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Memory Care in Florida

In Florida, which ranks among the most popular states in the nation to retire in, about one in five of the state’s 21.5 million residents are aged 65 and over. Most recent data from the Alzheimer’s Association shows that Alzheimer’s disease impacts much of the state’s residents and predicts an uptick in the number of diagnoses in the coming years. Even so, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs has dementia-friendly initiatives in several major cities, which may positively impact health outcomes for those with dementia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of deaths in the state linked to Alzheimer’s dropped by half a point between 2016 and 2020.

Residential dementia care plays an important role in health outcomes for those with Alzheimer’s. Memory care facilities have security features to ensure residents’ safety as well as highly trained caregivers who provide companionship and personal care.

Through this guide, readers can connect with statewide agencies that provide information and support to those affected by dementia and learn more about dementia care costs throughout the state.

The Cost of Memory Care in Florida

When trying to decide how to pay for memory care, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of memory care in Florida and its 104 cities.

The Cost of Memory Care in Florida's Top Cities

Memory care costs across Florida vary significantly based on location. In Jacksonville, memory care costs are $5,151 per month, but slightly lower in nearby Orlando at $4,910. In Tampa, southwest of Orlando, the average monthly memory care costs are even lower at $4,910. Near the southern tip of Florida, memory care costs are the most expensive at $6,172 per month in Miami.











Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Memory Care in Florida

Rising costs due to inflation continue to impact the cost of memory care across the country. Memory care costs in Florida rose from $4,380 in 2022 to $4,642 in 2023, a 6% increase. This rate of increase is lower than the national increase of 10% but on par with nearby states. Nearby states, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina saw similar increases of 8%, 7% and 6% respectively. Georgia has seen one of the lowest increases in the country, as memory care costs rose just 4%, increasing from $4,016 in 2022 to $4,196 in 2023.

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

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

The cost of senior care in Florida varies depending on the level of services the community provides. Memory care services are among the most expensive senior living options, with average monthly costs of $4,642. Seniors who can still live independently without supportive services can select independent living options that average $3,240 in Florida. Seniors who require some supportive services, such as assistance with grooming or hygiene, may require assisted living services, which average $4,067. 

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Florida?

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”), and 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 Florida.

Florida seniors who require residential memory care services and who qualify for Medicaid can apply to the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care, Long-Term Care Program. Launched in 2013 to replace all other Medicaid waivers, the SMMC-LTC is a nursing home diversion program that funds a wide range of medical and non-medical services and supports. These services may be delivered in a private residence, an adult day program or a residential care facility such as an assisted living community.

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Florida?

Although the SMMC-LTC does not cover room and board costs for beneficiaries who require placement in a residential care program, benefits may include respite care, behavioral management and rehabilitation therapies. SMMC-LTC beneficiaries may also receive enhanced personal care services, intermittent nursing care, placement in an adult day program and other services needed to delay or prevent placement in a nursing home. 

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

Florida’s Medicaid program places income limits on applicants to ensure the most needy benefit from its services. Income is calculated per household. Therefore, if the applicant lives alone, it’s only their income that counts, but if they live with others, their income too factors in the decision. Countable assets are also considered, which may or may not include the applicant’s home (depending on individual circumstances). Florida also applies a 60-month look-back period for assets to check the applicant hasn’t sold or gifted items in anticipation of a Medicaid petition.

Floridian seniors who require Medicaid services, and whose income is over the Medicaid limit, can apply for Florida’s Share of Cost program. This spend-down program allows seniors with high ongoing medical costs to apply most of their income towards their medical bills each month. Once the predetermined spend-down limit is reached, Medicaid benefits cover all eligible expenses for the remainder of the month. 


2022 Basic Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Florida

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$2,000
Two Person1$32,904**$2,000$148,620
Two Person2$65,808***$3,000

*Depending on the facility setting, a recipient may not be able to keep income up to this level.

**Income limit is for applicant only.

***Income is limited to $2,742 per month per spouse.

In addition to meeting the income and asset requirements, applicants must also satisfy several other criteria. They include being:

  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Aged 65 or older
  • A Florida resident
  • In need of nursing home levels of care

How to Apply for Medicaid in Florida

To apply for Medicaid in Florida, seniors can use Florida’s Department of Children and Families’ Automated Community Connection to Economic Self-Sufficiency, or ACCESS, system. This online system is available 24/7.

Alternatively, seniors can call Florida’s statewide Medicaid Helpline at 1-877-254-1055.

What Information You Will Need

When applying for Medicaid in Florida, you need to provide proof of income for the past five years, along with statements from all bank and investment accounts opened or closed during that time. You also need to submit copies of all personal checks of $500 or more written during the 60 months preceding your application, and a income verification letter issued by Social Security.

Additionally, you’ll be asked for:


  • Government ID verifying your citizenship and residency status
  • Copies of the title to your home and any vehicles that you own
  • Copies of any burial arrangements that you’ve made
  • Two professional appraisals verifying the current market value of your home
  • Your income tax returns for the past five years
  • Copies of your will, powers of attorney and any other documents related to your estate or care

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

In Florida, seniors who need assistance applying for Medicaid can contact the ACCESS Customer Call Center. Application assistance is also available through local senior service agencies, which can be located by calling Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs Elder Helpline. Some senior centers may offer free Medicaid counseling and workshops for seniors who need help completing their Medicaid application.

ProgramContactServices provided
ACCESS(850) 300-4323Agents provide assistance with Medicaid applications over the phone weekdays during regular business hours
Florida Department of Elder Affairs - Elder Hotline1-800-963-5337Operators can help callers determine if they are eligible for Medicare benefits
Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care ProgramOnlineThis website includes in-depth information about the SMMC-LTC Medicaid waiver

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Florida?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of memory care in Florida. 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 Florida.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Florida

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.

NameHow To ApplyHow It Works
Aid and AttendanceLearn more and apply online at 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 MortgagesLearn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.govIf 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 beginning within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) InsuranceLearn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at 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 are typically not eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Florida

There are many resources in Florida that assist seniors in their retirement. has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.

Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Area Agencies on AgingFloridians aged 60 and over can access critical care, support and education programs provided through the state's Area Agencies on Aging. With multiple location offices organized by region, the AAAs offer home- and community-based services. Options include Meals on Wheels, fitness and wellness sessions and home care assistance with personal care tasks and homemaking activities. All Florida AAAs focus on helping older persons to stay independent for longer.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Florida provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Florida seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Meals on WheelsFlorida Meals on Wheels is a state-wide program delivering meals to homes of frail seniors who struggle to cook and shop for themselves. The program also offers congregate meals throughout the state for seniors who aren't homebound. In addition to the food, many of the state's Meals on Wheels volunteers provide friendly visits when they deliver to seniors' homes.
Florida Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)850-300-4323The Florida Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as food stamps, gives funds to low-income seniors and others who are having trouble paying for food. Support is provided through an electronic benefit transfer card, which can be used at grocery stores and other locations that sell fresh produce, meat and other food items. Florida's seniors can apply online, on the phone or through the mail. They must provide documents proving their household income, expenses and assets during the application process.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Florida seniors who meet certain income criteria can apply to local resources to help them pay for prescription drugs. Eligible residents can also receive assistance through health insurance and other programs to access free or discounted medical services.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Rx Card877-321-6755The Florida Rx Card program provides eligible seniors with discounts of up to 75% off out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. There's no cost to apply for a card, and discounts are available at a number of pharmacies within Florida and throughout the United States.

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Florida have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants352-338-3400Income-eligible adults aged 62+ living in unsafe homes can get grants of up to $10,000 to pay for repairs. Loans of up to $40,000 at 1% interest rates on 20-year terms are also available. It's possible to combine a loan and grant, up to a maximum of $50,000.
Florida Weatherization Assistance ProgramThe program aims to make homes energy-efficient, which simultaneously can reduce the householder's energy costs and make their living spaces more comfortable. Types of assistance include insulating attics, installing solar screens and replacing inefficient HVAC units.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Florida seniors. Older adults can access advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills and power of attorney. Some firms also act as long-term care ombudsmen, advocating for the rights of seniors in senior living communities.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Elder Law Program888-895-7873The Florida Elder Law program provides free legal services to seniors aged 60 and over. It can provide legal advice regarding civil issues, such as health care expenses or long-term care visitation rights. The agency can also refer seniors to local legal services through the Bay Area Legal Services program when necessary.
Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP)888-831-0404The Ombudsman Program of Florida serves as an advocate for seniors living in nursing homes and assisted living communities. It helps seniors and their family members understand their rights and works to resolve issues. Its staff members investigate and help resolve nursing home complaints and conduct annual assessments of all licensed senior care centers.
Florida's Department of Elder Affairs888-895-7873Florida's Department of Elder Affairs operates a toll-free legal information line for seniors aged 60 and older. Seniors can call the Senior Legal Helpline to access free legal information related to long-term care, estate planning and guardianship.

Senior Centers

Senior centers in Florida bring together residents through recreational activities and events. Many also offer advice and support on senior issues, run wellness and nutrition programs, and connect older adults with other resources in the local area.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Association of Senior Centers850-891-4008The Florida Association of Senior Centers helps older adults connect with community services that can help them maintain their health and independence. It promotes high-quality programming in senior centers, most of which serve as an entry point for accessing community-based services such as options counseling, Medicare assistance and durable medical equipment loans. The association's website maintains an up-to-date database of assisted living facilities throughout the state.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Florida help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Alzheimer's Association Florida Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer's Association is a national nonprofit organization that funds Alzheimer's disease research as well as educational and support programs. Florida is home to three local chapters of the AA, and these chapters offer case management services, patient and caregiver support groups and assistance with securing long-term care resources.
Florida Mayor’s Initiative on Healthy Aging and Livability305-375-5648The Mayor's Initiative on Aging is a countywide program that administers community activities to help improve the quality of life for older residents. These include health education and disease prevention information; wellness screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, glaucoma, bone density, diabetes, body mass index and mental illness; age-friendly fitness programs; and interactive presentations on senior safety.
Florida Byrd Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute813-396-0606The University of South Florida Health's Byrd Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute offers a range of services and supports to those living with memory loss as well as to family members and caregivers of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The institute conducts a number of clinical trials for dementia care and treatment at no cost to participants as well as multiple in-person and online family caregiver support groups and community education programs.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Florida resources help older adults by providing advice on Medicaid options, waiver programs and eligibility criteria to help seniors receive the right health care benefits.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program850-414-2000SMMC LTC supports seniors at risk by helping meet the costs of care at home, in the community or in an assisted living facility. The program pays for non-medical services, such as adult day care, home-delivered meals and personal care. Some applicants may also be eligible for Managed Medical Assistance, which provides home-based and institutional medical support.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Florida help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Tax Assistance

Seniors can apply for tax assistance from several Florida resources. Elderly residents and those with disabilities could be eligible for tax exemptions on medical expenses, reductions on property tax and other tax assistance programs.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Homestead ExemptionFloridians aged 65+ can get an additional homestead exemption of up to $50,000. The real estate must have a just value of no more than $250,000 and be the applicant's permanent residence for a minimum of 25 years.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Florida retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)The federally-funded program contributes towards energy costs for residents on low incomes up to three times per year (depending on monies available). The local program provider pays the utility company directly.

Veteran's Services

Florida retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Florida VA Benefits and HealthcareFlorida VA Benefits and Health Care serves as a reliable lifeline for senior veterans across the Sunshine State. Through its comprehensive offerings, it provides veterans who meet the service and residency requirements with access to health care services, disability benefits, record-keeping assistance and pension programs. The organization also provides housing solutions through VA home loan programs to help senior veterans build, purchase and improve homes. In addition, it assists in organizing burials and memorials.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Florida

In Florida, memory care communities are regulated by the Agency for Health Care Administration. Memory care falls under the same regulatory category as assisted living in Florida. Assisted living communities can offer more specific or advanced services, such as memory care, with Specialty Licenses to provide extended care. 

Scope of CareMemory care and dementia care facilities provide continuous supervision and monitoring of residents. At least one staff member must be trained in emergency response, including CPR. Medication monitoring and administration is permitted by trained staff members, such as nurses acting within their scope. Behavior management, such as de-escalation, is permitted.
Facility RequirementsFacilities offering memory care services as an option must advertise this on a separate document from the facility’s main flyer and emphasize that it is separate from other forms of senior care. A copy of this flyer must be on file with the bureau for license renewal. All facilities offering such care must have locks and alarms to prevent exit-seeking behavior. Hazards must not be within reach of residents unless directly supervised by staff. Kitchens and other food-handling areas must meet Florida state health standards for cafeterias and restaurants. Menus must be written in consultation with a registered dietitian. Facilities with the capacity to house 17 or more residents must have an awake staff member 24 hours a day.
Medication Management RequirementsLicensed nursing staff at all facilities are permitted to administer medications within their allowed scope of practice. Unlicensed staff may assist with self-administered medications, or they may assist licensed staff with administration under supervision.
Staff Screening RequirementsAll facility owners, administrators, financial officers and employees must have a criminal history record check obtained via fingerprint search through both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI. Screened individuals must be rechecked at least once every five years.
Staff Training RequirementsDirect care staff at all facilities must receive at least four hours of annual training in senior care. Memory care staff who provide direct care must also undergo an additional four hours of dementia-specific training on an annual basis. Facility administrators must receive 12 hours of training every two years on assisted living, as well as six hours a year specific to dementia management.
Medicaid CoverageFlorida Medicaid and the Assisted Living for the Elderly waiver program provide some assistance with the costs of memory care for eligible Florida seniors. Applicants must meet state income and asset guidelines and have a medical need for residential memory care.
Reporting AbuseSuspected elder abuse may be reported to the relevant local law enforcement agency. Reports can also be submitted by calling the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873)

Frequently Asked Questions

Directory of Memory Care Facilities in Florida

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Memory Care in Florida

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