Memory Care in New York |

Memory Care in New York

In 2020, around 410,000 New Yorkers were affected by Alzheimer's disease, and information from the Alzheimer's Association shows that number is projected to grow by 12.2% by the year 2025. Nationwide, almost one-third of senior deaths are associated with Alzheimer's, and 3,753 elderly New Yorkers died from the disease in 2019. Data from the CDC suggests the burden of Alzheimer's and other dementias is likely to double by the year 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 and facilities undergo specialized training in caring for those with memory impairments, 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 New York, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state and a directory of memory care facilities in New York.

The Cost of Memory Care in New York

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 New York and 37 other cities in New York.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in New York

New York's average memory care price was $6,449 in 2023, up 23% from the previous year. This inflation rate was higher than the national norm of 10.5%. Nearby states also saw sharp rises in costs, including Vermont with a 10% increase. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's average rose 12%, and statewide prices are projected to hit $5,931 in 2024. Rates in New Hampshire went up as well, reaching $7,169. The exception was New Jersey, where rates dropped by 11.5% to $6,289. However, the state's average care price is projected to be $6,787 in 2024, making it clear that early financial planning is essential.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
New York$5,244$6,449$6,416
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
New Hampshire$6,364$7,169$7,635
New Jersey$7,091$6,289$6,787

Memory Care Costs in New York's Top Cities

New York's average cost of memory care is $6,449, but certain cities offer lower-than-average rates. Buffalo is among the cheapest at $4,832, followed by New York City at $5,393. On the other hand, Rochester has some of the state's highest memory care prices, averaging $7,304. Syracuse is also more expensive at $6,456. This wide price range underlines the importance of comparing options before choosing a memory care provider.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Memory care provides intensive daily support and security for seniors living with dementia, so it's among the most expensive senior living options at $6,449. Seniors who don't need such comprehensive services can opt for assisted living instead, which includes help with tasks such as dressing and medication management for $4,699. On the other hand, independent living is best for retirees who don't require daily support, so it's generally the cheapest option at $3,372.

New York Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Seniors in New York who are eligible for Medicaid may be eligible for assistance in paying for memory care services through the two waiver programs offered by the state. Both of these programs assist seniors who require a nursing home level of care to continue to live in a community setting, such as an assisted living facility. Low-income residents who meet certain criteria may be eligible for these waiver programs and Medicaid.

Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Program Waiver

The MLTC is a program that helps seniors with chronic conditions such as memory loss receive the care they require without having to move to a nursing home. The program doesn't cover the costs of room and board in an adult care facility, but it does cover a number of services. These services may include assisted living personal care, care management, occupational therapy, physical therapy and nutritional counseling. Three different plans are offered, and medical services are provided through Medicare, Medicaid or both, depending on the needs and eligibility of the senior.

  • Who Is Eligible: Seniors must be 65 years or older, require nursing home level care, undergo a medical evaluation, be U.S. citizens or legal residents and meet the Medicaid income guidelines for New York.
  • How To Apply: Seniors can apply by contacting their local Social Services Department Office.

Assisted Living Program

The Assisted Living Program enables New Yorkers who require nursing home level care to receive care services in the less restrictive environment of an assisted living facility. The program is funded partially by Medicaid and partially by the state and private donations. It only assists a limited number of people, and there's a long waiting list. Services covered by the program include room and board, skilled nursing care, personal care, case management and medical supplies. Physical, speech and occupational therapy services are also covered.

  • Who Is Eligible: Seniors must meet the financial and residency guidelines to be eligible for Medicaid in New York to apply for the ALP. They can't be bedridden or require full-time nursing care, must be medically eligible for nursing home care and can't pose a danger to themselves or others.
  • How To Apply: The program assists a limited number of seniors; however, a waiting list is available for those who qualify for the program. Applications can be made through a Social Services Department Office or the Area Agency on Aging for the county where the senior lives.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in New York

Medicaid in New York helps low-income seniors receive the health care and assistance they need. Eligibility for Medicaid is based on a number of factors, including residency, health and income. Single applicants can't receive income that exceeds $934 per month, and married couples must have an income of less than $1,367 per month. Asset limits are set at $16,800 for single applicants and $24,600 for married couples who are both applying.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in New York

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$11,200$16,800
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$11,200 for the applicant spouse$16,800, plus $137,400 for the non-applicant spouse
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$16$24,600

Additional requirements for Medicaid eligibility in New York include:

  • Applicant must reside in New York
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, legal alien or permanent resident
  • Applicant must be 65 or older or have a qualifying disability

When applying for Medicaid, seniors must submit the following documents:

  • Medical bills for the last three months
  • Proof of current income
  • Proof of current address
  • Bank statements for the past 60 months
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status 
  • Health insurance policy or Medicare card

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid in New York

New York has a number of programs available to assist people in applying for Medicaid.

Department of Social ServicesContact local officeThe Department of Social Services local offices receive Medicaid applications and can guide seniors through the process and answer any questions.
Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program800-701-0501HIICAP counselors can assist seniors in determining their eligibility for Medicaid and provide unbiased information. They can guide seniors through the application process by phone or in person.
NavigatorLocal office contact information onlineNavigator provides in-person assistance to New Yorkers applying for health insurance plans, including Medicaid.

Can You Use Medicare To Pay for Memory Care in New York?

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 New York

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, seniors 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 you already have 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 loan 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 New York

Memory Care Regulation

In New York, the State Department of Health regulates and licenses adult care facilities to provide care for five or more residents, including those who suffer from cognitive impairment. Facilities licensed as adult homes, enriched housing programs and assisted living residences offer advancing levels of care.

ACFs certified as assisted living residences provide the highest level of care, and may be certified as special needs ALRs that serve those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The DOH requires operators of SNALRs to demonstrate how the care needs of residents will be met, and stipulates specific staffing and training criteria for these facilities.

To ensure that facilities stay in compliance with state regulations, the DOH conducts inspections of licensed ACFs every 18 months and in response to filed complaints.

Facility Scope of Care

The DOH mandates that adult care facility operators in New York ensure that each resident receives considerate, respectful care that aligns with their needs in a non-restrictive, homelike atmosphere that promotes autonomy and independence. The scope of care differs depending on the type of facility:

  • AHs and EHPs must provide 24-hour supervision, meals, personal care, social and recreational activities, housekeeping services and assistance with medications.
  • ALRs and SNALRs are required to provide the same basic services as AHs and EHPs as well as coordinate health care services, monitor each resident's condition and offer medication administration and management.

Admissions Requirements

Adult care facilities in New York may accept individuals who are no longer able to live independently due to age or various physical and mental limitations or conditions. However, ACFs are not licensed to provide full-time nursing or medical care. The chart that follows provides a general guide on who may be admitted to an ACF:

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Adults and seniors who have:

  • Age-related physical or cognitive impairment
  • Managed mental or physical disabilities
  • Stable medical conditions

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Are dependent on medical equipment
  • Have chronic bowel or urinary incontinence
  • Require 24-hour nursing or medical care
  • Are chronically chairfast or bedridden
  • Are physically, cognitively or mentally impaired and pose a threat to their own or others' safety
  • Have a communicable disease

Care Plan Requirements

All adult care facilities licensed by the state of New York must develop an individualized service plan for each resident on move-in, based on assessments of the person's physical, cognitive and mental status. These assessments should include:

  • A pre-admission functional assessment that covers activities of daily living, personal and behavioral characteristics, sensory impairments and daily habits
  • An interview with the administrator and resident
  • A mental health evaluation if the resident has a history of mental disabilities
  • A medical assessment by a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner that lists the person's medical history, current condition, known allergies and medication regimen. The assessment should describe the individual's ability to self-administer medication and provide recommendations for diet and exercise.

The ISP should be developed with the participation of the resident or their representative and the facility's administrator, in consultation with the individual's primary care provider. The plan must address the person's medical, cognitive, functional, nutritional, rehabilitative and other needs.

Functional, medical and mental health assessments should be performed and the service plan updated whenever a change occurs in a resident's care needs. Reassessments must be performed every six months for ALR residents and every 12 months for residents of AHs and EHPs, at minimum.

Medication Management Requirements

All types of ACFs may assist residents with self-administration of medications, which may include storing, identifying and opening medication bottles and prompting residents. In ALRs and SNALRs, only trained staff and licensed nurses may administer medication to residents.

Facility Requirements

There are specific requirements for different types of adult care facilities in New York:

  • AHs may offer single- or double-occupancy bedrooms and must provide a minimum of one toilet and sink for every six residents and one bathtub or shower per every 10 residents.
  • EHPs must offer single-occupancy units, which may only be shared by agreement. Each unit should include living and sleeping areas, equipment for preparing and storing food, dining space and a full bathroom.
  • ALRs may offer single- or double-occupancy resident rooms with private bathrooms.
  • SNALFs licensed for dementia care must be self-contained units that meet enhanced fire safety guidelines and feature delayed-egress systems on exterior doors, window stops and enclosed outdoor courtyards to ensure residents' safety and well-being.

Staffing Requirements

Adult care facilities must employ an administrator who oversees daily operations, a case manager who evaluates residents' needs, an activities director who organizes and implements social and recreational programming and personal care staff who provide direct care to residents.

ALRs and SNALRs must also employ RNs, licensed practical nurses and home health aides. There are no minimum staff-to-resident ratios required for ALR facilities that provide specialized memory care. However, these facilities must have sufficient nursing and home health aide staff on duty 24/7 to meet each resident's care needs based on medical assessments by the resident's physician or service plan.

The DOH requires that all employees of an ACF receive orientation training on the facility's procedures and policies, resident characteristics, emergency evacuation protocols and its disaster plan. Staff who provide direct dementia care must receive training on the needs and characteristics of memory-impaired individuals, including behavioral symptoms, emotional/mental changes and methods of meeting residents' needs.

Administrators who do not have a current New York nursing home administrator license are required to complete 60 hours of continuing education over a two-year period. Direct care staff must have 40 hours of initial training and 12 hours of relevant in-service education annually.

Medicaid Policy

New York Medicaid's MLTC program provides eligible individuals who apply with financial assistance to cover some costs associated with residential memory care, but it does not pay for room and board. Another Medicaid program, the ALP, does pay the housing and meal costs for qualified residents of licensed ACFs and pays for numerous other care-related services. However, the ALP is a waiver program rather than an entitlement, and the program is limited to 4,200 concurrent participants.

Reporting Abuse

Complaints and concerns about conditions or the mistreatment of residents in New York ACFs are handled through the Adult Care Facility Centralized Complaint Intake program. To file a confidential complaint, concerned parties may call the program's hotline at 866-893-6772 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, or leave a detailed voicemail message after hours.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in New York

In New York, 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.

New York Area Agencies on AgingNew York State offers 59 Area Agencies on Aging, delivering a variety of services to seniors including legal aid, meal delivery, transportation, social adult day services, and case management. Seniors can also find volunteer opportunities, receive insurance assistance, and get nutrition advice. Caregivers can access support and guidance for resources.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in New York 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.

New York Department of Social ServicesThe New York Department of Social Services is crucial in providing financial support for senior care. They offer programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to assist with the expenses of assisted living and nursing homes. They also provide a Home Care Services program for seniors who wish to age in place, offering in-home options.
New York 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 New York, 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.

New York BenefitsCheckUp800-794-6559Benefits Checkup is a nationwide service that helps seniors assess their eligibility for benefits such as financial aid for food, medicines, healthcare, and utilities. The service offers information on local benefits and assists seniors with the application process.
New York NY ConnectsNY Connects is a reliable state government website that assists New Yorkers in discovering essential services within their communities. The platform provides a convenient search function to locate nearby providers offering complimentary loans of durable medical equipment.
New York Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)The PACE provider manages medical and non-medical services for seniors in various settings, such as their homes, adult day care facilities, or nursing homes. PACE combines Medicaid and Medicare services, with the organization taking care of all aspects of care, including the selection of physicians.

Financial Assistance for Senior Living

In New York, local initiatives offer financial support to seniors with low income residing in community living spaces. These resources are crucial in assisting elderly individuals to manage the costs of long-term care services.

New York Special Needs Assisted Living Voucher Demonstration Program for Persons with DementiaThe SNALR Voucher Program helps adults with Alzheimer's or dementia pay for assisted living care. It aims to avoid Medicaid enrollment and is not available to those eligible for Medicaid. The program covers up to 75% of the average monthly care costs in the area. As a demonstration program, there is a waitlist for new applicants.

Food Assistance Programs

In New York, 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.

New York Meals on WheelsNew York Meals on Wheels offers seniors access to food pantries, shared meal sites, and home delivery options. Dedicated volunteers deliver hot lunches to homebound seniors, ensuring they receive nourishment and a welfare check. While optional donations are encouraged, they are not mandatory for participation.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In New York, 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.

New York Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID)The TRAID program, backed by the federal government, helps individuals with disabilities in New York by supplying them with essential equipment to boost their independence. Local TRAID centers also provide referrals to other disability-related services.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Elderly residents of New York 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.

New York Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program800-332-3742The New York Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC) provides additional coverage for Medicare Part D drugs and approved medications, including prescription vitamins. It also helps with Medicare Part D premiums for individuals earning less than $23,000 per year. To be eligible, New York residents must be 65 years or older, not receiving full Medicaid benefits, enrolled in or eligible for Medicare Part D, and have income below $75,000 ($100,000 for married couples).

Home Repair and Modifications

In New York, 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.

New York Residential Emergency Services to Offer (Home) Repairs to the Elderly (RESTORE)RESTORE, a program in New York, provides financial aid to low-income seniors aged 60 and above. To be eligible, participants must own and live in their home, which can have up to four units. RESTORE offers assistance for various repairs, such as structural, plumbing, and heating issues. It also covers accessibility modifications like ramps and grab bars.
New York Weatherization Assistance Program800-342-3009This program provides coverage for eligible individuals to ready their homes for seasonal transitions, promoting energy savings and improved safety measures.

In New York, 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.

New York Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman855-582-6769The Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman advocates for the rights of seniors in Albany's senior living communities. It serves as a mediator, working with residents, families, and care facilities to address concerns. The office also provides seniors and their families with information and education, empowering them to maintain a dignified and fulfilling lifestyle.

Medicaid Resources

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

New York Assisted Living Program (ALP)518-565-3300The Assisted Living Waiver in New York provides financial aid to eligible seniors on Medicaid who need assistance in an assisted living environment. It covers room and board, emergency response services, occupational therapies, and medical supplies. Applicants must provide medical evidence that assisted living care is appropriate and that they do not require round-the-clock nursing home care. The program is limited to 85% of Medicaid recipients, resulting in stringent eligibility requirements.
New York Managed Long Term Care (MLTC)866-881-2809MLTC offers coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, ensuring continuity of their current services while also including additional home care expenses such as skilled nursing, personal care, and home-delivered meals.

Senior Centers

In New York, 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.

New York State Department of HealthThe New York State Department of Health offers health insurance information and senior advocacy services. They provide free programs for seniors, such as the EISEP program, which grants access to home care services like personal care at reduced or no cost, depending on income.

Social Security Offices

In the city of New York, 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.

New York 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 New York, 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.

New York Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption (SCHE)212-639-9675The taxable assessment of a qualifying senior's home can be reduced by 5% to 50% through the exemption, depending on local government and school district policies. Income limits may vary based on location.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In New York, 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.

New York Home Energy Assistance Program800-342-3009The program offers yearly aid to low-income residents of New York who are struggling with energy expenses. Those already receiving assistance can also apply for emergency funds to avoid disconnection of their home fuel supply.

Veteran's Services

In New York, 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.

New York VA Benefits and Health CareNew York VA Benefits and Health Care offers comprehensive medical and mental health services, as well as support for social needs like housing and in-home personal care. With top-notch health care systems in Buffalo, Montrose, and New York, including community living centers and outpatient clinics, seniors aged 65 and older who have served actively can access a wide range of health and wellness services.

New York COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/13/2022. 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 (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 (Conditions Apply)
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