Alabama has an estimated population of 5,039,877. Approximately 17.3% of residents are age 65 and older, which is slightly higher than the national average for the same age group. According to 2020 estimates, 96,000 Alabama seniors have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. This number is expected to increase by 14.5% by 2025. Approximately 2,659 residents die from Alzheimer’s annually, which is the state’s 6th leading cause of death.

The quality of geriatric medical care in this state may appeal to seniors with memory care needs and their families. There are world-class hospitals in Alabama, including The University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. This medical facility is home to the UAB Alzheimer’s Disease Center, where research is conducted and care is provided to help Alzheimer’s patients and their loved ones. In Alabama, the monthly estimated cost for memory care in a residential facility is $4,379.

Memory care can either be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or, more often, it’s provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility. Memory care programs are designed specifically 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 contains information about Alzheimer’s disease in Alabama, along with an overview of residential memory care expenses. It also provides a comparison of memory care costs to other types of long-term senior care. In addition, there’s information about paying for memory care, resources for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia and details about state regulations for memory care facilities.

The Cost of Memory Care in Alabama

Note: Memory care services in Alabama for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are often provided at assisted living facilities. These facilities provide memory care at rates 20-30% higher on average than assisted living rates. There is no database for national memory care costs, therefore our costs are estimated by adding 25% to Alabama assisted living costs from Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey.

The average cost for memory care in Alabama is $4,379, which is on par with Mississippi’s cost of $4,375 and Georgia’s cost of $4,419. Memory care costs in Tennessee are slightly higher at $5,132.

$4379

Alabama

$5625

The United States

$4419

Georgia

$4375

Mississippi

$5132

Tennessee

The cost of memory care in Alabama cities varies by location. Montgomery has the closest cost to the state average at $4,375. Decatur’s estimated monthly memory care cost is similar at $4,299, and Tuscaloosa’s is lower at $3,938. Birmingham has a higher average monthly cost for memory care at $5,035, as does Auburn at $5,373.

$4299

Decatur

$5035

Birmingham

$4375

Montgomery

$3938

Tuscaloosa

$5373

Auburn

In addition to memory care, there are other long-term care types in Alabama. For adult day health care, seniors can expect to pay an average cost of $758 per month. This type of care is provided during daytime hours and gives seniors the opportunity for healthy socialization and enriching activities outside of their homes. Assisted living costs in a residential facility are $3,503 per month on average, while home care is $3,813. For seniors who need medical care and want to remain at home, there’s home health care at an average cost of $3,851. There are also nursing homes for higher levels of care —  semiprivate rooms are $6,676 and private rooms are $7,026 on average.

$758

Adult Day Health Care

$3503

Assisted Living

$3813

Home Care

$3851

Home Health Care

$4379

Memory Care

$6676

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

$7026

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Alabama?

Note: For the purposes of this guide, when we say “Memory Care” we are referring to memory care provided in a “social setting,” such as an Assisted Living Facility. This is the most common way to receive Memory Care and is the best fit for all but the frailest seniors. Sometimes the actual service of memory care can be provided in a Nursing Home (“medical setting”), so the financial assistance options will be very different. To learn more about the financial assistance options available for memory care provided in a nursing home, read our guide to Nursing Home Care in Alabama.

Medicaid does not directly cover memory care costs in Alabama. However, the state does provide assistance to eligible seniors through the Medicaid Elderly and Disabled Waiver. There’s also the Personal Choices Program and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Seniors eligible for Social Security Income (SSI) may be eligible for the Optional State Supplement (OSS) to help cover the costs of memory care.

The Medicaid Elderly and Disabled Waiver provides eligible Alabama seniors with services customized to their needs. The Personal Choices Program is similar — one difference between this program and the E&D Waiver is that there’s more flexibility. Seniors can use their benefits as they or their designated caregivers see fit, including to pay for memory care costs. Then there’s the PACE program, which provides community-based care to seniors in need of nursing services. The Optional State Supplement (OSS) is a benefit paid to eligible seniors that can also be used to cover memory care expenses.

What Memory Care Services are Covered by Medicaid in Alabama?

There are no memory care services covered by Medicaid in Alabama, but there are waiver programs and other benefit programs that can help offset the financial impact. For seniors in memory care, the Medicaid Elderly and Disabled Waiver can help minimize economic burdens, as can the self-directed Personal Choices Program. Although it’s not a waiver, this program can help eligible seniors cover the costs of memory care in a residential facility. There’s also the PACE program as described above, which provides medical care services to seniors with comprehensive care needs.

Seniors who receive Social Security Income (SSI) can use their benefit to pay for memory care costs, and they may also qualify for the Optional State Supplement (OSS). Like the SSI benefit, the OSS benefit can be applied to memory care costs and other related expenses.

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Alabama

Alabama Medicaid Elderly and Disabled Waiver

To qualify for the Alabama Medicaid Elderly and Disabled Waiver, seniors must receive full Medicaid benefits and/or be disabled. Income must not be more than 300% of the Social Security Income (SSI) limit, which is $753 for individuals and $1,120 for couples. In addition, seniors must be qualified by a physician as in need of nursing facility level care.

This waiver provides personalized senior care services based on what is deemed necessary by a caseworker. Some of the services may include but aren’t limited to case management, companion services and nutritional programs.

To find out more or apply for the Elderly and Disabled Waiver, contact the Alabama Department of Senior Services by phone at 334-242-5743 or 1-877-425-2243, or by email at ageline@adss.alabama.gov.

Personal Choices Program

Seniors who participate in an Alabama Medicaid waiver program may also be eligible for the Personal Choices Program. Income must not exceed 300% of SSI limits ($753 for individuals and $1,120 for couples) and seniors must receive full Medicaid or be disabled.

Through this program, seniors in memory care can receive a monthly allowance that can be applied towards a variety of care expenses, including memory care facility costs. There are financial counselors to assist seniors and/or their caregivers with the management of funds.

The Personal Choices Program is administered by the Alabama Department of Senior Services. Contact 1-877-425-2243 for more information about this program or to apply. Inquiries can also be made via email at ageline@adss.alabama.gov

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Alabama

Alabama Medicaid eligibility is based on factors including age, disability status and income. Seniors must meet the following criteria to qualify for Medicaid:

  • Age 65 or older, disabled and/or legally blind
  • Household income must not exceed monthly limits of $814 for an individual or $1,211 for a couple
  • Resources must not exceed $2,000 per month for an individual or $3,000 for a couple
  • Applicants must be verified as U.S. citizens in order to qualify — through automatic verification by the Social Security Administration or by providing approved documentation.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Alabama

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$9,768

$2,000

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$14,532

$3,000

*Per year

Alabama seniors in memory care who receive Medicaid may also qualify for one of the state’s income-based Medicare savings programs. The financial relief provided by these savings programs may help seniors and/or their caregivers manage the costs of residential memory care.

How to Apply for Medicaid in Alabama

Seniors can apply for Alabama Medicaid online or by calling 1-800-362-1504. Alternatively, a printed paper application can be submitted to a caseworker or Medicaid office.

Information You Will Need

In order to apply for Medicaid in Alabama, seniors must provide certain documentation. identification, Medicare and Social Security cards are required. Verification of gross income and resources must also be provided, along with deeds to any owned property. Seniors applying for Medicaid must also provide:

  • Copies of mortgages, notes and trusts
  • Copies of all insurance policies
  • Copies of burial arrangements
  • Power of attorney documentation

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Alabama seniors who require assistance applying for Medicaid can call the Alabama Medicaid office at (800) 362-1504. The Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS) can also help seniors apply for Medicaid.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 362-1504

Agents provide assistance with Medicaid applications over the phone weekdays during regular business hours 

(800) 243-5463

Operators can help callers determine if they are eligible for Medicare benefits

(800) 362-1504

At the Medicaid for Elderly and Disabled website, seniors can access helpful information about applying for Medicaid and necessary forms.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Alabama?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of memory care in Alabama. As was mentioned above, this doesn’t apply to Memory Care received in a Nursing Home. Since it is the most common to receive memory care in a “social setting” (such as an assisted living facility), Medicare won’t be a viable financial assistance option for most seniors who need Memory Care. However, Medicare will still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.

For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for Memory Care in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Alabama.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Alabama

Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Memory Care affordable.

How to Apply

How It Works

Aid and Attendance

Learn more and apply online at va.gov.

Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Memory Care.

Reverse Mortgages

Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov

If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Memory Care. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.

Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.

Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Memory Care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Memory Care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Alabama

There are multiple free programs in Alabama for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Some of these programs are geared towards caregivers and family members. There are nonprofit organizations on this list that raise funds for Alzheimer’s research and provide volunteer opportunities to the community.

Program 

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 272-3900

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and their families can receive counseling and support services through the Alabama chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. There are also community outreach opportunities for individuals who want to volunteer.

(205) 871-7970 or

(866) 806-7255

This Birmingham-based organization provides education on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. There are support groups and webinars, and the organization holds fundraising events for Alzheimer’s research. Caregivers can access counseling and support through this organization, and there are ways for community members to get involved.

 (800) 243-5463

Through their local Area Agency on Aging (AAA), seniors in memory care and their families can receive services that may include transportation, case management, nutritional programs and referrals to other programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

(334) 702-2273

The Alzheimer’s Resource Center provides support for families and caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. This organization hosts annual fundraising and awareness events such as the Alzheimer’s Walk to Remember.

(334) 242-5743 or (877) 425-2243

Through the Alabama Department of Senior Services, caregivers can receive various types of support and counseling. Another program administered by this organization is SeniorRX, which helps seniors in memory care cover the costs of prescriptions.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Alabama

The following information is based on research done on several government websites. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/22/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Alabama Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Not Available*

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Not Available*

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

Not Available*

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Not Available*

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Not Available*

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Not Available*

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Not Available*

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Alabama Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Not Available*

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

Not Available*

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

Not Available*

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Not Available*

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Not Available*

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Alabama Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Not Available*

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Not Available*

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Not Available*

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Not Available*

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Not Available*

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Not Available*

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Alabama

In Alabama, memory support is provided in specialty care assisted living facilities, which are assisted living facilities that are specially licensed and staffed to care for residents with cognitive impairment. These facilities are governed by the Alabama Department of Public Health. This department has a variety of regulations in place to ensure a consistent level of care. These regulations pertain to staffing requirements, day-to-day operations, public funding and how to report abuse.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Alabama

Scope of Care

Memory care facilities provide assistance with the activities of daily living, health monitoring and medication services. They must also have a daily activity program

Care Plans

Within 30 days prior to admission, the facility RN or care coordinator must screen a prospective resident to assess physical functioning and behaviors. Based on this assessment, the RN or care coordinator must build a care plan with the resident and their physician that includes the resident’s needs or problems that require facility intervention. After admission, assessments should be conducted on a monthly basis or whenever the resident experiences significant weight loss, falls, signs of adverse drug reactions, harmful or combative behaviors or any other significant change in behavior or care needs. Facilities must also have a written plan that outlines the resident’s transfer plan if their needs become more extensive than the facility can accommodate.

Medication Management

Residents are permitted to manage and store their own medications with a physician’s order. Medications may only be administered by a physician or by an RN or LPN in accordance with physician orders and the Nurse Practice Act. Medications administered to residents must be recorded on a daily basis, with the record including information such as the resident’s name, the name and dosage of their medication, the time of day it was administered and the method of administration.

Staffing

While there are no minimum staffing ratios, memory care facilities must have enough caregivers on-site to ensure the safe evacuation of all residents in the event of an emergency. There must be at least one caregiver who is CPR-certified on-site at all times. Prior to hire, all caregivers must be evaluated for tuberculosis and be vaccinated in accordance with CDC guidelines. Individuals listed on the Alabama Department of Public Health Nurse Aide Abuse Registry aren’t eligible for hire. All direct care staff must undergo extensive training that covers topics such as resident rights, basic first aid and environmental safety, and they must complete The Dementia Education and Training Act Care Series Training.

Medicaid Coverage

Alabama Medicaid covers memory care services via the Elderly and Disabled waiver program.

Reporting Abuse

Suspected abuse should be reported to the Alabama Department of Senior Services’ Elder Abuse Prevention program at 334-242-5743. Complaints can also be filed with the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which can be reached at 334-242-5753.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Alabama?

In Alabama, memory care services range between $3,900 and $4,225 per month for an average of $4,063. The most affordable city for memory support is Gadsden, where seniors pay $3,125 per month on average. Auburn is the most expensive city at $5,181 per month.

Does Alabama Medicaid pay for memory care?

Alabama Medicaid covers memory care services through its Elderly and Disabled waiver program. It covers services such as personal care, meals, case management and homemaker services. To be eligible for this waiver, applicants must meet income, asset and residency guidelines.

Does Medicare pay for memory care?

While Medicare doesn’t cover memory support services, it does cover medical expenses related to dementia, such as doctor’s appointments and prescription drugs. Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover long-term care, including memory care, as an additional benefit.

What are activities of daily living?

Activities of daily living are tasks that must be completed regularly to ensure health and safety. ADL tasks include continence management, personal hygiene, eating and ambulation. Similarly, instrumental activities of daily living are ADLs that an individual must complete to live independently, including money management and grocery shopping.

What types of facilities offer memory care?

Memory support services are typically provided in a designated wing of an assisted living facility. These facilities offer social activities and structured programs that meet the needs of those with dementia. In Alabama, memory care is provided in specialty care assisted living facilities.