What is the Average Monthly Cost for Memory Care?February 13, 2023
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is rewarding, but also physically and emotionally challenging. Senior living communities with memory care can provide just the right environment for your family member with dementia to thrive … and you with peace of mind that their needs are always being met.
So what is the average monthly cost of memory care, what’s included, and how do you pay for it? Get the answers to these questions and more in this guide from the experts at Oaks Senior Living.
Are Memory Care and Assisted Living the Same?
Assisted living and memory care are two very important types of care in a continuum of healthcare. However, there are key differences between the two that make memory care a better environment for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Seniors who don’t require round-the-clock support, but need help with daily activities – such as bathing, dressing and moving around easily – can get the care they need to lead a high-quality life in assisted living. While caregivers are available 24/7, the goal of assisted living is to provide just the right amount of help to help residents remain as independent as possible. Residents are expected to manage their own schedules and reach out to their caregivers when they feel like they need extra assistance.
Memory care communities have a smaller staff-to-resident ratio and meet the specific social, safety, and care needs of older adults with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The overall goal of memory care is to promote brain health, provide structure, encourage social engagement, and maintain the dignity and independence of each resident with round-the-clock, person-centered care.
The amount and type of care required depends on the stage of each resident’s dementia and personal preferences. Many times, a person in the early stages of dementia can maintain a relatively independent lifestyle in assisted living. However, the middle and late stages require more intensive support in memory care.
What is the Average Monthly Cost for Memory Care?
The average monthly cost for memory care varies widely and depends on factors like your state of residence, care required, floor plan, and services and amenities available at the community. Generally, you can expect to pay 20% to 30% more for memory care than you would for assisted living because of the high level of care provided and additional security in the community.
Prices for memory care can range anywhere from $3,995 to more than $10,000 a month. Memory care in Georgia has the lowest monthly average at $3,995 and The District of Columbia has the most expensive average monthly cost of memory care at $12,090 a month.
The best way to get a true idea of the average monthly cost of memory care in your area is by contacting senior living communities that look like a good match for your loved one and scheduling a tour.
What is Included with Memory Care Services?
Services, amenities, floor plans, activities, programs, and health care vary from community to community. To support the individual needs of each resident with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, Oaks Senior Living features specialized memory care neighborhoods in many of our communities.
Bright and comfortable designs with a centralized common area help minimize agitation and confusion, while the easy-to-navigate layout and straight hallways help residents locate their apartment with ease.
We also provide services and amenities to promote brain health, socialization and wellness. These include:
- Assistance with activities of daily living
- Opportunities to help set up the dining room for mealtimes
- Well-balanced meals and snacks
- Specialized diets for those with restrictions or who have difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Personalized care 24 hours a day for every resident
- Daily scheduled activities and social events
- Specially designed memory and life enrichment areas
- Scheduled transportation for medical appointments, shopping, dining and special events
- Daily spot cleaning and trash removal from residences
- Weekly detailed room cleaning
- Physical fitness classes like yoga and chair exercises
Our Horizons memory care community director leads activities that incorporate each resident’s history, personal preferences, and abilities into individualized care plans, enabling the highest quality of life possible.
We also encourage family participation in holiday and special celebrations, as well as daily life at our Horizon memory care communities in Georgia and South Carolina. We’ve always believed in family harmony and togetherness, and we value the vital role it plays in the everyday lives of residents at Oaks Senior Living.
How to Pay for Memory Care
Along with the average monthly cost for memory care, you’re probably wondering how you can pay for it. Understanding the options available to you and your loved one can help to determine how much it will cost out-of-pocket to provide your loved one with memory care services they need to thrive.
Here are five ways that might help you pay for memory care:
1. Veterans benefits
There are unique pension benefits available to help veterans who served during a war period or their surviving spouses pay for memory care services. To qualify for these benefits, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- You started active duty before September 8, 1980, and served on active duty for at least one day during wartime.
- You began active duty as an enlisted person before September 7, 1980 and served at least 24 months or the full time you were called or ordered to active duty with at least one day during wartime.
- You were an officer and started active duty after October 16, 1981, and had not previously served on active duty for at least 24 months.
Every veteran who applied for VA benefits must be honorably or generally discharged to qualify. Besides meeting service requirements, veterans and their surviving spouses must also meet financial eligibility requirements based on their annual income and assets like land and financial investments.
This is a government-sponsored healthcare program for seniors and disabled individuals who are under 65 and disabled, over 65 and paid Medicare taxes for 10 years, or have been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease.
Medicare does not cover the cost of living in a memory care community. However, it covers some of the associated costs of memory care like cognitive assessments, prescriptions to delay the progression of symptoms of dementia, and up to 100 days of skilled nursing followed by an event like illness, injury, or hospital stay.
Medicaid is a government-sponsored healthcare program offered to low-income adults. It’s funded at the state and federal level, and is administered by your current state of residence. Each state has their individual benefits and process of determining eligibility.
In order to qualify for Medicaid, your loved one’s modified gross income must be less than a certain percentage of the federal poverty level. This percentage varies from state to state. Typically, Medicaid doesn’t cover most memory care services in a senior living community. However, depending on your family member’s state of residency, some services, like skilled nursing and pharmaceutical services, may be covered by Medicaid.
Services and amenities like room and board, specially prepared food beyond what the community can provide, personal clothing, grooming items, certain care services, television, telephone and personal comfort items are usually not covered by Medicaid.
4. Selling a home and personal assets
A home and other personal assets like 401(k) plans, stocks, savings accounts, and employer pensions are often an older adult’s largest source of funds to cover the average monthly cost of memory care. In fact, selling a home can quickly create funds that can pay for high-quality care in a senior living community.
Bridge loans are specifically designed to cover the gap in between the sale of a home and moving into a senior living community. Your loved one can move into their new home in memory care during the selling process, and the profit from their house can swiftly pay off the loan after it’s sold.
5. Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance can cover a portion of memory care costs. In order to be eligible for benefits, a policyholder typically either has to receive a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia or cannot perform at least six activities of daily living.
You must apply for long-term care insurance before a dementia or chronic illness diagnosis. Long-term care insurance also usually works through reimbursements, which means you or your loved one might have to pay out of pocket until you’re retroactively paid back by your insurance provider.
To discuss how to cover the cost of memory care, reach out to the Oaks Senior Living community you’re interested in, and we’ll be happy to help you through the financial process.
See What Makes Memory Care at Oaks Senior Living Communities Stand Out
We focus on a person-centered lifestyle at each of our memory care communities in Georgia and South Carolina. Oaks Senior Living believes that consistency in our care partner program creates an environment where every resident thrives, and that meaningful daily interactions can truly change the way people age. Contact our team online or call Oaks Senior Living at 770-796-5871 to discover incredible memory care at one of our communities near you.