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Memory Care in Maryland

The Mid-Atlantic state of Maryland has about 6.2 million residents and a senior community that makes up over 16% of the population. This state is a member of the Dementia Friendly America registry, indicating its officials have put initiatives in place to meet the needs of those affected by this disease. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates these initiatives may have a positive impact on health outcomes. In 2016, about 4.4% of deaths in the state were linked to Alzheimer’s, but in 2020, this disease accounted for just 3.8% of instances.

Residential dementia care provides specialized treatment for those with Alzheimer’s. These facilities offer comfortable housing, nutritious daily meals and therapeutic activities, and they have secured environments to ensure residents’ safety. They’re staffed with highly trained caregivers experienced in managing dementia symptoms, and many have visiting physicians and therapists who specialize in Alzheimer’s care.

In this guide, readers can learn about options they may have for paying for dementia care in Maryland and connect with statewide nonprofit organizations that can help them navigate the system.

The Cost of Memory Care in Maryland

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 Maryland and its 23 cities.

The Cost of Memory Care in Maryland's Top Cities

The cost of memory care in Maryland's top cities varies greatly depending on location. At the higher end of the spectrum, Baltimore offers memory care at $6,188 and Annapolis at $6,940. While they are both in the top-four cities by population, Columbia and Silver Spring are more affordable memory care options at $4,867 and $3,300 — both below the state average.









Silver Spring


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

Memory care costs across the country have experienced a rise from 2022 to 2023 due to inflation, and Maryland is no exception. Compared to the national average's increase of 10.4% during this period, Maryland saw memory care costs grow 7.9% from $5,089 in 2022 to $5,489 in 2023, slightly below the national rate.

Among Maryland's neighbors, Pennsylvania and Virginia showed a similar trend in inflation, with memory care costs rising 11.9% and 7% during the same time. Delaware and West Virginia experienced inflating costs at almost four times the national average, at a shocking 39.5% and 46%, respectively.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
West Virginia$3,744$5,446$5,376

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

Consistent with the rest of the county, memory care in Maryland is roughly 150% of the cost of independent living and 111% of the cost of assisted living. These costs represent the base amount and aren't always inclusive of special amenities, services, or specialized therapy. Memory care is more cost-intensive than other senior living arrangements as it requires a greater level of caregiver specialization, a higher caregiver-to-resident ratio, and amenities designed for therapeutic cognitive stimulation.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


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

Maryland has several waiver programs that can aid seniors in need of memory care services. Each basically offers the same services, but have different priorities. For example, Community First Choice is self-directed care at home, Community Options can cover care in a facility and Increased Community Services is for seniors transitioning from nursing home care to another type of care.

Community First ChoiceLearn 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 WaiverLearn 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 ProgramLearn 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 $2,742 per month, per person applying.

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$2,000
Two People1$32,904**$2,000148,620
Two People 2$65,808***$2,000

*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.


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.

ProgramContactServices provided
Maryland Access Point(844) 627-5465Seniors can get application help and information about waiver programs over the phone or at a local office during regular business hours.
Department of Human Services(800) 332-6347Social workers with the Department of Human Services can help with eligibility determinations and information requests.
Maryland Health Connection(855) 642-8572Seniors 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.

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 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 will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Maryland

There are many resources in Maryland 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
Maryland Area Agencies on AgingMaryland's Area Agencies on Aging are nonprofit organizations that support the needs of older adults, their families and caregivers across the state. They offer a range of services and programs that promote independent living and help enhance seniors' quality of life. AAAs provide personalized care planning, home-based services, transportation assistance and meal programs. They also offer information and referral services, benefits counseling and caregiver support. Through Maryland's AAAs, seniors can access the resources they need to age with dignity.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Maryland 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
Maryland 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.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Maryland seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maryland Access Point (MAP)844-627-5465Maryland Access Point locations can help you find assistance programs available in your community.

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 Maryland seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maryland 211 Food PantriesLow-income seniors in Maryland who are able to leave their homes have many options for free and affordable food. Food pantries and banks throughout the state provide free produce, grains and other staples, and many have no eligibility requirements
Maryland Meals on WheelsMaryland Meals on Wheels offers nutritious home-delivered and congregate meals for qualifying seniors ages 60 and over. Eligibility is open to those who cannot easily shop for groceries and prepare meals due to limited mobility. With home-delivered meals, seniors receive friendly daily visits that provide valuable social interaction and safety checks for those at risk of falls or accidents. Congregate meals are served at local senior centers and are available on a sliding fee scale.
Maryland Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-332-6347SNAP gives you a card that can be used at grocery stores, convenience stores, online food delivery services and even some restaurants.

Financial Assistance for Senior Living

Low-income elderly individuals in senior living communities can access financial assistance through local-run programs. These Maryland resources offer advice, guidance and support to help older adults pay for the services offered by long-term care providers.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maryland Senior Assisted Living Subsidy Program410-767-1100Seniors 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.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Maryland collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maryland Assistive Technology Reuse Center (MATR)443-326-9703The Maryland Assistive Technology Reuse (MATR) Center provides high-tech assistive equipment to individuals who have some form of disability. Funded entirely by donations, MATR provides pre-used assistive technologies at no cost. The only requirement is that equipment be re-donated to the center once it's no longer needed. MATR maintains an online inventory of all available equipment. Devices include assisted vision equipment, assisted listening devices and augmentative and alternative communication devices for individuals with speech impediments.
Maryland Bay Area Center for Independent Living - Free Loan Closet443-260-0822The Bay Area Center for Independent Living, Inc., a nonprofit agency in Salisbury, MD, connects adults with disabilities and their families to various services and programs across nine counties. The center works closely with the Maryland Technology and Assistance Program to provide temporary ramps to people who need wheelchair access to their homes. Workshops and resources are also available at the center to help disabled individuals navigate the complex social security system.
Maryland Durable Medical Equipment Re-Use Program240-230-8000The Durable Medical Equipment Re-Use program collects donations of equipment from sites throughout Maryland and distributes them to seniors in need. Sites offer basic DME, such as canes and bedrails, and complex DME, such as power wheelchairs, home hospital beds and mechanical lifts.

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 Maryland have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maryland Accessible Homes for Seniors844-369-4150This program provides zero-interest loans and grants to seniors for modifications to their homes. The funds are available for improvements that make the property accessible and functional, such as widening of doorways, installation of ramps and modifying bathrooms with grab bars. The maximum loan amount is 110% of the value of the property.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Maryland 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
Maryland Legal Aid866-635-2948Maryland Legal Aid's Senior Legal Helpline offers counseling and advice to the elderly. It helps low-income individuals locate pro bono representation in civil matters (although not in criminal cases). Other services include preparing legal documents and helping seniors file for divorce or bankruptcy.
Maryland Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP)301-265-8483The Maryland Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is dedicated to upholding the welfare of long-term care residents throughout the state. The program's volunteers and paid staff work together to provide services such as informing individuals of their rights, resolving concerns and complaints and making suggestions to improve care quality in facilities. All services provided by LTCOP are free and confidential. Residents and concerned parties can access the state's ombudsman by county.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Maryland 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
Maryland's Community First Choice Program877-463-3464This program enables seniors to remain in their own homes by providing a variety of services, including personal assistance, home-delivered meals, accessibility adaptations, assistive technology and support planning. It also covers nurse monitoring and other home health services.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Maryland 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
Maryland 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 Maryland 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
Homeowners' Property Tax Credit Program410-767-5900This tax credit program limits the amount seniors pay on their property taxes based on their income. The credit is applied directly to the tax bills of homeowners, and it does not apply to the value of the property exceeding $300,000.

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. Maryland retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Maryland Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)800-332-6347Seniors at risk of losing their access to water due to a lack of funds may be eligible for assistance through LIHWAP. The program gives eligible households up to $2,000 to pay for water and wastewater bills. You can apply for LIHWAP online or over the phone.
Maryland Office of Home Energy800-332-6347The Maryland Office of Home Energy offers a financial assistance program for low-income families who are unable to afford their electricity or heating bills. The program pays your utility bills directly if you're short on funds, and you don't need a turn-off notice to qualify.

Veteran's Services

Maryland 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
Maryland VA Benefits and Health CareMaryland's VA Benefits and Health Care provides assistance to eligible senior veterans through medical centers located in Baltimore, Perry Point and at other facilities across the state. The program offers older vets access to service-connected disability support as well as physical therapy, hearing and vision care, cancer treatment and pain management. Veterans can receive help navigating VA benefits, compensation and social services, including guidance with senior housing options and financial planning.

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.

Scope of CareA 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 PlansBefore 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 ManagementMedication 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.
StaffingThere 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 CoverageMedicaid 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 AbuseWhen 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

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Memory Care in Maryland

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