How much does Alzheimer's care cost?
The cost of memory care varies with the type of care provided. Assisted living will cost less than 24-hour skilled nursing care in a semi-private room, which will cost less than 24-hour skilled nursing care in a private room. Cost also differs by region. Where the general cost of living is higher, you can expect the cost of memory care to be higher, too.
According to Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the median cost for a one-bedroom unit in assisted living is $3,628 per month or $43,539 annually, and the median cost for 24-hour nursing care in a private room is $7,698 per month or $92,378 annually. These are median averages for all such facilities in the US, so pricing may differ based on where you live, the amenities offered by the facility, or whether you choose a private or semi-private room. Keep in mind that facilities specializing in memory care may also cost more.
Ways to Pay for Full-Time Alzheimer's Care
There are four basic ways to pay for full-time residential memory care:
- Private pay (out-of-pocket)
- Long-term care insurance
Many families pay for the cost of full-time residential memory care out-of-pocket. Check the long term care costs for your state to aid your planning. Medicare might provide some coverage, but it is usually only for limited periods of time following a specific medical event. Medicaid does offer long-term coverage, but eligibility varies from state to state. Check with your state medical services agency to learn more. Also, some communities may not accept Medicaid, which can limit a family’s options. For many, long-term care insurance offers a good way to ensure continuity of care at the memory care facility of choice. Do your homework, though, because several factors can affect your long-term care insurance costs and benefits.
The take-away is, if your family may someday face elder care responsibilities, whether Alzheimer’s-related or not, the sooner you discuss and plan for how such care will be paid for, the better.