and referrals are available to seniors in need.

Social Security Offices

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado 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 Colorado, 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.

Colorado Senior Property Tax Exemption303-660-7450Reduce your property taxes with our tax savings program. Enjoy up to a 50% exemption on the value of your home, saving you up to $100,000. Take advantage of this opportunity to lower your tax burden and keep more money in your pocket. Act now and start saving today!

Veteran's Services

In Colorado, 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.

Colorado VA Benefits and Health CareColorado's VA Benefits and Health Care offers vital programs and services for senior military veterans. Eligible individuals receive comprehensive health care, counseling, education, job opportunities, and assistance with housing placement. The agency provides support with compensation, benefits, and access to military records. Additionally, families of veterans can access help with burial and survivor benefits.

Colorado 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
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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