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Cost of Memory Care Units
Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 1:58 PM
Joined: 8/11/2019
Posts: 37

How much do memory care units typically cost?   I know this is something I will have to eventually have to deal with.
Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 2:20 PM
Joined: 3/8/2018
Posts: 808

The short answer is between $3k and $16k per month, depending on location and level of care/amenities/services. 

If you think this is in your LOs future, start touring places now

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 4:12 PM
Joined: 7/17/2017
Posts: 403

Just to give you an idea; I live in the Denver area.  I had to decide between a big-name chain locked unit memory care that STARTED at $7,000 per month for a very small private room for my mother , and a smaller privately-owned home/locked memory care unit that was $4,500 per month all-inclusive for a private bedroom.  I chose the less fancy home, and I'm glad I did.  Both facilities were private-pay only.  

When you start looking, make sure to ask if the facility is private-pay only. Some facilities accept Medicaid, but they might not have any of those beds available, so it's important to have an idea where you stand financially, and what forms of payment a facility is willing to accept.  

I also took into account driving distance; the place I chose for Mom wasn't ideal, as it was at least 45 minutes each way, but the price difference was too big to ignore.  I also liked that her facility was a "home-like" atmosphere. No chandeliers in the dining room, but it was nice and clean, and they only accept eight residents per house, and they usually have at least two caretakers working around the clock.  It was also easy for me to call and get through to her caregivers at just about any time of the day or night; I wasn't transferred all around.  


Make sure you let them know you are asking about locked memory care; there is quite a difference between assisted living, and memory care.  Please update us and let us know how your search is going! 

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 6:26 AM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 975

I live in central Virginia, where Richmond is our place of reference. Two examples are, $4,000/month for a private room, all inclusive from AL through MC but not including SNF, private pay corporate place, VERY small. The second, a gigantic place, one of the fancy names, $6,500 to walk in the door, private room, board and very light housekeeping included. Every other little thing was added to the "levels of care" rate chart. So for what Mom is getting now, we could be paying (at a guess) $9,000/month. Small local corporation. This is much more typical for "ok" local places  

Due specifically to size and location, we picked the first of those. The size doesn't make a difference to Mom now but the location still does to me. The staff are loving, and Mom can feel that. 

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 7:30 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2158

Philly 'burbs. Nice, but not fancy corporate MCF (they put money into salaries for long-term staff and training not fancy décor) ran us about $7200/month. Snazzier places in the same area started at $6500 but were ala carte for medication management, 2 person lift, etc.

Local community based facility had personal care at about $5000 but not appropriate for a wanderer; they're adding on a locked memory unit next year.
MN Chickadee
Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:13 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1005

MC starts at $6k per month in Minnesota. Probably more in the bigger metro areas. It's important to get some guidance from an elder law attorney. You set it up properly so that they spend their money on their care and when they run out of assets Medicaid will cover it. Not all places take Medicaid, so it's important to ask.
Seasons In The Sun
Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 6:07 PM
Joined: 5/21/2018
Posts: 235

I have signed and paid an entry fee & will start getting my DW room ready for Friday 8/30 admission date in north central Florida at 6000.00 a month in MC . She is stage 7 on Hospice care. Private noon no furnishings. Bring your own. Otherwise all inclusive.
Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 6:18 PM
Joined: 11/13/2018
Posts: 146

DW is in MC in Salem Oregon. She is in stage 7.

The base is $5165 for a single room.

 The service level 3 which she now requires, is $300 per level, so $900 added to the $5165 base comes to $6065.

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 7:24 PM
Joined: 8/22/2019
Posts: 34

I also toured the big facilities and did not think it would work for my mother and her dementia, so I found a wonderful residential care facility in San Clemente, CA 1 mile from my house. There have 2 wonderful care takers and 24 hour care with a night caretaker. There are 5 residents and Mom has her own room and bathroom. They prepare 3 nice meals a day and she sits at the dining room table with the other residents for meals. They administer her medication to make sure everything is taken properly. They even have a hairdresser come to the house to cut her hair for $30.00. My dad did take out a long term care policy many years ago, so fortunately it covers the cost of $5500 per month. If they are bedridden it goes up to $6,000. I can go visit anytime I want. There are not set hours. A lot of the other residents family members seem to visit on the weekends, so I've met most of them and it is comforting to talk to them. I highly recommend a smaller facility. Mom has been there since last September. I wish you the best. SC



Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 6:46 AM
Joined: 6/24/2012
Posts: 517

Cape Cod Ma is a Mecca for seniors.  $8500 for a small private unit in a big name facility.  She has been there for the 'stages' of independent, Assisted Living and now memory care.  But now that she is in MC I am thinking the fit might not work out.  The bigger company imposes some corporate formulas that don't always make the best practices.  It's a work in progress.  

Good luck and make it work for you.  Closer is usually better because you can get there to problem solve more easily.  

Greg G
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 7:10 PM
Joined: 2/8/2017
Posts: 987

Hey pa123,

Buffalo, NY; national company, locked memory care facility, max capacity 56 (I think), private room & bath, room has full bed, dining room table & two chairs (ours but gives you sense of size), full sized dresser, meals & snacks, full day of activities, partial incontinent, 1 medication oversight, guidance on dressing and bathing,  = $7,500 per month.  Private pay only and not more than one assist mobility.  Building looks a little tired but staff works pretty hard.

If it is in your future, start looking now so you can have a 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice should something happen and the time arrives.  You won't be panicking on a Saturday afternoon when they tell you LO can't go home and you need to find a place on Sunday.

If you need hands on, real life guidance on finding a place, ask here.  We have discussed things like what questions to ask, etc many times but I have recently been eloquently told that the search option here is horrible.  So starting a new thread would probably be a good thing.

Good luck and best wishes, Greg

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 4:30 AM
Joined: 2/1/2013
Posts: 117

My daughter in law's widowed mother lives in Cleveland and she is married to my son and they live in Florida.  Her mother seems to be in the early stages of either dementia or AD and has just started wandering.  She has a 'visiting angel' who comes every day and looks after her care and prepares her meals and is very good company for her.  The question now is how my daughter in law should begin placement in MC for her Mom.  She has Power of Attorney for Mom but how will that help.  Her mother has always had some kind of mental problems and has never been to a doctor, is afraid of them and doesn't trust them.  Her house will probably have to be sold in order to afford the expense of MC and at the same time she will surely fight tooth and nail if she has to leave her house.  Will she have to be declared incompetent if she refuses to go and how can my daughter in law begin to find placement for her when she is in another state.  Any advice will be welcome.
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 8:48 AM
Joined: 3/24/2019
Posts: 21

Hi Cathy41

We are in the same situation right now. My husband I live in NC and his mother lives in NH. There is no other family alive.  Her live in companion died last September and she's been living alone for 11 months and getting worse and worse. Every step we take is a battle when it comes to changing her clothes, especially her underwear, or taking a shower. We finally got her to let us have caregivers 7 days per week but she won't let the VNA in the house or Meals on Wheels.  Her doctor has been telling us that she is fine to live alone! UGH!  So we got her a new doctor whom she saw 2 weeks ago.  We're hoping he sees the reality of the situation and will help us do something.  I was in NH a few weeks ago and toured some Memory Care facilities and some Assisted Living facilities.  She will definitely need the MC facilities because they lock the doors.  The pricing was about the same for all of them:  base rate of $5,000 per month and then a bunch of add-ons depending on how much medication she needs, how much help with other things, and whether or not she has incontinence. So it will get more expensive over time as she starts to have more issues.  My husband doesn't want to waste her money on those facilities so I guess the next step is to try to find a 24/7 live-in caregiver.  I feel like the clock is ticking and it's only a matter if time before she wanders out of the house and gets lost.  We talked to a lawyer about getting guardianship and were told that the courts usually side with the patient and prefer that they stay in their own home as long as possible. All we keep hearing is "increase the level of care in the home."  Well, most of the agencies get a minimum of $30/hour so at 24/7 that would cost over $21,000 per month!  It would be cheaper to move her to a MC facility.  It is so hard to make these decisions from 1,000 miles away and even harder when the patient is against you and has more rights than we do.

I'm glad this group is here for us to vent to each other.





Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 10:21 AM
Joined: 3/31/2016
Posts: 140

I live in CA and level one care where my Mom is living started out at $5,100.00 a month and then two years after she was raised to level 2 and it became $6,210.00 per month.

She had a medical crisis on July 20, 2019 and is now bedridden and needs help with everything so they left me a message that we need to talk; which means its going up again.  However, my Mom is sleeping like 16-20 hours a day so I am going to challenge them a bit this time but first I want to find out what they are going to ask me to pay.

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 2:08 PM
Joined: 3/31/2016
Posts: 140

Yup MC raised her rent $800.00 more a month.  I was expecting this.  I actually thought it was going to be higher, so I'm relieved.
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 3:22 PM
Joined: 6/3/2019
Posts: 73

Does anyone have any experience or recommendations in Northern Virginia? Dad is not ready yet, but we want to have our choices made when it's time. It's hard to know where to start. From what I have read on this forum, I'm interested in the smaller, more home-like places, but not sure how to find those places - they don't seem to advertise with A Place for Mom type placement services or the "Retirement Living Sourcebook."
Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:23 PM
Joined: 2/1/2013
Posts: 117

Just another question on my previous post.  If my daughter in law's mother is placed in MC facility, is it possible for Mom to gift her daughter a certain amount of money before her placement?  I think the income tax laws allow people to gift a certain amount of money without penalty.
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 8:40 AM
Joined: 7/27/2016
Posts: 178

Be very careful with "gifts".  What is allowable under the income tax laws may cause a problem if the mother has to apply for medicaid.  There is a 5 year look back so any gifts given during that time may penalize the medicaid applicant.  I would hope they are using a CELA for advisement.
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 9:55 AM
Joined: 2/1/2013
Posts: 117

Fischie7 wrote:
Be very careful with "gifts".  What is allowable under the income tax laws may cause a problem if the mother has to apply for medicaid.  There is a 5 year look back so any gifts given during that time may penalize the medicaid applicant.  I would hope they are using a CELA for advisement.
Thanks for your quick reply...I don't know what CELA is???

Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 10:06 AM
Joined: 2/1/2018
Posts: 464

CELA- Certified Elder Law Attorney.  Training and expertise beyond the typical attorney, estate attorney, etc.  Google CELA; you will find info and how to locate one in your area.  It’s an expensive undertaking, but well worth the peace of mind.  Good luck.