Out of the 10,711,908 people who live in Georgia, 14% are ages 65 and older. As of 2020, approximately 150,000 individuals were living with dementia, Alzheimer’s or some other form of memory loss, and by 2025, this number is expected to increase close to 27% to 190,000. Luckily, there are memory care facilities throughout Georgia that offer cognitive therapy and specialized programming for residents with dementia with supportive and well-trained staff. Seniors in Georgia who require Memory Care can expect to pay around $4,419 per month, which is lower than the national average. 

Short, mild winters and long, hot summers are just some of the benefits that attract retiring seniors and those in Memory Care to the state of Georgia. The state is also tax-friendly for retirees with a retirement exclusion of $65,000 for taxpayers who are 62 and older, and the cost of living in the state is lower than the national average. For accident and injury, several hospitals in the state are nationally ranked, including Emory University Hospital and Piedmont Hospital, which are both located in downtown Atlanta. 

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 covers the average cost of memory care throughout the state and how Medicare and Medicaid can provide financial assistance. It also includes a list of resources that helps seniors live in their homes for as long as possible and make the transition to long-term care easier.

The Cost of Memory Care in Georgia

Note: Memory care is a specialized type of residential, long-term care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It costs approximately 20 to 30% more than assisted living rates. To determine the cost of memory care, we added 25% to the assisted living rates listed in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

In Georgia, memory care is around $4,419 per month, which is one of the lowest costs in the southeast with only Alabama facilities costing less at $4,379. South Carolina residents pay slightly more at $4,515 per month, while Tennessee and Florida residents pay $5,131 and $5,000 per month.

$4419

Georgia

$5625

The United States

$4379

Alabama

$5000

Florida

$4515

South Carolina

$5131

Tennessee

Memory care rates can vary throughout the state depending on a number of factors. In the far northwest in Rome, the cost is around $5,366 and to the east in Athens the cost is $5,230. Seniors in the capital city of Atlanta pay $4,806 per month, while in the southwest in Albany the cost is $335 more than the state average. Savannah residents have some of the lowest costs in the state at $4,391, while those in Brunswick pay some of the highest fees at $6,625.

$5366

Rome

$4806

Atlanta

$5230

Athens

$4754

Albany

$4391

Savannah

$6625

Brunswick

There are other types of long-term care all with varying costs and treatment levels. Adult day health is ideal for seniors who remain with their families but need care only during the day while their loved one’s work. The cost is around $1,300 per month. Assisted living communities are also residential care facilities for those with varying needs. They cost around $3,535 per month. Memory Care is usually offered within an assisted living community at $4,419.

Seniors who want to live in their own homes can choose home care, which provides help with daily activities, and home health care, which also offers medical attention, for less than assisted living at $4,290-$4,385 monthly. Nursing homes are for seniors who require around-the-clock monitoring and intensive care. A semiprivate room in Georgia costs around $7,011 per month and a private room costs around $7,604.

$1300

Adult Day Health Care

$3535

Assisted Living

$4290

Home Care

$4385

Home Health Care

$4419

Memory Care

$7011

Nursing Home (semiprivate room)

$7604

Nursing Home (private room)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Georgia?

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 Georgia.

Medicaid doesn’t cover room and board expenses in a memory care facility; however, it does offer the Community Care Services Program (CCSP) and the Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE) waivers that help seniors cover the cost of care services. 

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Georgia?

Covered memory care services include medical and non-medical care, such as skilled nursing, medication management, therapy and personal care. 

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Georgia

Community Care Services Program (CCSP)

The CCSP waiver provides community-based social, health and support services to seniors and those eligible for long-term care. The waiver helps pay for home-delivered meals, skilled nursing and therapy, out-of-home respite care and personal support services. To be eligible, an individual must have a functional impairment, receive approval for nursing home level care by a physician, receive Medicaid and choose to receive care within the community rather than in a nursing home.

Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE)

The SOURCE waiver is for low-income frail and disabled adults who require nursing home level care. This waiver helps pay for both medical and non-medical care, including housekeeping, grooming, bathing, transportation, meals, medication management and skilled nursing. To be eligible, seniors must qualify for full Medicaid. 

To apply for these waivers, call 1 (866) 552-4464 or visit the website.

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

To be eligible for Medicaid in Georgia, an individual must meet specific income and asset requirements. A senior applying on their own must have an income that doesn’t exceed $30,276 per year with $2,000 in assets. In the case of a married couple with only one adult applying for Medicaid, the income requirements are the same but the non-applicant may have assets worth up to $137,400. When both spouses apply, the income cap is $60,552 per year with a maximum of $3,000 in assets. 

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Georgia

Income Limits*

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$30,276

$2,000

Two-Person Household


(Only One Person Applying)

$30,276

$2,000 for applicant

$137,400 for non-applicant

Two-Person Household

(Both People Applying)

$60,552

($30,276 per spouse)

$3,000

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or person with qualified proof of citizenship
  • Women between the age of 18 through 44
  • Pregnant
  • Georgia resident
  • Legally blind or permanently disabled
  • Require a nursing home

How to Apply for Medicaid in Georgia

To apply for Medicaid in Georgia you can go online and create an account at Georgia Gateway. You may apply on the phone with the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) at (877) 423-4746 or in person at one of the local offices. To apply by mail, contact the DFCS to request the correct forms and mail them to Georgia Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids® PO Box 105200. Tucker, GA 30085-5200.

Information You Will Need

  • Citizenship documentation or qualified alien status
  • Government-issued ID
  • Birth certificate
  • Valid social security number
  • Copies of bank statements for the past five years
  • Income tax returns for the past five years
  • Mortgage deed
  • Copies of wills, powers of attorney and other items related to your estate
  • Investment income
  • Health and life insurance policies
  • Any other documentation that could prove your case

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Medicaid offers free to low-cost medical care to low-income seniors throughout the state. These programs may vary from state to state and have different names, which can make it confusing when deciding on the right insurance coverage. The following is a list of resources of programs that provide help in navigating Medicaid and all it has to offer. 

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(877) 423-4746

Benefits.gov is a federal website that provides information on available programs in each state. The site gives a brief explanation of each program, offers information on eligibility and directs an individual on how to apply.

(866) 552-4464

GeorgiaCares is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) that provides free and unbiased insurance counseling to seniors. SHIP counselors help define the different sections of Medicaid, offer information on Medicare, supplemental insurance and prescription plans.

(404) 463-3333

Empowerline provides easy-to-understand information that helps seniors understand immediately if they might qualify for Medicaid or Medicare assistance.

*Per year

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Georgia?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Georgia

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 Georgia

Georgia provides free and low-cost programs and services to seniors who require memory care throughout the state. These services address everything from basic daily needs and financial help to transportation.

Resource

Contact

Services Provided

(404) 657-5258

An AAA in Georgia is operated by the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services. The AAA works to address the needs and concerns of older adults in the area, including help with housekeeping, yard work, meals and transportation.

(800) 272-3900

The state Alzheimer’s Association works to seek a cure for dementia and other memory issues through global research, community outreach and government initiatives. Programs include a 24/7 helpline, support and education programs, early-stage social engagement programs and online tools.

(800) 222-2225

The National Institute on Aging conducts and supports research on aging and the health and well-being of older adults. The institute performs research to help slow the aging process and heal the diseases and conditions associated with aging.

(866) 552-4464

The long-term care ombudsman advocates for the rights of seniors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and memory care. They investigate complaints of abuse, fraud and neglect and help educate seniors and their loved ones on elder rights.

(229) 928-1234

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving provides support to caregivers of those in long-term care, including those with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairments. The institute also supports research that identifies issues in senior care and works to improve the quality of life for older adults.

(404) 778-3444

Emory University performs research on memory issues, including Alzheimer’s disease to help improve the quality of life of those affected. The research focuses on early detection and effective interventions.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Georgia

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dch.georgia.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.

Visitation Policies

RULES FOR GEORGIA 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?

Yes

Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?

No

Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?

Yes

Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

Yes

Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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?

No

Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?

Yes

Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?

Yes

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?

Yes

Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Georgia
Scope of Care
In 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 Requirements
Within 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 Requirements
Each 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 Training
Staff 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 Requirements
A 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 Monitoring
Georgia 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 Abuse
Any 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 (87)