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Memory Care in Nebraska

Demand for memory care in Nebraska may be increasing. The state is home to a growing number of adults, and Alzheimer’s cases are on the rise. Seniors aged 65 and older currently represent 16.2% of the state’s nearly 2 million residents. According to the State Plan on Aging, the number of adults aged 60 and older will increase by 36% by 2035. Currently, more than 35,000 older adults are living with Alzheimer’s disease in the Cornhusker State, and an additional 5,000 diagnoses are expected by 2025. The disease affects more than 60,000 caregivers, and it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the state. Memory care is one option to consider for families who want to make sure all their loved ones’ needs are met in a safe, secure setting.

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 provides a detailed overview of long-term care costs and ways to pay for care through Medicaid and other programs. You’ll also find information about state regulations and a directory of agencies that focus on serving families who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The Cost of Memory Care in Nebraska

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 Nebraska and its 4 cities.

The Cost of Memory Care in Nebraska's Top Cities

Memory care costs vary considerably between Nebraska's top cities. One of the most affordable is Lincoln, where care costs $5,273, on average. One of the priciest is Grand Island, with costs averaging $7,170, nearly $1,900 more. In Elkhorn, memory care is also relatively expensive, costing around $6,995. Omaha's average prices, meanwhile, are a more affordable $5,998 and almost equal to Nebraska's average of $5,997.







Grand Island




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

Inflation's impacts on memory care prices in Nebraska have been quite significant. From 2022 to 2023, the average cost of care in the state rose by 7.2% to $5,997, and is set to rise by a further 15.3% in 2024. The nationwide average also rose from $4,863 to $5,369, a 10.4% increase.

Inflation's effects in Nebraska's neighboring states were variable. Prices in Iowa and Colorado rose by 10% and 11.9%, respectively. Meanwhile, Kansas saw prices increase by just under 2% to $5,587, and, perhaps surprisingly, South Dakota's prices actually fell by 0.8% to $5,350.

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

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

The cost of senior living in Nebraska varies according to the level of assistance offered. Memory care is priced at $5,997, making it the most expensive. Assisted living is $954 cheaper at $5,043, while independent living is almost half the price at $3,040. A provider's quality ratings, location, amenities and specialist programs can also affect costs. Therefore, considering individual needs and wants when comparing different senior living options is crucial.

Assisted Living


Memory Care


Independent Living


Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Nebraska?

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 Nebraska.

If you need help paying for memory care, you may be able to access financial assistance through the state’s Aged and Disabled Waiver. This program gives residents access to Home- and Community-Based Services that aren’t normally covered by Medicaid. It covers housekeeping and a variety of one-on-one services to help with activities of daily living. However, individuals are still responsible for monthly rental fees. Some of the services that the Aged & Disabled Waiver may cover at home or in memory care facilities include:


  • Accessibility modifications
  • Adaptive technology
  • Assisted living
  • Chore services
  • Daytime health care programs
  • Emergency alert systems
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Life skills training
  • Nursing home transitions
  • Nutritional services
  • Personal assistance
  • Respite for unpaid caregivers

What Assisted Living Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Nebraska?

The Aged & Disabled Waiver covers services that help participants with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting and mobility. It also provides assistance with instrumental daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. A sliding-scale share of cost may be required, depending on the applicant’s income. Here are a few of the services the Aged & Disabled Waiver may cover when provided in memory care facilities or other community-based settings:


  • Personal assistance
  • Health monitoring
  • Recreational activities
  • Help with shopping and errands
  • Household chores
  • Medication reminders
  • Nonmedical transportation
  • Laundry service 

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Nebraska

Aged and Disabled Waiver

Nebraska’s Aged and Disabled Waiver is an important financial assistance program for older adults who need help paying for memory care and other community-based supports. There are financial eligibility requirements, and you must provide proof that you need a nursing home level of care. The state will request a functional needs assessment and information from your primary care provider. The waiver application includes more details about these requirements. You can submit your completed application to the DHHS Division of Developmental Disabilities at the address listed on the form. Paper applications are accepted by mail, email and fax.

If you have questions or would like to apply over the phone, call the Department of Developmental Disabilities at (877) 667-6266. Assistance is also available at your local DHHS office. You can find a county-by-county directory of Public Assistance Offices online.

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

Medicaid benefits, including waivers for Home- and Community-Based Services, are available to adults and families who have limited resources and may be unable to afford the care they need. In Nebraska, income and asset limits are the same whether you’re applying for regular Medicaid or help with long-term care. However, Home- and Community-Based Services have additional medical eligibility requirements. You may be eligible for the Aged and Disabled Waiver and other Medicaid benefits if you require a nursing home level of care and have no more than $1,215 per month in earned and unearned income. The income limit for couples is $1,644 per month for 2023. Nebraska sets income levels at 100% of the federal poverty level.

Assets are limited to $4,000 for individuals or $6,000 for couples if both you and your spouse require long-term care. Certain items may be excluded depending on your situation, including one vehicle, your primary home and many personal belongings. If only one spouse requires care, the non-applicant can keep $148,620 in non-exempt assets. Your spouse may also be entitled to a monthly maintenance needs allowance. Even if you earn too much to qualify, you may be able to spend down excess income on medical bills. No matter how you qualify, the state may be entitled to collect funds from your estate to cover the cost of memory care and other services provided.

Household SizeNumber of ApplicantsIncome Limits Per Year*Asset Limits: Applicant(s)Asset Limits: Non-Applicants
One Person1$14,580$4,000
Two People1$14,580**$4,000$148,620
Two People 2$19,716$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.

***Assets are limited to $4,000 per spouse

Medicaid is an entitlement program available to certain low-income individuals and families based on their age, medical needs and other factors. To qualify for long-term care benefits, you must: 

  • Live in the state of Nebraska
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Be aged 65 or older or disabled if younger
  • Meet medical eligibility requirements

How To Apply for Medicaid in Nebraska

Nebraska offers several application options depending on whether you want to apply online, in-person, over the phone or by mail or fax. Learn more about your options.


  • To apply online, visit the official application portal at ACCESSNebraska.
  • To apply over the phone, call the DHHS customer service hotline at (855) 632-7633.
  • Paper applications can be mailed to the state Medicaid Eligibility Program or your local benefits office


Information You Will Need

When you apply for Medicaid for the Aged and Disabled, you must provide a variety of personal and financial information to confirm your eligibility. A few of the items you’ll need to provide include:


  • Name, address and contact details
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration
  • Social Security numbers
  • Monthly and annual income
  • Recurring expenses
  • Tax deductions and filing information
  • A list of assets, including real estate and vehicles
  • Information about any property sold or given away
  • Details about any insurance coverage you may have

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

If you need help completing your application or appealing a decision, contact the Department of Health and Human Services directly. Assistance is available over the phone and through local offices. Area Agencies on Aging and other community-based organizations may be able to help if you need help getting benefits for a loved one.

ProgramContactServices provided
ACCESSNebraska(855) 632-7633ACCESSNebraska is the official online application portal for Medicaid and other economic benefits. Customer service agents can answer questions about program eligibility, check your application status or help you apply for benefits over the phone.
DHHS Public Assistance Offices(402) 471-3121To receive in-person assistance with your Medicaid application, contact the DHHS call center, or locate the nearest Public Assistance Office. The agency provides an online directory of locations listed by county and city.
Medicaid Appeals(877) 667-6266If you applied for the Aged and Disabled Waiver or another Medicaid program and your request was denied, you can contact the Division of Developmental Disabilities to speak with a case manager. You may be able to appeal the decision or submit additional documentation when you reapply.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Nebraska?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Nebraska

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 Nebraska

There are many resources in Nebraska 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
Nebraska Area Agencies on AgingThere are eight Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) throughout Nebraska. Help typically falls under one of five areas: nutritional services, access to services, elder rights, in-home services and community-based services. Seniors can receive assistance if they are aged 60+. Contact information for each AAA is available via the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Nebraska 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
Nebraska 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.

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 Nebraska seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Nebraska Emergency Food Assistance ProgramNebraska seniors can turn to the state's Emergency Food Assistance Program to receive donated food. The EFAP distributes its food to two Nebraska food banks, Food Bank for the Heartland and Food Bank of Lincoln. Nebraska seniors in need of assistance may contact these facilities for information on food distribution points in their local area.
Nebraska Meals on WheelsNebraska Meals on Wheels provides well-balanced meals to eligible seniors statewide. To qualify, seniors must be aged 60 and over. Those mobile enough can enjoy meals with peers at their local congregate meal site, while those who are immobile receive daily meal delivery with an accompanying safety check to monitor their well-being. Services are offered on a sliding-fee scale. Additional services are also available and vary from program to program, including transportation to doctor appointments, telephone reassurance and pet food delivery.
Nebraska Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)402-471-6857The state departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services administer the Nebraska Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Seniors aged 60 and over whose income is at or below 185% of the federal poverty level can receive limited funds annually via this program. Older adults can use SFMNP coupons at markets to acquire unprepared fruits and vegetables, honey and other locally produced and seasonal foods.
Nebraska Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-221-5689The Nebraska Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps eligible seniors over age 60 obtain healthy food. To qualify, applicants must meet certain resource and income requirements. SNAP benefits are placed on an electronic benefits transfer card, and they can only be used for food. Most supermarkets and grocery stores statewide and some Meals on Wheels services accept SNAP funds. Liquor, wine, beer, tobacco products and prepared foods, such as restaurant meals, can't be paid for using SNAP benefits.

Free Used Medical Equipment

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Nebraska Methodist's Equipment Loan ProgramThe Equipment Loan Program, offered by Methodist Health Partners, accepts donated used medical equipment, inspects and sanitizes it according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, and offers it for free or on loan to Nebraskans who need the equipment but cannot afford it or get it covered by their public or private health insurance plan.
Nebraska ReUse NetworkThe Nebraska ReUse Network helps seniors retain their independence at home by providing access to needed medical equipment that might not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the individual's private health insurance plan.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Nebraska 504 Home Repair ProgramRural Development housing repair loans and grants help low-income and elderly Nebraska homeowners procure funds to remove health or safety hazards from their homes, and modernize or weatherize their dwellings. The funds from these loans or grants can be used on projects such as HVAC repair, insulation and water supply repair or replacement.

Many organizations offer free or low-cost legal services to Nebraska 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
Legal Aid of Nebraska877-250-2018Legal Aid of Nebraska helps seniors with various civil law issues, including disputes regarding evictions, disability and Medicaid benefits and utility shutoffs. Walk-ins are welcome at LAN's Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island and Scottsbluff offices. The Omaha office is open Monday through Wednesday, 1 to 4 p.m., and the Lincoln location is staffed Monday and Wednesday during the same hours. The Grand Island and Scottsbluff offices hold hours on Tuesdays, 12 to 3 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., respectively.

Senior Centers

Senior centers in Nebraska bring together residents through recreational activities and events. Many also offer advice and support on senior issues, run wellness and nutrition programs, and connect older adults with other resources in the local area.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Nebraska State Unit on Aging402-471-2307A division of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the State Unit on Aging offers a variety of services to help older adults, individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities, and caregivers. The center has a list of supportive resources for those with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Guidance with insurance coverage and Medicare is provided, and legal services are available for low-income seniors. An elder abuse awareness program is also offered.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Nebraska 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
Alzheimer's Association of Nebraska Chapter402-502-4300The Nebraska chapter of the Alzheimer's Association helps individuals with dementia-related impairments. Seniors and their caregivers have access to early-stage services, such as care consultations, safety programs and social engagement activities. In-person and online workshops are offered, and there are support groups available for those impacted by cognitive conditions.

Medicaid Resources

Navigating the Medicaid system is often difficult and confusing. Several Nebraska 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
Nebraska Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver877-667-6266Nebraska's Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver provides funding for seniors who require a nursing home level of care. This funding can be used to pay for nursing home or assisted living costs. If the recipient prefers to live independently, the Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver can cover the costs of home or vehicle modifications to enable them to age in place.
Nebraska Traumatic Brain Injury Medical Waiver877-667-6266The Traumatic Brain Injury Medical Waiver provides financial assistance to Nebraska residents who require nursing home or assisted living care because of a traumatic brain injury that was caused by an external mechanical force.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Nebraska 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
Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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
Nebraska Homestead Exemption402-471-5984The Homestead Tax Exemption provides property tax relief for Nebraska seniors as well as for homeowners who fit into several additional categories, such as disabled veterans and individuals with physical or developmental disabilities.

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

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Nebraska Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)800-383-4278The Nebraska Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance to low-income Nebraskans, helping them offset the cost of high heating and cooling bills. Residents can turn to LIHEAP for help with HVAC and furnace repair, along with home weatherization services.

Veteran's Services

Nebraska 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
Nebraska VA Benefits and Health CareNebraska VA Benefits and Health Care supports qualifying senior veterans through a range of clinical services, medical equipment supply, benefits assistance, loans and more. Alongside Omaha and Grand Island VA Medical Centers, it operates an outpatient clinic in Lincoln and seven community-based outpatient clinics throughout the state. Vet Centers are located in Lincoln and Omaha, with advice and assistance also available from Papillion Community Living Center.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Nebraska

Nebraska’s assisted living facilities — including those providing memory care — are licensed and inspected by the Department of Health and Human Services. Facilities that provide memory care are officially known as Alzheimer’s special care units.

Admission and DisclosureMemory care facilities, or dedicated areas within a facility, must have a written statement describing their philosophy and mission regarding Alzheimer’s and other dementias. This statement must also provide details on placement and discharge, assessments, facility features and activities that support cognitively impaired residents, a breakdown of all expected costs and the Medicaid funding policy.
Plan of CareFacility staff must assess incoming residents to formulate a plan that addresses medical, social and other elements of care to be provided. Memory care facilities aren’t permitted to provide licensed nursing care on a long-term or permanent basis.
Staff Training and EducationAll staff in memory care facilities must receive training appropriate to the cognitive abilities of residents, and they must undergo additional training each year that addresses Alzheimer’s disease and new developments in providing care.
Medication RequirementsMost memory care residents are deemed unfit to handle their own medication, which shifts responsibility to the facility. If a facility has one or more residents who can’t self-administer, it must employ a registered nurse to evaluate practices and train qualified personnel. Medication must be administered by licensed health care professionals.
Medicaid PolicyAssisted living and memory care facilities in Nebraska aren’t required to accept state funds via Medicaid or its waiver program. Facilities that do accept Medicaid must reference this in the admission statement of each applicable resident and provide a list of any Medicaid-specific limitations or policies in place.
Complaint ProcedureThe Nebraska DHHS Licensure Unit handles complaints and reports of abuse in the state’s health care facilities. Residents, family members and concerned citizens can submit an anonymous complaint via the unit’s online form or by calling Adult Protective Services at 1-800-652-1999.

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