About 1 in 7 residents in Georgia are classified as senior citizens according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and many members of this population have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. According to data from the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 4,000 people die in the state per year from this disease, which is up almost 250% since 2,000. The number of Georgia seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to rise to 190,000 by 2025. To make life more comfortable for this population, there are facilities throughout the state that offer memory care. These licensed communities help with everything from daily activities to cognitive functioning.

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.

Read on to learn more about the memory care resources available for seniors with Alzheimer’s and their families, including the options for financial assistance and other low-cost services in the state.

The Cost of Memory Care in Georgia

Cost data for memory care services in Georgia are obtained from Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey for 2019. While exact figures for memory care are not available in the survey, memory care services are usually 20% to 30% more than assisted living, providing a simple calculation to determine the approximate cost of care for families.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

By adding 25% to the cost of assisted living in Georgia according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey for 2019, the average monthly cost for memory care in the state averages $4,169 per month, which is $895 less per month than the U.S. average. It also makes Georgia one of the more affordable states for memory care in the region. The only state with less expensive costs was Alabama at $4,063 per month. The most expensive in the region was North Carolina at $5,000 per month, and Tennessee wasn’t far behind at $4,875. Both South Carolina and Florida have the same monthly average at $4,375.

$4169

Georgia

$5064

National Average

$4063

Alabama

$4375

Florida

$4375

South Carolina

$4875

Tennessee

$5000

North Carolina

Cost of Other Types of Care in Georgia

Memory care is one of the most expensive types of care in Georgia at $4,169 per month. Nursing home care in a private room is the most expensive at $7,148 per month. The least expensive type of service is adult day care which costs only $1,435 per month on average. For in-home care, seniors can expect to pay about the same for both homemaker services and home health care: $3,813 and $3,909 respectively.

$4169

Memory Care

$3813

In-Home Care

$3909

Home Health Care

$1435

Adult Day Care

$3335

Assisted Living Facility

$6684

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Georgia’s Top Cities

Georgia is a diverse state with some big differences in memory care costs across cities. The most expensive city, Brunswick, is along the Atlantic Coast and costs $7,500 per month. Savannah, another city along the Atlantic Coast, is quite a bit cheaper at $4,157. One of the least expensive cities is Augusta at just $3,500. Several other cities are in a similar price range, including Macon at $3,250 and Columbus at $3,750. Atlanta, the largest city in the state, is the second most expensive at $4,688, followed closely by Valdosta at $4,500.

$3250

Macon

$3500

Augusta

$3750

Columbus

$4157

Savannah

$4569

Valdosta

$4688

Atlanta

$7500

Brunswick

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Georgia

Georgia Medicaid Waivers

Under Georgia’s Medicaid systems, seniors in memory care facilities may be able to take advantage of two waiver programs: Community Care Services Program (CCSP) or Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE). Through CCSP, residents in memory care facilities can pay for extra medical and non-medical supports that can help them stay out of a nursing home. SOURCE provides funds for residents who have a higher need of medical services.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for Georgia’s Medicaid is determined by both need and financial status. The monthly income limit for any single applicant is $2,313. The value of the applicant’s assets, excluding their home and vehicle, may not exceed $2,000. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have the same medical and functional needs as a nursing home accommodates but would rather stay within their memory care unit.

How to Apply
Seniors who wish to receive benefits from SOURCE or CCSP should contact their local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for an assessment. They can also call 866-552-4464 toll-free.

GeorgiaCares

GeorgiaCares is a program for seniors on Medicare who could benefit from additional services, and many of those services are directly related to memory care. In addition to the free, unbiased and factual assistance and information it provides beneficiaries, it offers direct financial assistance for prescription drugs and out-of-pocket expenses under Medicare. Programs include Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (LIS), Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) and Patient Assistance Programs (PAP).

Who Is Eligible
LIS has a monthly income limit of $1,538 and an asset cap of $14,100. MSP has a monthly income limit of $1,386 and an asset cap of $7,560. Seniors who are unable to pay for their name brand or generic prescription drugs may be eligible for PAP.

How to Apply
Seniors in Georgia can apply for benefits by contacting GeorgiaCares directly at 1-866-552-4464. They have counselors who can help applicants through every step of the process.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Georgia

ResourceContactServices Provided
Area Agencies on Aging(866) 552-4464Agencies on Aging helps seniors and families find community resources, report fraud and abuse and take advantage of Home & Community Based Services.
Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter(800) 272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association in Georgia provides local support groups, education classes and other resources in 159 counties.
Emory University(404) 778-3444Emory University offers several educational programs to inform seniors and families dealing with Alzheimer’s, including the Early Memory Loss Group, Caregiver Challenges classes and Late Stage Alzheimer’s and other Dementia’s three-week course.
National Institute on Aging(800) 438-4380The NIA offers a wide range of complimentary resources related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia for seniors, caregivers and healthcare professionals.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman(866) 552-4464Georgia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for the rights of residents in assisted living facilities, including their memory care units. They also work with families and advocate for legal change.
Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving(229) 928-1234The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving provides support for people responsible for caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. They conduct research and offer a variety of programs and resources designed to improve the quality of care.


Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Community Health is responsible for licensing and regulating assisted living facilities in the state that take care of seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These facilities have memory care units which are specialized areas of assisted living communities where residents get the extra attention they need. Below is an overview of the rules and regulations in the State of Pennsylvania regarding these memory care units.

Scope of CareIn addition to help with daily activities, a memory care unit must offer its residents services, including oversight systems, activities and special programs for seniors with cognitive deficits. They must also have protections in place for residents at risk for wandering outside the property.
Care Plan RequirementsWithin 30 days of admission, residents of memory care units must undergo a physical examination by a licensed physician. This examination must clearly diagnose the presence of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and the need for the resident to receive specialized care.
Staffing RequirementsEach memory care unit must have enough staff to ensure the unique needs of each resident are satisfied. They must also have certified medication aides to administer medications.
Staff TrainingStaff caring for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia must have training in many areas, including behavior management, communication skills, therapeutic interventions and new developments in dementia care. Staff needs to also recognize physical and cognitive changes.
Facility RequirementsA memory care unit must be located in a home-like environment that includes, multipurpose rooms, secured walkways and outdoor areas, quality lighting, clearly marked rooms and an automated alert system. Staff will also need a communication system that connects to outside emergency services.
Inspections and MonitoringGeorgia requires that each assisted living community with a memory care unit to undergo an on-site inspection before any license is issued. As long as the facility continues to operate, they are subject to both announced and unannounced inspections.
Reporting AbuseAny suspected abuse at a memory care unit can be reported to police or to the state’s Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation division. Georgia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman is available to inform residents of their rights and provide counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Georgia?

The cost of memory care in Georgia can range anywhere from about $3,250 to $7,500 per month. The actual cost is dependent on the city where the memory care unit is located and the amenities and services the facility provides. The monthly average for Georgia is $4,165 per month which is the second-lowest for the region. Only Alabama has a lower average.

Are there financial assistance programs for Memory Care in Georgia?

While there is no direct financial aid available for room and board at memory care units in Georgia, the state’s Medicaid program may be able to offer assistance for services received within a memory care unit. Families can contact Georgia Medicaid to see if they qualify for CCSP or SOURCE.

What are “Activities of Daily Living?”

Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, are the skills required to maintain a person’s physical needs. These include dressing, grooming, toileting, personal hygiene, eating and ambulating. Seniors in memory care units may need help with one or all of these ADLs depending on the level of their cognitive decline.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Memory care units offer a more attentive level of care when compared to assisted living. In addition to ADLs, seniors with dementia may receive an overall higher level of oversight. Residents should also have access to specialized programs that are designed to enhance or maintain their cognitive function.

What security features are present in memory care facilities?

Memoy care facilities are responsible for implementing security features that protect residents from outside threats as well as themselves. These units usually have controlled entry and exit points with either a guard or an electronic security system. Walkways and outdoor areas are designed to prevent residents prone to wandering from leaving the facility.

Memory Care Facilities in Georgia (85)