Memory Care in Georgia |

Memory Care in Georgia

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the state of Georgia and across the United States as a whole. According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are currently more than 150,000 seniors in Georgia living with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, and this figure is expected to increase by 26.7% by 2025. The CDC estimates that the number of seniors affected by Alzheimer's and other memory-related diseases will double by 2060.

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

The Cost of Memory Care in Georgia

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 Georgia and 52 other cities in Georgia.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in Georgia

Georgia experienced relatively little memory care price inflation from 2022 to 2023 compared to many other states, with costs rising just 4.5% vs. a nationwide increase of 10.5%. Based on trends, prices may even fall by $39 in the state, but the U.S. average is expected to climb by $423 in 2024. Prices also rose in most surrounding states, soaring by 6% in South Carolina and Florida. Memory care costs $341 more in Alabama than the previous year but jumped by a tremendous $901 in Tennessee, with another 8.5% rise expected in 2024.

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 Georgia's Top Cities

Looking at large cities in Georgia, prices vary considerably, so families may save significant money if it's possible for loved ones to move before entering memory care. Sandy Springs is one of the most affordable locations at $2,895, but Savannah and Atlanta are also relatively inexpensive, averaging $430 and $396 less than the state norm. At $4,862, Columbus is one of Georgia's most expensive cities.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Many factors determine care costs, and while memory care is typically much more expensive than assisted living, it only costs $244 more in Georgia, providing relief for seniors with late-stage Alzheimer's who could benefit from more specialized care. Both types of care provide daily assistance and various services and amenities that raise monthly expenses. Independent living, averaging $3,030 in Georgia, is cheaper because of its comparative lack of personal care and services.

Georgia Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Although Medicaid doesn't directly cover memory care services in Georgia, it does provide some services that may be offered within a memory care setting, including skilled nursing and physical therapy. Those who require comprehensive coverage to afford memory care services may also apply to one of the state's waiver programs, which amend the coverage offered by regular Medicaid to include additional services tailored to seniors and long-term care residents. 

  • Who Is Eligible: Medicaid is open to seniors aged 65 and older, as well as to those who are legally blind, disabled or in need of nursing care. Seniors applying for Medicaid must also meet income and resource limits, which require a monthly income that doesn't exceed $2,523 and a maximum of $2,000 in countable assets or $3,000 in assets for couples.
  • How To Apply: Seniors can visit the Georgia Medicaid website to start their application.

Community Care Services Program

The Community Care Services Program (CCSP) is a Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver that helps eligible seniors avoid nursing home placement. It provides personal care services either in the home or within state-licensed assisted living and memory care facilities, as well as personal support services, emergency response systems and respite care, when necessary.

  • Who Is Eligible: Medicaid-eligible seniors can qualify for the CCSP if they have a functional impairment or are determined by a physician to require a nursing home level of care. 
  • How To Apply: Seniors can apply for the CCSP by contacting their nearest Area Agency on Aging or calling (866) 552-4464.

Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment

This program, known as SOURCE, is one of Georgia's Elderly and Disabled waivers. It covers services such as assisted living and memory care, as well as some in-home services, for seniors who would require a nursing home level of care if it wasn't for the support provided by this program.

  • Who Is Eligible: Seniors who are financially eligible for Medicaid and are determined to require nursing home-level support may qualify for this program.
  • How To Apply: Those who want to apply for this program can contact their local Georgia Aging and Disability Resource Connection office.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Georgia

Seniors who wish to qualify for Medicaid waivers in Georgia must meet specific annual income limits, as listed in the table below. Regardless of household size, a single applicant is subject to an annual personal income limit of $30,276. In a two-person household where both members are applying, the annual household income limit is doubled to $60,552. Assets for single applicants are limited to $2,000, while dual applicants can retain up to $3,000 in countable assets.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Georgia

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits

Beyond these income and asset limitations, seniors applying for Medicaid must also prove:

  • Aged 65 or older or in need of nursing home care
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Full-time residency in Georgia

How To Get Help Applying For Medicaid in Georgia

Resources are available in Georgia to help seniors better understand and navigate the complex process of applying for Medicaid coverage.


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

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 Georgia

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 Georgia

Memory Care Regulation

In Georgia, facilities that provide residential memory care services include assisted living communities with 25 or more residents, and personal care homes for two or more residents. These facilities are licensed and regulated by the Department of Community Health (DCH), and must meet specific requirements for admission thresholds, provided services, facility standards, and medication management. Facilities offering memory care services must provide secure surroundings for residents and meet additional requirements.

All facilities in Georgia must undergo an on-site inspection to be granted their initial license. Thereafter, facilities are subject to both announced and unannounced inspections, reviews and examinations by DCH representatives.

Facility Scope of Care

Assisted living communities in Georgia are required to provide residents with personal care, medication administration by a certified aide, and assisted self-preservation in the event of an emergency situation. Personal care homes are required to offer housing, meals, personal care services, social activities, and assistance or supervision with medication administration.

In both of these settings, memory care units must offer activities appropriate to residents' abilities or adapt activities so memory care residents are able to participate. These activities must be available on a weekly basis, with therapeutic activities available daily. Programming may include motor-focused activities such as exercises, dancing, and gardening; self-care, including bathing and grooming; social activities; and activities that support sensory enhancement.

Admissions Requirements

The state of Georgia has restrictions on who may be admitted to assisted living communities and personal care homes. The table below outlines the requirements for acceptance to one of these facilities.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people with:

  • Dementia
  • Mental health conditions
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • AIDS
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • A desire to live in a memory care unit without having a probable diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, who waive their right to live in another type of environment

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Require continuous medical or nursing care and services as determined by their required physical examination
  • Have active tuberculosis
  • Have a behavioral condition that requires physical or chemical restraints, isolation or confinement
  • Are bedridden
  • Require care beyond what a facility is permitted to provide

Care Plan Requirements

Facilities are required to complete a residential assessment within 48 hours of a senior moving in, and after that, on a yearly basis or following any significant health change. A licensed health professional must also determine if a senior is able to self-administer medication or requires assistance. Additional assessments may be conducted for residents with medical, psychological, developmental, or intellectual impairments.

Residents are also allowed to contract with third-party providers, such as a licensed hospice agency, certified home health agency, or mental health agency, if they feel they could benefit from additional services.

Both assisted living communities and personal care homes require residents to undergo an assessment to determine their functional capacity for completing activities of daily living, as well as their physical care needs, medical requirements, and any cognitive or behavioral impairments. Facilities also need to determine an individual residents' personal preferences in regard to the care services they receive and whether they have access to family supports.

The results of these assessments must be written up in the form of a care plan with findings updated on an annual basis. Memory care units are required to review residents' care plans each quarter, making adjustments as needed based on changes in their needs.

Medication Management Requirements

Residents of assisted living communities who have the capacity to self-administer medications must be allowed to do so. Staff must assist with medication administration if requested, including providing help with storage, applying topical medications or administering EpiPens. Staff must be licensed to provide this assistance unless the medication is packaged in individual doses.

If medication administration is provided by a facility, it must be performed by a certified medication aide. These services include administering physician-ordered medications, insulin or epinephrine, conducting finger stick blood glucose tests, or administering a commercially prepared enema. Quarterly drug regimen reviews must be conducted by a licensed pharmacist.

The same requirements are in place for self-administration and assistance by staff in personal care homes, however, these facilities are not permitted to administer medications and are not required to undergo pharmacist reviews.

In memory care units, both assistance with self-administration and the administration of medications must be provided by a licensed registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse working under the supervision of a licensed physician or RN. A proxy caregiver employed by the facility may also be permitted to administer these services.

Facility Requirements

In both assisted living communities and personal care homes, apartment-style units are required, so seniors may reside in either private and shared rooms. A minimum of one toilet and sink must be provided for every four residents, and at least one room for bathing/showering for every eight residents. Fully accessible bathrooms are required if a facility serves residents who rely on wheelchairs or walkers. Living units in personal care homes can house up to four residents, and residents are permitted to share a living space if the request is made in writing.

Memory care units are required to provide a homelike environment with features such as multipurpose rooms for dining and activities, secured outdoor spaces that are wheelchair accessible, lighting that minimizes shadows, and personalized entrances to resident rooms so seniors can readily identify their own space. Facilities must also have a communication system in place that allows staff to communicate with other team members and emergency service workers.

Staffing Requirements

Assisted living facilities and personal care homes in Georgia are required to have a full-time administrator to deal with daily operations, as well as a team of direct care staff to assist with personal care services. Certified medication aides must be employed to administer medication in assisted living facilities. Staffing at a facility must reflect the needs of its residents. The minimum staff-to-resident ratio is 1:15 during waking hours, and 1:25 at night, and at least one staff member must be on-site 24 hours per day.

All staff members are required to undergo training within 60 days of employment on topics such as residents' rights, infection protocols, and emergency preparedness. Direct care staff must receive training in the medical and social needs of residents, assistance with medication, and emergency first-aid. All hands-on staff members are required to participate in 24 hours of continuing education in their first year of employment and 16 additional hours on an annual basis.

Memory care units are required to have enough specialized dementia care staff to adequately serve their residents' needs, including certified medication aides, with one awake staff member on-site at all times. Dementia care staff must undergo special training in the areas of philosophy of care and facility policies, including dementia-specific care needs, behavioral problems, communication skills and therapeutic activities specific to those with dementia.

Medicaid Policy

While Georgia Medicaid does not cover room and board expenses, it offers the CCSP and SOURCE waiver programs to help seniors cover the cost of care in assisted living communities and personal care homes, including the services provided in memory care units.

Reporting Abuse

Family members or anyone with concerns about resident neglect or abuse in an assisted living community or personal care home should contact the Department of Community Health's Healthcare Facility Regulation division at 800-878-6442. Concerns and complaints may also be submitted online by filling out a protective services report.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Georgia

In Georgia, there is an abundance of resources designed to assist seniors throughout their retirement. Memory Care 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 Georgia 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.

Georgia Area Agencies on AgingGeorgia's Area Agencies on Aging provide a variety of services to support older adults in the state. They offer healthcare access, including medical screenings and prescription drug programs. Nutrition programs and transportation services are available to assist seniors with essential travel. The agencies also provide caregiver support, legal assistance, and information on housing options to enhance the quality of life for Georgia's seniors.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in Georgia 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.

Georgia 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 Georgia, 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.

Georgia New Options Waiver/Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program800-436-7442The New Options Waiver (NOW) and Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) in Georgia provide support for residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These programs cover a range of healthcare expenses, including adult day care, nursing care, in-home care, and assisted living. They also offer assistance with specialized medical equipment, respite care, transportation, and home modifications.

Food Assistance Programs

In Georgia, 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.

Georgia Emergency Food Assistance Program404-657-5244The Emergency Food Assistance Program is a government-funded initiative providing free monthly food packages to low-income individuals and seniors in all 159 counties of Georgia. It aims to supplement the diets of older adults with shelf-stable items like canned meat, pasta, peanut butter, and bottled juices. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and frozen meats are also distributed when available.
Feeding Georgia404-419-1738Feeding Georgia is a nonprofit organization that offers food distributions to low-income seniors throughout the state. The program's goal is to provide nutritious meals to seniors with limited incomes, allowing them to meet their essential needs. With 700877-423-4746 locations, including community kitchens, food pantries, senior centers, and shelters, residents can easily find the support and nourishment they require.
Georgia Meals on WheelsThe Georgia Meals on Wheels program offers regular, hot meal delivery to seniors and residents with limited mobility. Eligible individuals must be 60 or older with a disability or difficulty in shopping or preparing meals. Seniors can select from various meal delivery options, enjoy social interactions, and receive safety checks. Community centers also provide meal choices and opportunities for socializing, if transportation is accessible.
Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)877-423-4746The Senior SNAP program in Georgia provides monthly benefits to seniors aged 60 or older, assisting with food expenses. Eligibility requires seniors to be unemployed and meet the program's income limits. Interested individuals must apply and undergo a phone interview to assess eligibility.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Georgia, 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.

Georgia Section 504 Home Repair Program706-546-2162The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides grants of up to $10,000 to elderly individuals living in rural areas. These grants are designed to help seniors maintain safe and sanitary living conditions in their homes.

In Georgia, 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.

Georgia Elderly Legal Assistance Program866-552-4464The Elderly Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) in Georgia provides free legal support to seniors aged 60 and above for noncriminal cases. ELAP's team of lawyers and paralegals offer information, counseling, and representation on various issues, including consumer protection, elder abuse, health care benefits, and long-term care. ELAP also conducts community education sessions. Seniors can access ELAP services by contacting their local Area Agency on Aging. Services are available in all counties across Georgia.
Georgia Legal Services Program706-721-2327The Georgia Legal Services Program provides free civil legal aid to seniors aged 60404-389-9992 and low-income, rural residents in Georgia. In addition to the GeorgiaCares hotline, GLSP offers a public benefits hotline to help seniors enroll in Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, and other programs. Attorneys and advocates assess cases for representation and refer individuals to other appropriate legal aid resources, as necessary.
Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program866-552-4464The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in Covington provides trained volunteers to help seniors research assisted living options and explore ways to cover care expenses. The ombudsman ensures residents are informed about their rights and advocates for them to receive the services they deserve
Georgia Senior Legal Aid404-389-9992Georgia Senior Legal Aid and Atlanta Legal Aid have joined forces to create a helpline exclusively for Georgia residents aged 60 and above. This free service is tailored for low-income seniors who live independently and lack traditional social support. Our team of volunteer attorneys offers over-the-phone legal advice and referrals on topics such as eviction, foreclosure, consumer fraud, and public benefit claims.

Medicaid Resources

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

Georgia Medicaid Home and Community Based Services877-423-4746Georgia Medicaid offers financial assistance to seniors aged 65 and over for memory care communities. Prior to admission, a screening and review of assets and income are required to assess suitability. This process helps determine if a memory care community is the most suitable choice for the senior.

Senior Engagement

In Georgia, 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 Georgia Chapter800-272-3900The state Alzheimer's Association is committed to addressing dementia and memory challenges. They conduct worldwide research, collaborate with communities, and advocate for government initiatives. Their offerings include a round-the-clock helpline, support and education programs, early-stage social engagement initiatives, and online resources.
Georgia Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)404-657-5332The U.S. Department of Labor oversees the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which aids unemployed individuals aged 55 and above in finding employment. This program is specifically designed to assist low-income individuals with limited job prospects. Participants engage in part-time community service assignments and receive compensation for their hours worked.

Social Security Offices

In the city of Georgia, 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.

Georgia 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 Georgia, 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.

Georgia Property Tax Homestead ExemptionsThe Senior Property Tax Exemption program provides individuals aged 65 and above with a $4,000 exemption from county property taxes, as long as they meet the program's requirements.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In Georgia, 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.

Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)877-423-4746The Georgia Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides assistance to eligible seniors in Georgia who struggle to pay their utility bills. Seniors can apply for support with energy bill payments, repairs to their energy systems, and weatherization assistance to enhance the energy efficiency of their homes.
Georgia Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) - Atlanta877-423-4746The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) in Georgia offers financial aid to seniors with fixed incomes, helping them pay for water bills. Eligibility requires Georgia residency, income at or below 60% of the state's median, and use of a registered water supplier with the Department of Human Services. LIHWAP supports water expenses, ensuring seniors have access to vital water services for improved hygiene and overall well-being during financial difficulties.

Veteran's Services

In Georgia, 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.

Georgia VA Benefits and Health CareThe Georgia VA Benefits and Health Care program provides health care and financial benefits to eligible veterans, including seniors. With medical centers in August, Decatur, and Dublin, as well as outpatient clinics in various cities, veterans have convenient access to care. The Veterans Benefits Administration has a regional benefits office in Decatur and intake sites in other cities, ensuring seniors can easily access their benefits.

Georgia 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 (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 (Conditions Apply)
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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