Memory Care in Florida |

Memory Care in Florida

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer's is ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in Florida. In 2019, 6,539 Floridians died from Alzheimer’s-related complications, and it’s estimated that around 580,000 Florida residents aged 65 and older currently have the disease, and that number is expected to increase by 24.1% by 2025. The Alzheimer's Association projects that Alzheimer's and other related forms of dementia will affect around 12.7 million people across the United States by 2050.

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

The Cost of Memory Care in Florida

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 Florida and 101 other cities in Florida.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in Florida

Nationally, the average cost of memory care rose by 10.5% between 2022 and 2023. Florida's care inflation rate was lower, but costs still experienced a 6% uptick, reaching $4,642. South Carolina had the same inflation rate, and the state's average price is projected to hit $4,881 in 2024. This trend toward higher prices was consistent across other neighboring states, underlining the importance of planning ahead for senior living. Prices in Alabama climbed 8%, and the state's average is estimated to reach $4,972 in 2024. Meanwhile, costs in Mississippi and Georgia rose 7% and 4.5%, respectively.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
South Carolina$4,011$4,234$4,881

Memory Care Costs in Florida's Top Cities

The price of memory care varies across Florida's top cities. Miami is among the most expensive, averaging $6,172. In contrast, the state capital of Tallahassee is more in line with Florida's average at $4,699. Other cities are more moderately priced, including Jacksonville at $5,151 and Orlando at $5,100. Given this price range, it's important to compare options before making a decision about senior care.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Memory care provides comprehensive daily support for seniors living with dementia, making it one of Florida's more expensive senior living options at $4,642 per month. On the other hand, independent living provides minimal care services for self-reliant retirees, making it cheaper at $3,240. In between is assisted living for $4,067, which is best for seniors who need some day-to-day help with tasks such as bathing and dressing.

Florida Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

In 2014, Florida consolidated all Medicaid waivers for home and community-based care under the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program banner. It's a nursing home diversion program that funds a range of nonmedical, medical and support-based programs. These waivers don't specifically cover memory care but rather offer a variety of services aiming to prevent or delay nursing home placement. Services covered by the program include personal care, therapy services, behavior management, medication management and transportation. 

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Florida

In Florida, Medicaid eligibility is based on a number of predetermined factors such as age, income and assets. Seniors can't have more than $2,000 in assets, excluding an owner-occupied home, which may have a value of up to $636,000. Individual annual income may not exceed $18,075 before taxes.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Florida

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$18,075$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

Seniors applying for Medicaid must meet certain requirements and provide documents proving they qualify for coverage. An income verification letter from Social Security and proof of income for the past five years must be presented. Seniors must submit copies of all personal checks of $500 or more written in the past 60 months, along with statements from any investment or bank accounts used during that time. 

Additional documentation required includes: 

  • Verification of citizenship or legal status
  • Income tax returns for the past five years
  • Copies of power of attorney, wills and any other documents related to the senior's estate or care
  • Copies of the title to any homes or vehicles owned
  • Two appraisals conducted by professionals, indicating the current market value of any property owned
  • Copies of any burial arrangements

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Florida

Seniors in Florida who need assistance applying for Medicaid can contact the ACCESS Customer Call Center. In addition, they can request help from local senior service agencies, and some senior centers provide Medicaid counseling and workshops to guide seniors through that application process.

ACCESS Florida850-300-4323ACCESS Florida is an online application service and information site with public access information 24/7. In addition, it runs a call center program to assist with benefits applications.
Florida Department of Elder Affairs - Elder Hotline800-963-5337Operators are available 24/7 to help seniors and determine if they are eligible for benefits.
Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care ProgramOnline InformationThe official website of the SMMC-LTC Program provides a step-by-step guide that covers the application process and what is required for program eligibility.

Can You Use Medicare To Pay for Memory Care in Florida?

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 Florida

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 Florida

In Florida, assisted living facilities of all sizes and types are licensed through the Bureau of Health Facility Regulation.

Assisted living facilities, or ALFs, include private homes, homes for the aged, boarding homes and other buildings which directly or indirectly provide accommodation, meals, and assistance with one or home activities of daily living for more than 24 hours to one or more adults not related to the owner or operator.

Facility Scope of Care

Florida provides a number of specialty licenses for ALFs that meet the requirements for a standard license. These specialty licenses are designed to deliver enhanced services above and beyond the usual supports provided in an assisted living facility in order to allow residents to age in place in the most appropriate, least-restrictive placement.

ALFs licensed to provide limited nursing services (LNS) can perform specific procedures and treatments such as ear and eye irrigation, intermittent catheterization, conducting range of motion exercises and conducting nursing assessments performed by a registered nurse.

ALFs licensed as an Extended Congregate Care facility can provide all of the services available under the standard and LNS license regulations in addition to any nursing services which are within the scope of practice for a registered nurse. Facilities that are covered by an ECC license can provide a higher level of care than what is offered in standard ALFs, and this care may include supports and treatments for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Admissions Requirements

In accordance with Florida state law, each ALF must assess the appropriateness of each prospective resident in relation to the services and supports offered at the ALF. This chart provides an overview of the requirements:

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people who:

  • are capable of performing activities of daily living, including transfers, with some assistance
  • able to participate in social and communal activities

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • need 24-hour nursing supervision
  • have pressure sores classified at Stage II or worse
  • are not capable of performing activities of daily living with supervision and/or some assistance
  • are violent towards themselves or others
  • cannot participate in communal meals and leisure activities.

Applicants who may not be Residents in ECC-licensed ALFs must be moved to a hospital or nursing facility if they are bedridden for two weeks or more.

Care Plan Requirements

Newly-placed ALF residents must be examined by an advanced RN practitioner or licensed physician no more than 60 days prior to, or 30 days following admission, and a medical report must be provided to the ALF administrator. This report is used to develop a personalized care plan that must be reviewed on a monthly basis by a licensed nurse employed by, or contracted to, the facility.

Residents must also receive a resident agreement which outlines the specific supplies, supports, and accommodations along with the daily, weekly and monthly care cost and information. This agreement must cover resident rights, refund policies, bed hold policies and disclosure of any religious affiliations of the facility.

Medication Management Requirements

Unlicensed staff are allowed to assist with the self-administration of medications, while licensed nursing staff are allowed to administer prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Assistance with self-administration of medications can include reading the label to the resident, opening the medication container and removing the prescribed dose, and applying topical medications.

Facility Requirements

While standard and LNS-licensed ALFs are not required to provide private accommodations, ECC facilities must provide either a private or semi-private room or apartment. A maximum of four residents can share a single bathroom.

Staffing Requirements

ALFs that offer dementia care must have 24-hour staffing and mechanisms in place to monitor residents, and that staff must remain awake if the facility has 17 or more residents.

Facilities with a secure area for residents with dementia must be staffed by workers who have completed at least four hours of specialized training in memory care before being assigned to the secure unit. Direct care staff must continue to complete at least four hours of dementia-specific training for the duration of their employment at the facility.

Medicaid Policy

ALF room and board rates for Florida Medicaid participants are negotiated between the facility operator and the Medicaid State Plan.

Reporting Abuse

Concerns or complaints regarding any licensed health care facility that is regulated by Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration can be filed by calling the Complaint Administration Unit, Agency for Health Care Administration, at (888) 419-3456. Complaints against unlicensed health care facilities can be reported by calling (888) 419-3456.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Florida

In Florida, 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 Florida 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.

Florida Area Agencies on AgingFlorida's Area Agencies on Aging offer essential care, support, and educational programs for residents aged 60 and above. With convenient locations throughout the region, these agencies provide a variety of home- and community-based services. From Meals on Wheels to fitness programs and personal care assistance, Florida AAAs empower older individuals to maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in Florida 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.

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

Food Assistance Programs

In Florida, 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.

Florida Meals on WheelsFlorida Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers meals to seniors who have difficulty cooking and shopping. It also provides congregate meals for seniors who are not homebound. Volunteers not only deliver food but also offer friendly visits to seniors in their homes
Florida Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)850-300-4323The Florida Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously called food stamps, provides financial aid to low-income seniors and individuals facing food affordability challenges. Beneficiaries receive funds on an electronic benefit transfer card, usable at grocery stores and other food-selling establishments. Florida seniors can apply for SNAP online, by phone, or via mail, submitting required income, expense, and asset documentation.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Elderly residents of Florida 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.

Florida Rx Card877-321-6755The Florida Rx Card program provides eligible seniors with a chance to save up to 75% on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. The application for the card is free, and discounts can be enjoyed at numerous pharmacies in Florida and throughout the United States.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Florida, 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.

Florida Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants352-338-3400Income-eligible adults aged 62+ have the opportunity to receive grants up to $10,000 for home repairs. Additionally, loans with 1% interest rates on 20-year terms, up to $40,000, are available. It is also possible to combine a loan and grant, with a maximum amount of $50,000. Enhance the safety of your home today.
Florida Weatherization Assistance ProgramThis program offers homeowners the opportunity to enhance energy efficiency in their homes, leading to reduced energy expenses and enhanced comfort. Support includes services such as attic insulation, installation of solar screens, and replacement of inefficient HVAC units.

In Florida, 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.

Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP)888-831-0404The Ombudsman Program of Florida supports seniors in nursing homes and assisted living communities, providing education on their rights and resolving concerns. Trained staff investigate and address complaints, while also conducting annual assessments of licensed senior care centers.
Florida Senior Legal Helpline888-895-7873The Senior Legal Helpline, offered by Florida's Department of Elder Affairs, provides a toll-free legal information line exclusively for individuals aged 60 and above. This resource offers free legal information on topics like long-term care, estate planning, and guardianship, catering specifically to the needs of seniors.
Florida's Elder Law Program888-895-7873The Florida Elder Law program offers free legal assistance to individuals aged 60 and above. It provides guidance on civil matters, such as healthcare costs and visitation rights for long-term care. The program can also connect seniors with local legal services through the Bay Area Legal Services program if needed.

Medicaid Resources

Grasping Medicaid complexities, particularly for the elderly, can be daunting. A wealth of resources in Florida provide insights into Medicaid options, waiver programs, and qualification criteria, aiding seniors in obtaining suitable health care benefits.

Florida Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program850-414-2000SMMC LTC provides financial assistance for seniors requiring care in different settings, such as at home, in the community, or in assisted living facilities. The program covers non-medical services like adult day care, home-delivered meals, and personal care. Some applicants may also be eligible for Managed Medical Assistance, which offers medical support in both home and institutional settings.

Senior Centers

In Florida, 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.

Florida Association of Senior Centers850-891-4008The Florida Association of Senior Centers connects older adults with community services that promote their well-being and independence. It supports high-quality programming in senior centers, which serve as a gateway to accessing community-based services such as options counseling, Medicare assistance, and durable medical equipment loans. The association's website provides an up-to-date database of assisted living facilities throughout the state.

Senior Engagement

In Florida, 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.

Alzheimer's Association Florida Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer's Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing Alzheimer's disease research and providing educational and support programs. In Florida, three local chapters offer case management services, support groups for patients and caregivers, and assistance in accessing long-term care resources.
Florida Byrd Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute - Tampa813-396-0606The University of South Florida Health's Byrd Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute offers a wide range of services and resources for individuals with memory loss, their families, and caregivers. They provide free clinical trials for dementia care and treatment, as well as in-person and online support groups for family caregivers. The institute also conducts community education programs.
Florida Mayor's Initiative on Healthy Aging and Livability305-375-5648The Mayor's Initiative on Aging provides countywide programs that promote the well-being of older residents. These programs include health education, disease prevention, wellness screenings, age-friendly fitness activities, and interactive presentations on senior safety. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for seniors by offering valuable resources and support.

Social Security Offices

In the city of Florida, 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.

Florida 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 Florida, 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.

Florida Homestead ExemptionFlorida residents aged 65 or older may be eligible for an additional homestead exemption of up to $50,000. To qualify, the property's value must not exceed $250,000, and the applicant must have resided in the home for at least 25 years.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In Florida, 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.

Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)This federally-funded program helps low-income residents with their energy expenses up to three times a year (subject to fund availability). Eligible individuals receive direct payment to their utility company from the program provider.

Veteran's Services

In Florida, 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.

Florida VA Benefits and HealthcareFlorida VA Benefits and Health Care is a reliable source for senior veterans in Florida. It provides various services, such as health care, disability benefits, record-keeping assistance, and pension programs. The organization also assists veterans with housing solutions through VA home loan programs. Moreover, it offers support for burials and memorials.

Florida COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/3/2022. 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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