Alzheimer’s is overtaking other public health issues at a rapid pace. Nationally, between 2000 and 2019, heart disease deaths decreased by 7.3% while Alzheimer’s increased by 145%. In Maryland, Alzheimer’s deaths increased by 17.7% more than average during 2020. Each year, the state’s Medicaid program invests more than $1.2 billion in Memory Care programs, and that number is projected to grow by nearly 25% by 2025. While Alzheimer’s and other dementias are a major concern, in Maryland, care is readily available, giving the state the number two ranking in the nation for the lowest Alzheimer’s mortality rate as of 2020.

Maryland seniors benefit from some of the best hospital systems in the country. Numerous top-rated facilities are found within a relatively small geographic region. Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center both have highly ranked geriatric programs and neurological care. The combination offers seniors with cognitive decline easy access to high-quality care. In Maryland, the average cost of Memory Care is $6,125 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 covers information about Alzheimer’s and dementia care, including expected costs and resources available to Maryland seniors and their families.

The Cost of Memory Care in Maryland

Note: For Memory Care costs, we are using the cost of Assisted Living from Genworth plus 25% since there is no authoritative data on the actual cost of Memory Care. We determined this increase because memory care, typically offered as an added service in an assisted living community, typically costs 20-30% more than assisted living. 

Maryland’s Memory Care costs are $500 more than the national median but comparable to other Mid-Atlantic states according to Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey. Maryland seniors pay an average of $6,125 per month for Memory Care, while seniors in Delaware pay $1,370 more. In Virginia, seniors pay about $340 more. Pennsylvania’s Memory Care costs are below the national median at $1,000 less than in Maryland. West Virginia seniors have the most affordable options at $925 less than Maryland.

$6125

Maryland

$5625

The United States

$5125

Pennsylvania

$7494

Delaware

$5200

West Virginia

$6563

Virginia

Location plays a major role in determining Memory Care costs throughout Maryland. In Washington, D.C., the most expensive nearby city, seniors can expect to pay $7,435 per month, while Hagerstown is about $1,650 less at $5,788. Baltimore is the second most affordable option at about $190 more than in Hagerstown. Salisbury, a city along the Atlantic Coast, is comparable to the state median at $6,225 per month, while Cumberland, at the extreme western edge of the state, averages $6,650 per month.

$5928

Baltimore

$5788

Hagerstown

$6560

Cumberland

$6225

Salisbury

$7435

Washington, D.C.

At $6,125 per month, Memory Care is second only to Nursing Home Care for cost. As the most expensive care option at $10,342, Nursing Home Care is also the most comprehensive and provides the highest level of medical support. For seniors interested in a more community-centered lifestyle, Memory Care is a substantially more affordable option. Assisted Living offers many of the same benefits as Memory Care but with a lower level of service and security for a savings of $1,225 per month. Assisted Living isn’t available to all seniors who need Memory Care for health and safety reasons. 

For those with a caregiver at home, In-Home Care or a Home Health Aide may be an alternative option. These services cost about $975 less per month. However, Memory Care includes the cost of room and board, which may be less than the cost of attempting to provide the same level of care at home. Adult Day Care Facilities offer Memory Care on an as-needed basis for a limited number of hours each week. At only $1,928 per month, it’s the most affordable option for Memory Care, but seniors without a home caregiver may need more assistance than these programs offer.

$6125

Memory Care

$5148

In-Home Care

$5148

Home Health Care

$1928

Adult Day Care

$4900

Assisted Living Facility

$10342

Nursing Home Care

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Maryland?

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 Maryland.

In Maryland, Medicaid has several waiver programs that help pay for some of the costs associated with Memory Care provided in Assisted Living Communities. In general, these waiver programs are designed to reduce the need for care delivered in Nursing Homes and offer the option for seniors who need extensive care to return to their communities.

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Maryland?

These programs may cover nurse monitoring, meal service, emergency response systems, assistive technologies and many other services typically offered in an Assisted Living Community. Since these programs are aimed at allowing seniors a return to their communities, many of the listed services are available at home or through a participating Assisted Living Facility.

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Maryland

How to Apply

How It Works

Community First Choice

Learn more and apply online at MDHealthConnection.

Seniors who are at risk of nursing home placement may qualify for the Community First Choice waiver program. Program services include assistive technologies, nurse monitoring and personal assistance services that are delivered at home or in an Assisted Living Facility. Care is self-directed and based on functional needs for those who qualify.

Community Options Waiver

Learn more about your options at a Maryland Access Point.

The Community Options Waiver provides financial assistance to seniors who might otherwise qualify for nursing home placement but prefer to live in the community. Assisted Living Facility placements are available, but not all Assisted Living Communities participate in the program. Waiting lists may impact eligibility in some parts of the state.

Increased Community Services Program

Learn more about this program at a Maryland Access Point.

Seniors who already live in a Nursing Home may be able to transition back to the community with the Increased Community Services Program. It's designed to help seniors gain access to long-term supports delivered at home or in an Assisted Living Community. Some of the services covered include personal care assistance and medical alert systems.

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

Medicaid eligibility is based on several factors, including income levels. Income eligibility may change based on the type of coverage needed. For example, a senior who needs Nursing Home placement is always covered provided that their income after paying for Medicare premiums and a possible spousal monthly income allowance is less than the cost of care. For seniors applying for Medicaid waivers, the monthly income limit is $2,523 per month, per person applying.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Maryland

Type of Medicaid

Single

Married

 


 

Income Limits

Asset Limits

Income Limits

Asset Limits

Institutional/Nursing Home

Cost of Care

$2,500

Cost of Care

$2,500-$3,000 per applicant & $137,400 for nonapplicant

Medicaid Waivers

$2,523 per month

$2,500

$2,523 per applicant per month

$2,000 per applicant & $137,400 per nonapplicant; $3,000 if both applying

Asset limits don’t include a senior’s home and furnishings or a personal vehicle. In addition to these requirements, seniors may also have a functional needs assessment to determine eligibility for specific waiver programs. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Permanent residence in Maryland
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status
  • Aged 65 or older or disabled

How to Apply for Medicaid in Maryland

Senior Medicaid applications are separate from standard applications and are handled online through MDThink or a local department of social services office.

Information You Will Need

  • Proof of residency
  • Personal identification
  • Proof of income
  • Copies of any listed expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Tax documents

While documentation isn’t required for the original application, approval may wait until supporting documents have been submitted to the caseworker who is handling the application. 

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Maryland offers many ways to apply for Medicaid. Getting the application right is important to secure appropriate health care and needed supportive services. To get help with the application, contact one of the government departments that handle health care services or programs for the aged.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(844) 627-5465

Seniors can get application help and information about waiver programs over the phone or at a local office during regular business hours.

(800) 332-6347

Social workers with the Department of Human Services can help with eligibility determinations and information requests.

(855) 642-8572

Seniors can apply online or talk to an agent for assistance with their Medicaid application.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Maryland?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Maryland

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 Maryland

Maryland government agencies and local nonprofit organizations offer various programs to support seniors and their loved ones in the search for Memory Care and related services. Direct financial assistance may be available to some seniors.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 272-3900

The Alzheimer's Association is a national organization with two local chapters in Maryland. Both locations provide access to support groups, advocacy and educational programs. There's also a 24-hour hotline available for seniors and their caregivers who need immediate assistance or someone to talk to.

(410) 767-1922

Seniors in the early stages of cognitive decline may qualify for the Congregate Housing Services Program that offers assistance with the activities of daily life. This program is often more limited in the scope of care when compared with Memory Care programs, but it may be a first step toward long-term care.

(410) 767-1100

Seniors facing Nursing Home placement may receive a direct financial subsidy to help pay for Memory Care as an alternative. Subsidies cover a maximum of $1,000 per month, and financial eligibility limits apply. This program is designed for moderate-income seniors who may not qualify for traditional Medicaid programs and for those aged 62 and older.

(410) 502-9272


Johns Hopkins Hospital operates the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, which seeks to better understand the mechanisms of the disease and discover better treatment options. Maryland seniors can sign up as patients for the center or apply to participate in research studies to help expand the type and scope of treatments available.

(877) 878-5920


Through a wide network of local law offices, Maryland Legal Aid offers free legal services to seniors who need help with housing, guardianship, financial protection and many other topics. Typically, Maryland Legal Aid focuses on civil cases.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Maryland

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.maryland.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/8/2022,, 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 Maryland Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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

Yes

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

No

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

Yes

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

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

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

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Maryland Communities

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

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

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

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Maryland Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Maryland

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the regulatory body for Assisted Living Programs (ALPs) in Maryland. In general, seniors with Alzheimer’s must be enrolled in a program with a Level 3 license given the complexity of care required. Level 3 providers are licensed to offer extensive care, while a patient that only needs help getting dressed in the morning and opening medication packaging might only need Level 1 care. Specific regulations cover what a facility may provide, levels of staffing and required services that must be offered to all residents.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Maryland

Scope of Care

A facility with an Alzheimer’s wing or that advertises memory care must provide a detailed list of facility services specific to those with dementia. The document must clearly state the differences between its standard assisted living and memory care, along with documenting activities designed for those with dementia and staff training for Alzheimer’s care.

Care Plans

Before admission, ALPs must complete an assessment documenting the scope of care needed for each incoming resident. Assessments must be performed every six months during residency and immediately following any changes in condition or following any non-routine hospitalization.

Medication Management

Medication management can include assistance with taking medication, provided staff is specially trained in medication administration. No special training is required to open medication packages and place pills or other oral medications into single-dose dispensing containers for seniors to self-administer.

Staffing

There are no mandated staff ratios, though in memory care units 24-hour awake staff may be required. Every facility must have a manager and alternate manager designated, along with a registered nurse available to delegate nursing tasks to other trained staff members. Medical technicians and direct care staff are also required, along with continuing education requirements for each level of staff.

Medicaid Coverage

Medicaid Waivers may pay for some of the costs associated with memory care in an ALP. Programs are often needs-based and delivered to those in emergency situations first. Financial limitations apply.

Reporting Abuse

When reporting abuse, seniors can contact Adult Protective Services of the local Department of Social Services, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, local police, or the Office of Health Care Quality. To file an initial claim and begin an investigation, call 1-800-332-6347 to contact the Department of Social Services APS branch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Memory Care cost in Maryland?

In Maryland, the average cost for memory care is $5,375, which is $311 more than the national median. This type of care is more affordable than skilled nursing care but is 20-30% more expensive than traditional assisted living due to costs related to extra staffing, tailored activities and added security.

Does Medical Assistance pay for Memory Care?

Medical Assistance, the Maryland Medicaid program, may pay for some of the costs associated with assisted living through the Senior Assisted Living Subsidy waiver program. This program may have limited availability and has strict eligibility limits. There may also be a waiting period before benefits are available. Local Area Agencies on Aging can provide more information and other program options to help with coverage until a subsidy is available.

What are Activities of Daily Living?

Activities of daily living (ADLs) are tasks seniors perform every day that may require some physical agility such as preparing meals, getting dressed, getting into and out of bed, taking a shower, brushing teeth, and other grooming, hygiene and sanitation-related activities around the house.

What is the difference between Memory Care and Assisted Living?

Assisted living programs all offer meals and help with daily activities, but memory care also has increased security, staff trained in de-escalation and activities specifically designed to stimulate brains for better function after a dementia diagnosis.

What security features are present in memory care facilities?

In a memory care unit, the facility may have WanderGuard technology to monitor where residents are and ensure they stay in safe and monitored areas of the facility. This wearable technology helps keep residents away from kitchens or bathrooms without direct care staff on hand to help. Secured entry is also often a part of a memory care wing, protecting seniors who may become disoriented from immersion in an unfamiliar environment.