As the population of seniors in the United States continues to grow, the number of seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia also rises. According to data from the Alzheimer’s Association, there were nearly six million Americans over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer’s in the year 2020; that number is expected to rise to as many as 14 million by the year 2050.
While many families choose to care for a loved one at home after a dementia diagnosis, as the disease progresses, changes often need to be made for the individual’s comfort and safety. Memory care communities are an excellent choice for families who prioritize specialized care and enhanced safety.
If you are considering memory care for yourself or a loved one, it is helpful to understand what memory care is, what to expect in a memory care community and what the options are for covering the cost of memory care.
What Does Memory Care Include?
Memory care communities, like Mount Prospect Senior Living in Mount Prospect, Ill., are specialized senior living communities for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. These communities provide a similar level of care assistance as assisted living communities; however, memory care communities also offer enhanced safety measures and specially trained team members.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can benefit from the unique environment and specialized care at memory care communities. So, what does memory care include? Here are a few examples:
- Caregivers with specialized training.
- Enhanced safety measures, such as Mount Prospect’s Healthe ENTRY™ entry portal and Accushield Touchless Temperature Scanners.
- Specialized activity programming with a focus on cognitive stimulation and memory support.
- Collaborative care planning with a true partnership between residents, family members, physicians and caregivers.
- Transportation services.
- Interior and exterior housekeeping and maintenance.
- As-needed support for activities of daily living.
- On-site meals and nutrition planning, such as Mount Prospect’s Elevate® dining program, which creates an elevated dining experience through nutritious, home-cooked meals.
How to Pay for Memory Care
How to pay for memory care and the cost of memory care are big concerns for many families. While talking to your chosen memory care community about options is always a good first step to identifying avenues for financial support, here are some additional ideas on how to pay for memory care:
Medicare coverage. Medicare does offer some memory care financial assistance, but benefits are only for medical needs. The care required for an individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia — including supervision and assistance with activities of daily living — is classified as nonmedical and is not eligible for financial coverage. However, some memory care services are considered medical needs and are covered by Medicare, including:
- Durable medical equipment (DME)
- Inpatient care for clinical research studies
- Annual wellness visits 12 months after enrollment
- Inpatient hospitalization for an injury or illness-related treatment
- Hospice care costs for pain management and relief in end-stage dementia
- Up to 100 days of skilled nursing care that meets Medicare requirements
- Cognitive impairment assessment and diagnosis
Medicare Advantage plans. These plans are offered through private, Medicare-approved companies. They include the same benefits listed above, as well as other potential benefits, including:
- Meal delivery
- Adult day care
- Personal emergency response systems
- Home safety modifications
- Prescription drug coverage for dementia medication
- An annual cap of out-of-pocket expenses
- In-home memory care over 35 hours per week
Medicare Advantage special needs plans (SNPs). These plans can provide benefits for specific medical concerns or chronic conditions, such as:
- Diagnosed dementia
- Neurological disorders
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
- Chronic lung disorders
- Chronic and disabling mental health conditions
- Chronic heart failure
- Medicaid benefits for memory care
Medicaid benefits. Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia may qualify for Medicaid benefits if they are unable or have a limited ability to work. Additionally, Medicaid has broad benefits for people with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia and may pay for:
- Home health services
- Inpatient and outpatient hospital services
- Physician services
- Prescription drugs
- Laboratory and X-ray services
- Federally qualified health center services
- Transportation to medical appointments
About Mount Prospect Senior Living
Memory care at Mount Prospect Senior Living provides a unique environment focused on caregiver support, enriching activities and community services to help our residents during their dementia journey. Our goal is to create a dignified, engaging and individual experience for each senior, creating new adventures and offering new ways to enjoy life each day.
Interested in learning more about Mount Prospect? Contact us today with questions or to schedule a tour!