Memory care costs

Memory care costs

What are the Memory Care Costs

Costs for memory care communities are typically higher than assisted living and other types of elder care because it is long-term, residential and requires specialized care. The average monthly cost of memory care in the U.S. is roughly $5,000, or about  $59,000 per year. However, memory care costs can range greatly and depend on several factors, including the community’s geographic location. For example, the average monthly cost of memory care in 2015 was about $3,100 in Idaho and about $5,800 in Maine. Costs also vary based on the size of the resident’s accommodations and whether or not the accommodations are private or shared.Monthly fees at dementia care facilities typically include room and board, help with activities of daily living, at least one meal per day, social activities, and programs. Most residents with dementia do not qualify for Medicare or insurance benefits (long-term care insurance will pay for residential care, but must be purchased well in advance of need).

Memory care costs

Some veterans may qualify under the Community Residential Care program. Medicare guidelines require a 3-night minimum hospital stay in order for a benefit period to begin, after which patients must meet certain criteria, such as a need for intensive nursing care or rehabilitation, in order for Medicare coverage to continue. Some dementia patients may qualify for admission but quickly fall into the “custodial care” category, which means long-term, non-medical care. If a resident in a skilled nursing facility needs custodial care, private funds will most likely be required to pay for outstanding balances. However, there are some exceptions. (See Adult Day Programs, below.)

Most residents with dementia do not qualify for Medicare or insurance benefits (long-term care insurance will pay for residential care, but must be purchased well in advance of need). Some veterans may qualify under the Community Residential Care program. Medicare guidelines require a 3-night minimum hospital stay in order for a benefit period to begin, after which patients must meet certain criteria, such as a need for intensive nursing care or rehabilitation, in order for Medicare coverage to continue. Some dementia patients may qualify for admission but quickly fall into the “custodial care” category, which means long-term, non-medical care. If a resident in a skilled nursing facility needs custodial care, private funds will most likely be required to pay for outstanding balances. However, there are some exceptions. (See Adult Day Programs, below.) Because dementia is a progressive illness, once someone enters a memory care facility, they are highly unlikely to leave it for a less restricted setting.

While life expectancy overall is on the rise and increases the longer someone remains healthy, physical trauma or a disorder such as dementia sharply reduces this upward trajectory by as much as 50-75 percent. This “life expectancy compression” means that of the approximately two million people currently residing in 60,000 assisted living and skilled nursing facilities nationwide, those receiving Alzheimer’s care lived on average just 17 months in a Memory Care residence. According to the National Center for Assisted Living, the mortality rate for an individual moving into an Alzheimer’s care unit exceeds 50 percent within the first year.

Paying for Memory Care

Because it's specialized, memory care tends to cost more than regular care, requiring more training, more hands-on care, and more personal (a lower staff-to-resident ratio). Assisted living settings usually cost less than nursing homes (where residents require more intensive care). According to the Alzheimer's Association report, 2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, the average cost of memory care is $59,250 per year ($4,937 per month) in assisted living settings. Rates range widely by location. For example, according to the Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey, a semiprivate room in a nursing home ranges from $94 per day to $800 per day, with a median cost of $200 per day. (That survey doesn't break out memory-care costs.)It is good to know that most rates are all-inclusive for basic care; additional required services may cost extra. A geriatric care manager can be a great resource to weigh in on local options; the best place for your family member isn't always the most expensive. To cover these costs, it helps to form a plan with the input of other family members as well as professionals. Remember that someone with Alzheimer's can live for many years. Consulting an elder-law attorney or financial planner familiar with eldercare as you map a plan can save you money in the end. Obvious sources of funds to explore include the person's personal savings, stocks, bonds, other investments, and pensions. Don't overlook the liquidation of jewelry, artwork, antiques, collections, or cars, all of which might benefit the owner more as cash than as "stuff." Many families trade the prospect of heirlooms and inheritance for equally valuable peace of mind now. Most memory care is paid for using private funds or with long-term care insurance or life insurance. However, Medicaid is accepted by some dementia care facilities, and veterans benefits are available to memory care residents who served in the active military, naval, or air service with an honorable discharge. Oftentimes, a mix of family funds and insurance may be used to cover memory care fees. If the person in need of residential memory care still owns a home, selling or renting the property can be a way to pay for care. This financial product taps the equity in your home to provide funds that are repaid when the house is sold. Well, spouses or adult children should beware using a reverse mortgage on their home to pay for another's care, however. You may need these funds yourself down the road, and you have no way of knowing how long you'll need to pay the memory care bills. Always consult a financial planner in advance, since reverse mortgages are more complex than they might seem.

Memory Care Providers

Caring.com features hundreds of memory care homes throughout the U.S. These range from large national chains to local companies that manage only one memory care community. Many of these providers offer dementia care within assisted living communities. Different providers offer their own unique programs, but many offer similar amenities. It is better for you to look carefully before taking a decision.

Top Cities for Memory Care Facilities

Memory Care by State

 

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