Memory Care in Florida
Florida has long attracted retirees. Of the 21,781,128 people who live in the Sunshine State, one in five, or about 4.5 million, are seniors aged 65 and older. More than half a million Floridians live with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of progressive-degenerative dementia, and the prevalence of memory loss is increasing at a rapid rate. By 2025, the number of Alzheimer’s patients in the state is expected to rise 24.1%, and each year more than 6,500 Florida residents die from Alzheimer’s disease.
Florida’s sub-tropical, snow-free climate appeals to seniors who want to enjoy a hot, sun-filled retirement destination. There’s also no state income tax, which can help retirees make the most of their retirement savings and pensions. Statewide, health care costs are slightly below the nationwide average, and there are about 206 licensed physicians for every 100,000 Florida residents. On average, residential memory care services in Florida cost about $5,000 per month.
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 includes an overview of memory care costs in Florida and compares memory care rates to the cost of other long-term care services for seniors. It also provides information on how to finance memory care, state regulations for memory care programs and a list of resources for seniors who are living with memory loss.
The Cost of Memory Care in Florida
Residential memory care is usually offered in assisted living facilities, and in general, memory care rates tend to be 20-30% higher than assisted living rates. No national database currently tracks memory care costs in the United States, so we’ve estimated the monthly memory care costs listed below by adding 25% to the rates listed in Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey. At $5,000 per month, average memory care costs in Florida are slightly higher than what the same type of care costs in neighboring Alabama ($4,379) and Georgia ($4,419), and $485 higher than rates in nearby South Carolina ($4,515).
The United States
Memory care rates in Florida vary depending on the location, ranging from $2,938 in Gainesville up to $6,625 per month in Naples. In Tampa, residential memory care costs an average of $4,188, while the same type of care costs around $5,000 in Orlando. Miami memory care services cost an average of $5,481, while in the state capitol, Tallahassee, rates run around $5,813 per month.
Memory care is just one of the many long-term senior care services available in Florida. Rates range from $1,517 per month for adult day health care, and go up to $8,654 for a semiprivate room and $9,627 for a private room in a skilled nursing facility. Assisted living runs around $4,000 per month, while home care and home health care services cost an average of $4,767 per month.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Care
Nursing Home (semiprivate)
Nursing Home (private)
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
In Florida, Medicaid eligibility is contingent on your income, assets, age, citizenship and disability classification. To qualify for Medicaid, you must:
- Be either aged 65 and older, legally blind, or have a qualifying disability
- Have an annual gross annual household income of $17,131 or less when applying as an individual
- Own no more than $5,000 in assets (excluding an owner-occupied home worth up to $636,000)
- Be a full-time Florida resident who is either a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident or legal alien
Florida seniors aged 65 and older 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 covers all eligible expenses for the remainder of the month.
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.
Agents provide assistance with Medicaid applications over the phone weekdays during regular business hours
Operators can help callers determine if they are eligible for Medicare benefits
This 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.
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.
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 beginning 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 are typically not eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Florida
A number of free and low-cost resources are available to Florida seniors who require memory care services. These services include home meal delivery programs, assistance with prescription medication costs and advocacy for those living in congregate care settings.
Florida seniors can access county, state and federally-funded programs and services through one of 11 Aging and Disability Resource Centers/Area Agencies on Aging located throughout the state.
Contact via website
The 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.
1-888-831-0404 or (850) 414-2323
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program protects the rights of long-term care residents statewide, including those who require memory care services. Trained volunteer ombudsmen provide seniors and their families with information on long-term care standards and regulations, help residents file complaints about their care, and when necessary, escalate concerns to local law enforcement agencies.
Call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337 to connect with the nearest memory disorder clinic.
Florida's ADI is a statewide program designed to help support those living with memory loss. The ADI operates 17 memory disorder clinics (MDCs) that offer specialized diagnostic and referral services for those with Alzheimer's disease and other types of progressive memory loss.
Meals on Wheels is a nationwide nutritional support program that provides housebound seniors with home-delivered meals. In Florida, regional Meals on Wheels programs can be located by contacting the MOWAF.
Florida'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.
COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Florida
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including floridahealthcovid19.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes, and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/3/2022, 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.
RULES FOR FLORIDA COMMUNITIES
Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?
Yes (Conditions Apply)
Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?
Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?
Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?
Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Outings & Social Activities
RULES FOR FLORIDA COMMUNITIES
Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?
No (Conditions Apply)
Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?
Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents
RULES FOR FLORIDA COMMUNITIES
Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?
Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?
Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?
Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?
Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?
Are residents being tested for coronavirus?
Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Florida
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Florida?
Memory care in Florida costs an average of $4,200 a month. This price averages out the costs of residential care, adult foster care and institutional care in dedicated facilities. Typical memory care costs include a monthly payment, plus the cost of medical and mental health care, as well as various other costs associated with the supervision and care of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.
Does Florida Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?
Florida provides assistance for Medicaid-qualified seniors through its Assisted Living for the Elderly waiver. This program is administered locally, through one of the state’s Area Agencies on Aging. The waiver program provides help with the monthly cost of residential care, including memory care at a qualified facility, personal care services and some medical supplies.
Does Medicare Pay for Memory Care?
Medicare does not directly pay for memory care, but seniors can get some assistance from the program. There is no specific provision in Medicare for memory care services, though the program can pick up some of the costs for residential care, such as room and board. Some medical services, independent of memory-specific care, are also covered by many Medicare programs.
What Are “Activities of Daily Living?”
Activities of daily living are ordinary tasks that seniors with disabilities often have trouble with. Common activities include hygiene, grooming and other personal needs, as well as cleaning, cooking and shopping. The term can also refer to errands outside of the house, such as shopping.
What Is the Difference Between Memory Care and Assisted Living?
Memory care and assisted living are two levels of senior care, and there is some overlap between them. As a rule, assisted living refers to personal help for seniors who can otherwise live independently, but who need assistance with activities of daily living. Memory care includes some of the services of assisted living, but it includes supervision and some behavior management. Memory care staff often assist seniors with medication and physical or mental therapy.
Memory Care Facilities in Florida (143)
- Altamonte Springs, FL (4)
- Altoona, FL (1)
- Amelia Island, FL (1)
- Apopka, FL (2)
- Aventura, FL (3)
- Belleview, FL (2)
- Boca Raton, FL (8)
- Bonita Springs, FL (4)
- Boynton Beach, FL (9)
- Bradenton, FL (16)
- Brandon, FL (3)
- Brooksville, FL (3)
- Cape Coral, FL (8)
- Casselberry, FL (1)
- Clearwater, FL (9)
- Clermont, FL (4)
- Coconut Creek, FL (4)
- Cooper City, FL (1)
- Coral Springs, FL (1)
- Davie, FL (4)
- Daytona Beach, FL (3)
- Deerfield Beach, FL (3)
- Deland, FL (2)
- Delray Beach, FL (7)
- Deltona, FL (1)
- Destin, FL (1)
- Dunnellon, FL (3)
- Englewood, FL (2)
- Eustis, FL (3)
- Fernandina Beach, FL (3)
- Fleming Island, FL (2)
- Fort Lauderdale, FL (3)
- Fort Myers, FL (14)
- Fort Pierce, FL (3)
- Fort Walton Beach, FL (4)
- Gainesville, FL (5)
- Green Cove Springs, FL (1)
- Greenacres, FL (2)
- Gulf Breeze, FL (5)
- Haines City, FL (1)
- Hialeah, FL (1)
- High Springs, FL (2)
- Hollywood, FL (6)
- Homestead, FL (1)
- Hudson, FL (1)
- Jacksonville, FL (29)
- Jacksonville Beach, FL (0)
- Jensen Beach, FL (2)
- Jupiter, FL (5)
- Kissimmee, FL (4)
- Lady Lake, FL (2)
- Lake City, FL (3)
- Lake Mary, FL (3)
- Lake Placid, FL (2)
- Lake Worth, FL (2)
- Lakeland, FL (6)
- Lakewood Ranch, FL (2)
- Land O’ Lakes, FL (2)
- Lantana, FL (3)
- Largo, FL (10)
- Lauderhill, FL (2)
- Lecanto, FL (3)
- Leesburg, FL (1)
- Live Oak, FL (1)
- Longwood, FL (2)
- Lutz, FL (2)
- Maitland, FL (4)
- Margate, FL (2)
- Marianna, FL (1)
- Mayo, FL (1)
- Melbourne, FL (9)
- Miami, FL (7)
- Naples, FL (17)
- New Port Richey, FL (6)
- New Smyrna Beach, FL (2)
- Niceville, FL (1)
- North Port, FL (1)
- Ocala, FL (12)
- Ocoee, FL (3)
- Orange City, FL (3)
- Orange Park, FL (2)
- Orlando, FL (13)
- Ormond Beach, FL (6)
- Oviedo, FL (3)
- Oxford, FL (2)
- Palatka, FL (1)
- Palm Bay, FL (4)
- Palm Beach Gardens, FL (7)
- Palm Coast, FL (7)
- Palm Harbor, FL (3)
- Panama City, FL (2)
- Panama City Beach, FL (3)
- Pembroke Park, FL (1)
- Pensacola, FL (9)
- Pinellas Park, FL (3)
- Plant City, FL (2)
- Plantation, FL (2)
- Pompano Beach, FL (2)
- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (2)
- Port Charlotte, FL (5)
- Port Orange, FL (4)
- Port Richey, FL (2)
- Port Saint Lucie, FL (5)
- Princeton, FL (1)
- Riverview, FL (3)
- Rockledge, FL (2)
- Royal Palm Beach, FL (2)
- Ruskin, FL (0)
- Saint Augustine, FL (6)
- Saint Petersburg, FL (7)
- Sanford, FL (2)
- Santa Rosa Beach, FL (1)
- Sarasota, FL (20)
- Sebastian, FL (2)
- Sebring, FL (2)
- Seminole, FL (2)
- Spring Hill, FL (6)
- St. Petersburg, FL (4)
- Stuart, FL (6)
- Sun City, FL (1)
- Sun City Center, FL (7)
- Sunrise, FL (2)
- Tallahassee, FL (13)
- Tamarac, FL (3)
- Tampa, FL (28)
- Tavares, FL (2)
- Tequesta, FL (2)
- The Villages, FL (4)
- Thonotosassa, FL (2)
- Trinity, FL (2)
- Venice, FL (9)
- Vero Beach, FL (5)
- Wellington, FL (3)
- Wesley Chapel, FL (1)
- West Melbourne, FL (2)
- West Palm Beach, FL (6)
- Wildwood, FL (3)
- Windermere, FL (1)
- Winter Garden, FL (3)
- Winter Haven, FL (4)
- Winter Park, FL (3)
- Winter Springs, FL (3)
- Zephyrhills, FL (1)