What is Memory Care?
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Memory Care is a Senior housing option for people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. A Memory Care facility may be stand-alone, or it may be a wing off of an assisted living facility or adjacent to a nursing home. Apartments in Memory Care facilities may be private or shared.
A Memory Care facility is very similar to the lifestyle of the Assisted Living facility combined with the medical care and higher level of assistance normally found in Skilled Nursing. Attentive and expert care is provided at Memory Care Facilities. For the safety of the residents, security is strict at a Memory Care Facility. Coming and going is regulated by various security measures. This may include locks and alarms on exterior doors, in room emergency alerts, and a locator device worn by each resident.
Staff members are trained to work with people with memory issues. Programs are incorporated that keep residents on a regimented schedule. These programs are designed to help residents deal with the symptoms of Dementia, Alzheimer's, and Sundowners Syndrome.
Who Lives in Memory Care Facilities?
A Senior who is dealing with the challenge of Alzheimer’s or dementia is a candidate for Memory Care. Over half of the residents of Memory Care Facilities are over 85 years old, but many residents may be in their early 60s.
Services which are Provided at a Memory Care Community
Services provided vary by state and community. They may include:
• Apartments - one or two bedrooms or studios
• 24-hour security and assistance
• Staff trained to work Memory Care residents
• Personal care services
• Meals and dining services
• Medical appointment transportation assistance
• Housekeeping and laundry
• Medication assistance
• Social and recreational activities appropriate for
• Exercise, health and wellness programs
• Religious services
• Activities to slow the progression of memory disease
Some Memory Care Facilities will offer optional services, which can be included for an additional monthly fee. This allows Seniors and their families to tailor the experience to their particular needs.
Cost of Memory Care
The average cost of Memory Care in the United States is $4,650/month. This cost is as low as $3,300/month in the South and Plains and as high as $6,000 in the Northeast and on the West Coast. Costs will vary with geographical location, local laws and ordinances, size of apartment, and services provided. For those suffering from later stage dementia, skilled nursing (nursing home) care may be required. These costs are significantly higher. The average for a shared room in skilled nursing for 2019 is $245/day ($7,350/month).
How to Pay for Memory Care
There are many resources which may be available to cover the cost of Memory Care. This may include savings, a pension, or sale of assets such as a personal residence. Some residents choose to borrow against their real estate using a reverse mortgage. Long term care insurance is used by many to cover the monthly expense.
Medicare does not cover long term care services. However, since the majority of memory care residents are over 65 and eligible for Medicare, there are services which Medicare may cover. Medicaid may cover some or all of the costs of memory care but does have specific rules about what is covered. Medicaid eligibility may vary from state to state. If you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you are usually eligible for Medicaid. Veterans and their spouses may be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. The Veterans Resource Center is a good resource if you want to check out that option.
Search for Memory Care Facilities
The Senioridy interactive search tool can be used to help you find a Memory Care Facility. Enter your location or move the map to your location and you’ll see a list of potential Facilities. You can filter Communities by healthcare coverage, living options, and pet policy. Use it today to assist you in your search for a Memory Care Facility.