If your loved one is experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, memory care can be a valuable means of maintaining a high quality of life in a safe and enriching setting.
If you’re considering this option, you may be concerned about the cost. Although memory care costs are highly variable, some guiding principles can help you budget for this holistic and helpful form of care.
What Is Included in the Overall Cost of Memory Care?
Memory care encompasses a variety of specialized services designed to cater to the changing needs of a person with dementia. When a person receives support from a caregiver at home, memory support may consist of Adult Day or at-home services. The most comprehensive form of memory care is full-time residential care. This is the form of care we’ll focus on in this guide.
Residential memory care typically includes:
- A household-model lifestyle
- Prepared meals
- Laundry and other housekeeping services
- 24/7 access to assistance from qualified team members
Some communities may also offer specialized therapies and social programming to enhance residents’ quality of life.
Every individual has unique needs, and different providers may offer different services, so the cost of memory care can vary considerably. Pricing structures can also differ. Some communities are “all-inclusive.” However, in most cases, pricing begins with a base rate for housing and amenities the community considers standard for all residents, and any additional forms of support are added to the total cost.
When considering your budget for memory care, it’s important to note that this form of support includes many costs of daily living, so it’s likely more affordable than it first seems. Residential memory care replaces costs such as a mortgage, property taxes, maintenance costs, grocery bills, and more with a single, predictable monthly payment.
What Are the Average Costs in Iowa?
In 2021, the national average cost of memory care was $6,935 a month. Families researching memory care providers in Iowa will find several options with monthly costs less than the national average. The average cost in Iowa is $4,792.
Are Cost Savings Available?
We hear from most adults we work with that they are at least a little worried about the financial impact of paying for care. If you share this concern, you'll be glad to know cost savings are available. Government assistance, private aid, and other assistance programs can help people pay for memory care.
Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare plans can cover some aspects of memory care, so you should always explore this option to see what might be covered by your insurance. State-specific Medicaid programs can also offer assistance for those who qualify. Iowa residents may be able to take advantage of the Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Elderly Waiver.
Many older adults (40%) have private health insurance to supplement Medicare benefits. If you have a private health insurance plan, this may offer some coverage for memory care needs. Long-term care insurance can also be a source of financial coverage.
Veterans can take advantage of their Veteran Assistance (VA) financial benefits, which may help with the cost of memory care for qualifying individuals. Some private charities may also provide grants to help veterans in need of financial assistance.
Some individuals draw on their retirement benefits or personal savings to pay for memory care. This may involve liquidating certain assets or employing a reverse mortgage. There’s no better way to spend your loved one’s savings than on necessary care that enhances their quality of life. Consider working with an accountant, wealth planner, or financial advisor to make the best use of your available finances.
High-Quality Memory Care in Iowa
WesleyLife offers high-quality memory care services for families in Iowa. In our homelike settings, we promote safety, wellness, connection, comfort, and fun. As one client shared, "If anyone experiences the kind of worry and anxiety that I was having about my situation with Jim, and could suddenly have that lifted, that is such a gift, and that is what I feel like I have here. It's a wonderful, positive, rich way of life!"
When it comes to paying for care, you can trust the WesleyLife Promise — we’ll never ask residents to leave the place they’ve come to know as home if their finances are depleted through no fault of their own. Generous donors help cover the costs of care for these valued WesleyLife residents.
Want to learn more about budgeting for memory care or other senior living services? Use our Cost Calculator!