How Much Does a Memory Care Facility Cost?
Are you considering placing your loved one with Alzheimer’s in a memory care facility?
These dedicated facilities may be an excellent option for those suffering with dementia. A memory care facility can provide the specialized care and attention someone with dementia requires. Care that most generic assisted living facilities can’t provide.
But providing that care comes at a cost.
This article looks to answer the question “how much does a memory care facility cost?” It also provides some helpful info to help you understand the options you have for paying for a memory care facility.
Factors That Affect the Cost of an Alzheimer’s Care Facility
So let’s talk about 2 of the main factors that affect how much an Alzheimer’s facility costs.
The first is the level of care your loved one needs.
What Is “Acuity Level” and Why Should You Care About It?
A term you may not be familiar with is “acuity level”.
Someone with a “0” acuity level is pretty much self-sufficient. However, as your loved one’s needs increase due to their dementia (or any other medical challenges), their acuity level goes up.
Many memory care facilities have levels of care/acuity – i.e. 1, 2 or level 3.
When pricing out a memory care facility, keep in mind your loved one’s acuity level. Because it affects the cost of care. As an example, if the base amount is X, level 2 can cost an additional $500. And level 3 may be an additional $500 on top of that.
Memory Care Facility Location
The other big factor that affects cost is where in the country the facility is. So, let’s take somewhere in the middle of the country. Say, Kansas.
The average cost for a memory care facility in Kansas is around $7,000 a month.
But as you move further east or west away from Kansas, the price increases. And as you get to either coast, you can figure the cost will be 25% to 50% more than in the Midwest.
So, with that all said, here’s a good average to expect:
2018 Average Memory Care Facility Cost in the United States: $7,000 – $9,000 per month
Again, based on where your loved one is in the country and their specific needs, that number will vary.
That’s quite a bit more than you would pay for a general assisted living facility. For those, costs will average in the $4,000 a month range. With the same caveats about location and specific needs affecting the costs.
How to Pay for a Memory Care Facility
The only type of insurance that will cover memory care facility (or general assisted living) costs is long term care insurance. If you don’t have long term care insurance, you may have to pay out of pocket.
However, there are some government programs that can help.
Medicare Will Not Pay for Memory Care Facility Costs
Medicare is the government’s medical care that anyone 65 and over can access. It only covers doctor’s visits, a stay in the hospital, or rehab due to an injury. It does not cover any type of care as far as rent, room and board, etc. It only covers actual medical needs or procedures for medical events like a heart attack, stroke, broken hip, etc.
Now Medicare will pay for skilled care such as PT, OT, speech therapy, etc. And that care can be provided anywhere. So, let’s take the example of someone living in a memory care facility that needs physical therapy. Medicare could pay for a home health agency to provide PT to someone living in a memory care facility. They just wouldn’t pay the room and board costs of the facility.
Also, if someone goes on hospice, that’s covered by Medicare no matter where the patient is located. Again, the cost of the stay and care in whatever environment they are living in is the responsibility of the patient or family.
Medicaid and Memory Care Facilities
Then there is Medicaid. Medicaid is the federal program to cover long term care for those that are indigent or basically have less than $2000 in assets.
The only facilities that are Medicaid certified are full blown skilled nursing homes. So, assisted living centers or residential memory care facilities that provide long term care are not eligible for Medicaid.
Now, having said that, many states do have a state wide alternative to Medicaid. These programs help close the gap between those without private funds or long term care insurance so they don’t all have to move into a skilled nursing home. So we recommend seeing what programs are available in your loved one’s state.
Want to know what memory care costs in your area? Contact some memory care facilities near you to find out what their rates are. You can find a local memory care facility by searching our listings here.