Can I Use Medicaid for Memory Care?
Because seniors who benefit from memory care also often need assistance with some activities of daily living like medication management or bathing, many families can use Medicaid for memory care services or programs.
According to an analysis from the National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care, memory care is the fastest-growing sector in the senior housing market, not assisted or independent living. So what exactly is memory care? It is long-term care in a safe, enriched environment designed for people with memory issues, especially Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
Let’s go over what Medicaid covers for memory care:
Memory Care Options
Families caring for loved ones diagnosed with dementia or other memory-related issues have a few options to consider regarding memory care services. Some offer short-term assistance, while others are more long-term.
Below are some descriptions of what each option has to offer:
- Adult daycare centers – Adult daycare centers are a good option when caregivers need a temporary break. These drop-in programs provide supervised cognitive enrichment activities centered around recreation, like art, music, games, and exercise.
- Assisted living communities – Many assisted living communities, like the Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living, also have residential memory care communities on site. Since seniors can live in the community, staff can provide more intensive support for your loved one 24 hours a day. Daily programs and activities are available to help seniors maintain independent and active lifestyles rich in social interaction.
- Custodial care – This type of care provides 24-hour supervision for those who need it in a skilled nursing environment. When choosing custodial care, be sure that the program you choose has a dedicated memory care unit specifically designed for people living with dementia.
- In-home care – Some seniors continue living at home or with family. Depending on your needs, there is a wide range of in-home memory care options. Trained caregivers come to your home to engage in memory-enhancing activities with your loved one and provide additional assistance with activities of daily living.
Medicaid and Assisted Living
For seniors and their families interested in the amenities and security that assisted living has to offer, Medicaid benefits can help defray some of the costs, as long as they choose a Medicaid-certified assisted living community.
Medicaid is funded jointly by the Federal government and the states. The Federal government establishes the regulations for the program and provides much of the funding, but the states administer the program for their residents. As a result, Medicaid may look a little different, depending on your state of residence.
The American Council on Aging provides a free service to help you locate a Medicaid planner who can walk you through eligibility requirements and benefits specific to your state.
Medicaid in Arizona
Since many seniors choose to live in Arizona because of the great weather, beautiful surroundings, and lower cost of living, there are several high-quality assisted living communities in the state who also provide memory care. Can you use Medicaid for memory care in Arizona? Yes, as long as the community is Medicaid-certified.
In Arizona, Medicaid’s program for seniors over 65 or who are disabled and who require additional medical care is known as Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS). Although it cannot be used for room and board, this health insurance provides coverage for some of the medical costs associated with assisted living.
Who Is Eligible for ALTCS Benefits?
To have access to ALTCS benefits to help with long-term care costs, seniors should meet the following general requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen, resident, or qualified immigrant
- Be 65 years of age or older
- Reside in Arizona
- Have a social security number or apply for one
- Apply for all cash benefits for which you are eligible (such as pensions)
- Have a qualifying medical condition and require a certain level of care (as determined by ALTCS)
- Meet other income and health qualifications outlined here
Seniors can apply for themselves or have someone else (like a family member) apply on their behalf. If you or your loved one meets the abovementioned requirements, you can apply online, visit an ALTCS office in person, or call 888-621-6880 toll-free.
What Assisted Living Services Does ALTCS Cover?
Since ALTCS is a form of health insurance, you generally cannot use these funds for room and board. However, other services provided in assisted living are eligible for coverage, including:
- Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
- Personal care services (i.e., assistance with activities of daily living like bathing, using the toilet, transferring, etc.)
- Medication management
- Diagnostic exams
- Dental services – up to $1,000 annually
When you apply for ALTCS, you will be assigned a case manager. Be sure to discuss your situation with your case manager to see if other necessary health and medical care services you receive are covered and if you are receiving all possible benefits.
What Memory Care Services Does ALTCS Cover?
In addition to the assisted living benefits outlined above, for seniors who also receive memory care services, ALTCS funds can be used to help pay for the following:
- Adult daycare programs and health services – therapeutic adult day care, supervised day programs, etc.
- Cognitive rehabilitation – such as the cognitive therapy activities at the Mission at Agua Fria memory care community that include art and music therapy and cognitive games
- Educational activities – education and training that help the recipient better understand medication management, for instance
- Support services – some respite care, family support, and personal assistance
- Home health services – in-home medical care, therapy, and assistance
- Meals on Wheels – or other home delivery meal program
- Dental services – up to $1000 annually
Again, your ALTCS case manager can be a valuable resource to discuss whether other relevant memory care services might also be covered.
You Can Use Medicaid for Memory Care at the Mission at Agua Fria
Because the Mission at Agua Fria is Medicaid-certified, we work closely with ALTCS and the state to help make sure our excellent senior living options are an affordable reality. We can apply your benefits directly to your costs. If you want to learn more about what we can do for you and your family, please contact us to ask questions or schedule a tour. We would love to show you why our community feels like family!