When a senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the future can look very uncertain. There are concerns about the disease itself, how the family will be impacted and how to deal with the mounting costs of care. The questions mount quickly, and the answers are tricky to come by. How quickly will the disease progress? Is memory care a good idea? What does memory care cost? Who is memory care for? Is memory care covered by Medicare?
What Is Memory Care?
Memory care communities are safe havens for seniors at any stage of dementia or other disease of cognitive impairment. Memory care communities are specifically designed to feel home-like, while creating a nurturing environment that eliminates the common stressors that come with dementia. Residents in memory care communities are encouraged to grow their personal skills and cognitive abilities. While there is currently no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the care provided in memory care communities can actually slow the progress of cognitive diseases by providing unique strategies, structure and support to the lives of the residents.
The services, support programs and daily amenities commonly offered at memory care communities include:
- Private or semi-private rooms
- Assistance with the activities of daily living
- Access to health care services, including medication management and skilled nursing care
- Opportunities for socialization, which supports mental acuity and decreases the risk of isolation or depression
- A variety of on-site therapies, such as physical, occupational and speech therapy
- Specialized dining programs that include meals designed to have a positive effect on mental acuteness, while also warding off illnesses and increasing energy levels
- Engagement programs designed to keep memory care residents’ minds engaged and keep cognitive function sharp
- Focus on safety and security with easy-to-navigate environments that provide easy access for residents with loss of mobility and prevent residents from wandering
Cost of Memory Care
Based on data from 2022, the national median cost for care in a memory care community is about $5,000. The costs vary between states and cities, and the services offered in different communities can impact the cost of care. In general, memory care costs vary across the U.S. from $3,000 to more than $10,000 per month. The cost of care in a memory care community includes daily supervision from specially trained staff and a secure environment with stimulating therapies, as well as:
- Help with the activities of daily living
- Medication management
- Group activities and daily recreational programs
- Emergency monitoring
- Transportation services
- Daily meals, snacks and drinks
While these services are offered at most memory care communities and are included in the cost for each resident, the way a community bills its residents may vary. Some memory care communities require charges for services based on the level of care required by the individual resident, while others opt for an inclusive monthly payment.
Considering the high cost of memory care, many families look for financial support to help them cover the cost of care, while ensuring their loved one receives the care they need. Here are some of the ways people commonly pay for memory care:
Medicare. Medicare may or may not cover the cost of memory care, depending on the level of care that is needed. For example, Medicare may cover some of the costs of at-home health care services, but it does not cover the cost of adult day centers.
Medicaid. Because every state is in charge of its own Medicaid program, it is hard to make statements about Medicaid coverage; each state determines a senior’s eligibility and what is covered. Most states’ Medicaid programs do cover at-home dementia care, assisted living and nursing homes for those who qualify.
VA Aid and Attendance. This program offers cash assistance to veterans and their spouses for help paying for dementia care. The services included are at-home care, adult day care, assisted living and skilled nursing care. The amount a senior will receive varies depending on their current income and medical expenses.
Long-Term Care Insurance. Long-term care insurance provides policyholders with reimbursement for care when they have a chronic medical condition or are diagnosed with dementia. The length of time a person can receive reimbursements and what services are paid for vary depending on the individual policy. However, most long-term care insurance policies do provide coverage for memory care services.
State Aid. Some states have specific state funds designed to provide cash assistance for people with dementia. However, how those funds are used depends on the program. For example, some programs provide assistance with the cost of adult day centers, while other programs provide assistance with at-home dementia care.
As a continuing care community, Windsor Estates works closely with your family and your care team to provide the support you need to live the lifestyle you want. This means offering different levels of care, including respite care, rehabilitation, independent living, assisted living, extended stay and memory care.
Our memory care program encompasses support at the level of assisted living, while customizing each person’s care with past experiences, interests, physical skills, hobbies and current routines into activities that deliver a meaningful, individualized daily life. Memory care residents will find a comfortable, home-like setting designed for safety, security and easy navigation. At Windsor Estates, memory care residents’ care plans include:
- One-bedroom finished apartment home
- Meals and snacks
- Wellness programming
- Assistance as needed with the activities of daily living, such as grooming, eating, dressing and bathing
- Medication management
- Religious services
- Transportation to scheduled group activities, a well as medical appointments off-site
- Programs for social, recreational and educational enrichment
We are ready to help you achieve your goals – from health and wellness to social and fitness goals. To understand more about how Windsor Estates can support your plan for the future, contact us today or call us at 636-946-4966 to schedule a tour.