Texas is a popular destination for retirees. Of the 29,145,505 people who reside in Texas, around 12.9% of residents are aged 65 and above. Approximately 400,000 older Texans have Alzheimer’s disease or other types of progressive-degenerative memory loss, dementia or cognitive decline. It’s predicted that by 2025 this number will have increased by 22.5%, indicating that memory loss conditions are rising at a fast rate. Every year, more than 10,000 Texans die from Alzheimer’s disease, making it the state’s sixth-leading cause of death.

Texas has diverse climates, with conditions to suit many retirees. Throughout the Lone Star State, seniors can enjoy hot sunny summers. No state income tax can help seniors to stretch their retirement funds further. Statewide costs for health care are slightly below the national average and there are around 161 physicians per 100,000 people in Texas. The average cost of memory care in Texas is around $4,998 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 provides information about memory care costs in Texas and how to finance memory care, as well as useful dementia-related resources and state regulations for memory care providers.

The Cost of Memory Care in Texas

Note: There is no current record of nationwide costs for memory care services. Residential memory care is often provided within assisted living communities, with rates higher by 20-30% when compared with traditional assisted living care. To estimate monthly costs of memory care we have used the figures for assisted living per Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey with a 25% price increase.

At $4,998 per month, the average cost of memory care in Texas is around $179 higher per month than in neighboring Oklahoma. Costs are also higher than in Louisiana ($4,685) and Arkansas ($4,700), but lower than in the western neighbor of New Mexico, where memory care costs $5,623 on average per month.

$4998

Texas

$5625

The United States

$4685

Louisiana

$5623

New Mexico

$4819

Oklahoma

$4700

Arkansas

Memory care costs in Texas vary across the state, ranging from around $3,463 on average per month in Texarkana to $7,000 in Victoria. Monthly rates in the state capital of Austin are around $6,682. For comparison, average monthly memory care costs are $5,307 in Houston, $5,244 in Dallas and $6,063 in McAllen.

$5244

Dallas

$5307

Houston

$6682

Austin

$3463

Texarkana

$7000

Victoria

$6063

McAllen

There are many long-term residential care services for seniors in Texas in addition to memory care. Average costs of adult day health care are $796 per month, while average monthly rates in a skilled nursing community are $5,125 and $7,092 for semiprivate and private rooms respectively. Prices for in-home care and health care average $4,576 per month, and assisted living care costs approximately $3,998 for a month.

$796

Adult Day Health Care

$3998

Assisted Living

$4576

Home Care

$4576

Home Health Care

$4998

Memory Care

$5125

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

$7092

Nursing Home (private)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Texas?

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 Texas.

In Texas, Medicaid doesn’t directly cover memory care. However, seniors who qualify for Medicaid can apply for the STAR+PLUS waiver, which replaced the Community Based Alternatives (CBA) waiver in 2014. The managed care program is available for eligible adults aged 65 and over and adults with disabilities. The waiver provides Medicaid support and services through a health plan chosen by the individual. It covers a wide range of long-term medical and non-medical services for people who require nursing home level care, and services may be provided at home, in adult foster care or in a residential community such as an assisted living neighborhood.    

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Texas?

The STAR+PLUS waiver doesn’t cover room and board costs for seniors who are placed within a residential care community. It may, however, fund various rehabilitation therapies, access to medical specialists, respite care, day activities and nursing services. Recipients may also receive assistance with activities of daily living and personal assistance services. The STAR+PLUS waiver is not an entitlement program and applicants may be placed on a waiting list to receive services.  

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

In Texas, eligibility for Medicaid is dependent on a person’s income and assets. An applicant’s yearly household income (before taxes) must fall below a certain amount to be able to claim Medicaid assistance. For single people, this maximum income is $30,276, and for couples where both are applying the maximum household income is $60,552. Asset limits are $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. In a two-person household where only one person applies, the spouse remaining at home has some financial protection with an asset limit of $137,400. 

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$30,276

$2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Person Applying)

$30,276

$2,000 for applicant 

$137,400 for non-applicant

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$60,552

$3,000

*Per year

Eligibility for Medicaid for long-term care in Texas is also reliant on other criteria being met. These include age, citizenship and disability status. To qualify for Medicaid assistance in Texas you must:

  • Be 65 years old or above, have a qualifying disability or be legally blind
  • Be a full-time resident of Texas
  • Be either a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, hold permanent residency or have legal alien status

How to Apply for Medicaid in Texas

Individuals can apply online for Medicaid in Texas via the Your Texas Benefits website. The online system is available 24/7, and applicants can save information, upload supporting documents and conveniently check the status of claims.  

Alternatively, seniors can complete a paper application form and return by mail or apply in person at either a Texas Health and Human Services benefits office or community partner. Additionally, applicants can call the toll-free Texas Medicaid hotline, operated by Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership, on (800) 925-9126.

Information You Will Need

Seniors will need to provide certain information when applying for Medicaid in Texas. This includes proof of all incomes, current statements for all bank accounts and information relating to insurance policies, such as life, health and burial insurance. Additional requirements include details of any stocks, bonds and shares, rental, mortgage or homeowner information and proof of recent medical expenses.   

You’ll also need to provide:

  • Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or ID card
  • Confirmation of citizenship or residency status
  • Social security number
  • Details of any other benefits you claim, such as veterans’ benefits, pension benefits, SSI and social security
  • Proof of local residence in Texas, such as a recent utility bill or rent receipt
  • Papers related to military service (if applicable)
  • Details of active loans

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Texas

In Texas, seniors who require assistance with completing forms and filing Medicaid claims can contact professional advisers at Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership. Texas Health and Human Services can also provide information, assistance and signposting. Your Texas Benefits has lots of useful information and a prescreening tool. Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), located across the state, have advisors who can help seniors with Medicaid issues, and some senior centers may offer Medicaid workshops and counseling.     

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 925-9126

Advisers provide help with Medicaid applications over the telephone on weekdays from 7am until 7pm 

(855) 937-2372

Trained staff can provide information about benefit entitlements, in addition to other advice

Online

This website includes detailed information about benefits and seniors can use the prescreening tool to assess eligibility for Medicaid and other benefits

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Texas?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Texas

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 us

ed 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 Texas

Seniors in Texas who need memory care services can access several useful free and low-cost resources, including information, support groups, advocacy and benefits counseling. Many also offer education, guidance and support for family members.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 252-9240

There are 28 local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) throughout Texas, providing information and assistance to seniors aged 60 and over as well as their family members. Topics include benefits counseling, in-home support options, residential care, nutrition, elder rights, fall prevention and support groups.

(800) 273-8255

Funded by Texas Health and Human Services, TexVet is a valuable resource for anyone who served in the U.S. military. Seniors can obtain advice and resources related to areas including veteran benefits, housing, mental health and transportation.

(800) 252-3439

Operated by the Texas Department of Insurance, the HICAP program helps individuals to understand health benefits, compare health insurance policies and find drug assistance programs and discount cards.

(512) 241-0420

Alzheimer’s Texas provides free support, information and referrals for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, along with caregivers and family members. Services include a 24/7 helpline, educational classes, support groups, care consultations and respite programs.

(855) 937-2372

Located across the state, Aging and Disability Resource Centers provide information and access to local, state and national services.

(877) 323-6466

The Office of the Independent Ombudsman for State Supported Living Centers protects the rights of long-term care residents across the state, including individuals who need memory care. Staff advocate for residents and their families, investigate complaints, monitor compliance and provide free information about quality and regulations related to long-term care.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Texas

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including hhs.texas.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on (2/15/2022, 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 Texas Communities

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?

Yes

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

No

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

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

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Texas Communities

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

Yes

Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Texas Communities

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Texas

Memory care in Texas is regulated by the Texas Health and Human Services Department. Memory care facilities in the state are regulated as assisted living and care homes, in the same category as adult foster care, assisted living and some nursing homes. Facilities are classed according to the number of residents they house, with different tiers of staff, training and other requirements for each level.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Texas
Scope of Care
Memory care includes residential care, including room and board, in an adult foster care facility or nursing home environment. Facilities providing memory care can assist residents with daily activities, supervise movements and social interactions and direct activities for residents. Facilities with over 17 residents must employ an activities director who works at least 20 hours per week. Medication monitoring, management and administration are permitted within the scope of residents’ treatment plans.
Facility Requirements
Facilities licensed to provide memory care must meet residents’ physical and psychological needs. State rules leave much of this to the interpretation of inspectors, but in general, the facility must be physically secure with locks and alarms, climate-controlled and hygienic. Food and medication handling must be in accordance with state health requirements. Staff must be adequate to attend to residents without leaving them unsupervised. Safety hazards must be out of reach for residents at all times unless directly supervised by qualified staff.
Medication Management Requirements
Residents who manage their own medications must be assessed on a monthly basis, at a minimum, to establish that they are still able to do so. Staff at memory care facilities can also assist with the administration of prescription medications.
Staff Screening Requirements
Staff at memory care facilities must be at least 18 years old, pass a felony background check and complete the minimum initial training requirements before providing direct senior care.
Staff Training Requirements
Memory care facility managers must complete a 24-hour management training course within one year of being employed. Staff at the facility must undergo at least four hours of continuing education per year in memory care and Alzheimer’s care issues. Direct care staff must complete an initial 16-hour course in memory care, plus an annual six-hour continuing training requirement.
Medicaid Coverage
Texas Medicaid offers some coverage for residential care and memory care services. The state also offers home and community based services (HCBS) via an HCBS Medicaid waiver.
Reporting Abuse
Suspected elder abuse can be reported to law enforcement or to the office of the Area Agency on Aging’s Ombudsman’s office at 1 (800) 252-9240.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Texas Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?

Texas Medicaid does pay for many long-term care services for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, including assisted living and nursing home care. Assisted living and residential care homes, which may also be called adult foster care homes, are not required to provide Alzheimer’s or memory care services, although many do. Seniors with memory care needs who reside in a nursing care home must wait at least 30 days before applying for Medicaid coverage.

Are There Financial Assistance Programs for Memory Care in Texas?

Several financial assistance programs exist to help seniors in Texas pay for some or all of the costs of memory care. Many resources are provided at the state level by the Texas Alzheimer’s Disease Program and the Community Care for Aged and Disabled (CCAD) office. Several private organizations in Texas also help seniors with memory care. Federal programs, such as the VA, offer assistance to seniors who meet their eligibility guidelines. Program social workers and staff members at the local Area Agency on Aging generally have eligibility and benefit information about specific programs.

Does Medicare Pay for Memory Care?

Medicare does not pay for the dementia-specific services many memory car residents need. Depending on coverage types and amounts, many Medicare programs do continue to pay seniors’ medical bills, but this is usually incidental to the residential care seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often receive.

What are “Activities of Daily Living?”

Activities of daily living are the personal tasks caregivers help seniors carry out, including cleaning, dressing, preparing food and chores. It can also describe errands, such as shopping and picking up prescriptions.

What Is the Difference Between Memory Care and Assisted Living?

Memory care and assisted living are similar in many ways, and there is some overlap between them. Assisted living is a service that may be provided in-home or at a facility for seniors who are mentally alert and oriented, but who may need some help managing activities of daily living. Memory care is intended for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, whose ability to take care of themselves has declined to the point where continuous supervision is required. Seniors in assisted living generally look after themselves but may need help for a few physical tasks, while seniors enrolled in memory care generally need supervision and close assistance for many activities.

Memory Care Facilities in Texas (94)