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Memory Care in Minnesota

Minnesota is considered a popular place to retire thanks to an affordable cost of living and easy access to a number of natural attractions. The state is home to an estimated 5,717,180 residents, and around 16.7% of the population is aged 65 and over. Data from the Alzheimer’s Association shows that the impact of Alzheimer’s is projected to rise in Minnesota. This conclusion is supported by recent figures released by the CDC. The number of Alzheimer’s-related deaths in the state increased by 34.94% between 2016 and 2020, while the number of overall deaths increased by 23.24%.

There are a number of residential dementia care facilities in the state where seniors receive 24/7 care from highly trained caregivers. These communities offer a secure environment for the safety of residents. Many of the communities provide therapy and treatments to improve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This guide gives an overview of memory care costs across the state and lists statewide agencies that provide support for those with memory loss disorders.

The Cost of Memory Care in Minnesota

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 Minnesota and its 28 cities.

The Cost of Memory Care in Minnesota's Top Cities

When seeking out memory care, seniors and their loved ones should consider how location affects costs. Minneapolis is one of the most affordable cities in Minnesota with memory care averaging $4,670 per month. This is in contrast to St. Paul where seniors pay $5,795 per month. Those living in Rochester and St. Cloud pay around the same rate, as memory care averages $7,050 and $7,075, respectively.







St. Cloud


St. Paul


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

Minnesota seniors are lucky enough to be minimally impacted by inflation, as the state's memory care rates have risen just 3.3% between 2022 and 2023. This is noticeably less than the U.S. average, which rose 10.4% in the past year.

How do other states in the Midwest stack up? Overall, inflation has had a modest impact on the cost of memory care, except for South Dakota where rates fell by 0.8% from 2022 to 2023. Wisconsin and Iowa, in comparison, saw rates rise by 8.2% and 10%, respectively. North Dakota residents saw rates rise an astronomical 62%.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
North Dakota$3,641$5,899$6,510
South Dakota$5,394$5,350$5,635

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

Since the cost of senior living is affected by level of care, amenities, activities and staffing, each community varies depending on what it offers. Overall, however, independent living is the most affordable choice for seniors in Minnesota, with rates averaging $2,697 per month. Costs rise as care level increases. Assisted living rates average about $4,433, and memory care for seniors with Alzheimer's and related dementias averages $5,934 per month.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Minnesota?

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 Minnesota.

Seniors in Minnesota who need memory care services and who qualify for Medical Assistance can get help paying for care through the state’s Elderly Waiver (EW).

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s Elderly Waiver helps with a wide range of services seniors may need outside of a nursing care home setting. Seniors have the option of letting Medicaid manage their care for them, or they can opt to control their care options directly. For seniors in memory care, this can be done by a caretaker with medical power of attorney. 

At-home services covered by EW are directed toward helping seniors remain safely in their own homes and active in their residential community. These include:


  • Adult companion services
  • Case management
  • Chore assistance
  • Caregiver education, including training for dementia care
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Home health services
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Personal care
  • Respite care
  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)
  • Transportation assistance


In addition to community-based services, the EW program also helps pay for residential care costs. These include adult day care, transitional services and assisted living, including memory care. 

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Minnesota

Elderly Waiver

Elderly Waiver benefits are broad and cover services for older adults across a range of medical and care needs. The program is intended to support seniors with a level of need that is usually met by nursing home care, but that can be addressed at a lower level such as in-home care. EW helps seniors with assisted living, including memory care delivered in a residential setting. To apply, schedule a Long-Term Care Consultation (LTCC) by calling the number for your county or the Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433.

How to Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Minnesota

Your eligibility for Medical Assistance in Minnesota depends on several factors, including your age, income and assets, citizenship and whether or not you have a pressing medical need for care. Standards for Minnesota’s Medicaid eligibility require that you:

  • Are aged 65 or over, legally blind or have a qualifying disability
  • Have an income of up to $32,904 per year
  • Own countable assets of less than $3,000 for single adults or $6,000 for married couples

Not all assets are considered countable for the purpose of establishing eligibility for Medicaid in Minnesota. Excluded assets include your home (up to $636,000 in equity), a single car and personal belongings. Irrevocable burial trusts and certain other assets are also exempt from consideration when assessing your application for eligibility status.

When assessing your eligibility for Medical Assistance, your intake worker evaluates your income and assets over a 60-month look-back period. You must report your income from all sources over this period, as well as any countable assets you have owned, even if you have transferred control to another person.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Minnesota

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$32,904$3,000
Two Person1$32,904**$3,000$148,620
Two Person2$65,808$6,000

*Depending on the facility setting, a recipient may not be able to keep income up to this level.

**Income limit is for applicant only.

Seniors in Minnesota who need Medicaid but who have income above the 138% poverty threshold may still qualify for assistance through MNCare. This program may require a share of the cost that directs some of the expense of treatment to you at the point of service. This program can help people in Minnesota who earn up to 200% of the federal benefits threshold. Beneficiaries who meet their annual spend-down limits are covered for the rest of the calendar year at no additional cost.

How to Apply for Medicaid in Minnesota

You can apply for Medicaid in Minnesota in several ways, including the online application or by mailing in Form DHS-6696. If you are 65 or over, Medical Assistance recommends submitting a paper application at your county or tribal office. You can request a paper application to be sent to your home through the mail by calling either (651) 431-2670 or (800) 657-3739.

If you need help filing your application, you can ask for assistance from an intake worker at your tribal office or county human assistance office. You can also call (800) 333-2433 to ask for advice from a case manager at Senior LinkAge. Be sure to have the necessary information available before you call or start to fill out your paper application. 

Information You Will Need

Minnesota’s Medical Assistance program requires verification of some information before you can be approved for benefits. Basic information needed to establish your eligibility for assistance includes identity documents and proof of income and assets. To verify these, your worker may ask you for:


  • A government-issued ID, which may be a license to drive or another state ID card
  • A copy of your home’s title, as well as similar documents for any vehicles or investment properties you own
  • Verified copies of your investment portfolio, including employer-provided IRA or 401(k) accounts


Program staff also have to verify your income over the 5-year look-back period. This can be done by submitting these documents:


  • Paystubs or other proof of income
  • Bank statements and/or copies of canceled checks you’ve written above $500 during the prior 60 months
  • A verification letter stating your monthly Social Security benefit amount
  • Tax returns for the last 5 years


As a normal part of the intake and application process, you may be asked for any one or several of these documents. Speak with your worker about any trouble you’re having in obtaining the needed verification. You may be able to submit alternate documents to establish your citizenship, residency and financial eligibility.

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Seniors in Minnesota can get help applying for Medical Assistance from a number of local sources. In addition to the state-operated Senior LinkAge helpline, applicants can get help filling out and submitting their applications from local senior centers or from these free resources. 

ProgramContactServices provided
MinnesotaCare1-800-657-3672MNCare agents are able to provide advice and application assistance by phone during regular office hours
American Senior Benefits763-559-8200American Senior Benefits workers can help you determine your eligibility and navigate the application process by phone
Health Insurance Services, Inc.320-235-2500Authorized MNCare navigators can help with information about qualified health plans, MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance for seniors and adults with disabilities

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Minnesota?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Minnesota

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 Minnesota

There are many resources in Minnesota 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
Minnesota Area Agencies on AgingArea Agencies on Aging in Minnesota provide an array of services designed to promote independence and enhance the quality of life for older individuals. Meal programs help ensure seniors receive adequate nutrition, and transportation programs enable seniors to attend medical appointments and run errands. Wellness-focused services include exercise classes, social opportunities, health screenings and support groups. Seniors can obtain assistance completing benefits applications and health insurance counseling, and they can get legal advice, advocacy, options advice and respite services.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Minnesota 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
Minnesota 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, Minnesota 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
Alternative Care Program 651-431-2000Seniors participating in the Alternative Care Program can receive a wide range of in-home services, including skilled nursing, homemaker services and assistance with chores. The program also provides home-delivered meals and personal emergency response systems. To qualify, seniors must be over the age of 65, meet income and asset guidelines and require a nursing facility level of care.
Minnesota Elderly Waiver800-333-2433Seniors who require a nursing home level of care but wish to remain at home or in the local community can access home and community-based services via the Elderly Waiver.

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 Minnesota seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Food PantriesFood pantries provide nonperishable food products such as canned fish, pasta and rice to older adults in Minnesota who require it most. Each organization has its own rules and criteria for eligibility and access, which you can find on its website.
Minnesota Hunger Solutions Food Pantry651-486-9860The Minnesota Hunger Solutions Food Pantry takes both an immediate and long-term approach to supporting the state's hungry seniors. MHSFP directly provides help to local food pantries throughout the state, and its Minnesota Food HelpLine assists low-income individuals with setting up SNAP benefits and finding nearby farmers' markets. In addition, the organization maintains a Market Bucks program that helps SNAP users get two to three times the value of their SNAP benefits.
Minnesota Meals on WheelsMinnesota Meals on Wheels is part of a nationwide network of food assistance programs open to seniors ages 60 and over. Those who can safely attend congregate meals can enjoy them at their local senior center, while those who are homebound may receive them delivered to their front door. Meal deliveries to seniors include safety checks as a support service in the case of a fall, accident or emergency. Pricing ranges from no cost to full cost based on income.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
ConnectAbility of MinnesotaConnectAbility of MN is a nonprofit that advocates for people with disabilities in Minnesota. Its services are available to people of any age who require support with a health care issue. Its donated equipment program is available to everyone who lives in the state, and there's usually a wide range of equipment available.
Minnesota Seniors MobilitySeniors Mobility is a nationwide nonprofit that provides comprehensive listings of free assistance devices and other independent living resources in Minnesota.
Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota Chapter ALS Association888-672-0484The local ALS Association loans medical equipment to seniors who are living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or a related motor neuron disease. Eligible seniors can borrow assistive devices or durable medical equipment at no charge. Some items that may be available include wheelchairs, shower chairs and portable ramps.

Health Insurance & Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

Minnesota seniors who meet certain income criteria can apply to local resources to help them pay for prescription drugs. Eligible residents can also receive assistance through health insurance and other programs to access free or discounted medical services.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Drug Card ProgramThe Minnesota Drug Card program provides eligible seniors with discounts of up to 80% off of their out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. There's no cost to apply for the card, though you must be a U.S. citizen and resident of Minnesota with a financial need for the discount program.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Rehabilitation Loan/Emergency and Accessibility Loan ProgramThe Rehabilitation Loan/Emergency and Accessibility Loan Program lends up to $27,000 to low-income homeowners who need help paying for repairs that impact the safety, energy efficiency, accessibility or habitability of their home.
Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Program (MWAP)Low-income seniors can get free home energy upgrades, whether they rent or own a property, with the MWAP. It aims to reduce energy bills and ensure your home is healthy and safe.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Minnesota 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
Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care800-657-3591The Office of the Ombudsman for Long Term Care advocates on behalf of seniors in care facilities. They listen to the concerns of seniors and their families and work with care providers to improve the quality of care given to older adults.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Minnesota help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota888-205-3770This companionship service is offered by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota to seniors throughout the state who could benefit from the friendship of a caring individual in their own home. Volunteers in this program are available to provide everything from a friendly conversation buddy and game partner to an errand runner and correspondence assistant.
Minnesota Seniors763-780-8309A free resource for seniors and caregivers, Minnesota Seniors offers information about assisted living facilities, links to state and government webpages and a comprehensive directory of healthcare services, which includes information about personal emergency response systems, transitional care and podiatry clinics. provides a comprehensive online resource database for individuals, families and caregivers. Its Long-Term Care Choices Navigator tool helps seniors build a plan of care based on their needs and available service options, while the dedicated Focus on Seniors page presents an organized directory of various government, nonprofit and for-profit programs. These resources include senior centers, adult day care services, affordable housing, prescription drug assistance, assistive technology and financial help.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Minnesota 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
Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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
Senior Property Tax Refund - Minnesota Department of Revenue800-652-9094Seniors can lower their property tax bills with the Senior Property Tax Refund program from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. This program reduces the property tax bill based on the household's income. It is available to adults aged 65 and older or adults of any age who have permanent and total disability. Seniors use an online application to apply for this refund.
Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program800-657-3666Seniors with high property taxes relative to their income can receive a full or partial property tax deferment through the Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Minnesota Energy Assistance Program800-657-3710Administered by the Minnesota Commerce Department, the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program can provide up to $1,400 in energy and water bill assistance for state seniors who qualify under income guidelines. Maximum income limits are tied to the number of people in the household. This free, federally funded program, available to renters and homeowners, pays water, energy and fuel companies directly and works in conjunction with local service providers in Minnesota.

Veteran's Services

Minnesota 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
Minnesota VA Benefits and Health CareMinnesota VA Benefits and Health Care services help seniors in the state navigate the benefits available to them when they reach age 65. Elderly veterans have access to aid and attendance, increasing their monthly military pension to pay for in-home services, such as help with daily living activities or for skilled nursing care or memory care in a senior living center. Additionally, family members can receive assistance with funeral planning and burial arrangements.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health oversees memory care, which is provided by assisted living facilities with a special license for dementia care. These facilities are licensed as either a class a or f home care provider and must be registered with the Department of Health as a housing services home. Facilities are subject to regular inspections that ensure elder care facility laws and regulations are being followed.

Scope of CareAssisted living facilities with a memory care license are required by law to provide residents with a service plan prior to their move-in date. The plan is renewed regularly after a registered nurse conducts physical and cognitive assessments. Care in the facility includes two meals per day, medication administration or help with self-administration, help with a minimum of three activities of daily living and opportunities for socializing. The facility must offer weekly housekeeping, laundry and assistance obtaining transportation to medical and other services.
Care PlansBefore the resident’s care plan is drafted, the facility must offer to provide an assessment by a registered nurse who determines the resident’s physical and mental needs. If accepted, the plan will include the RN’s analysis. A detailed description of the services the resident will receive, the provider of the necessary services and the schedule of services will be described in the plan. Additionally, it must note who will supervise these services and what will happen if the services cannot be provided for any reason.
Medication ManagementWhile assisted living facilities have to offer assistance with medication administration or self-administration, the state prefers staff to administer medications directly to residents. If a caregiver administers medication, a registered nurse must be present to supervise the process. The RN is also required to write out instructions for the caregiver to administer the medication.
StaffingIn Minnesota, minimum staff ratios for assisted living and memory care facilities are not mandated by the state. The only requirement is that a facility employs enough staff members to meet the needs of its residents.All staff members working with memory care residents must complete a training program and competency test. Those providing direct care must complete four hours of dementia training and 160 hours of memory care per year, while supervisors must complete 120 hours.
Medicaid CoverageMedicaid in Minnesota offers waivers to help pay for the cost of care, although they don’t include room and board. Family supplementation and state supplemental monies are accepted.
Reporting AbuseThe Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, a division of the Minnesota Board of Health, advocates for seniors and their rights while living in a long-term care facility, including memory care. Complaints about the quality of care and elder abuse can be phoned into the office at 1-800-657-3591.

Frequently Asked Questions

Directory of Memory Care Facilities in Minnesota

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Memory Care in Minnesota

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