There are 454 memory care facilities in Michigan, most within existing assisted living communities, although some focus exclusively on memory care. There isn’t a single source for memory care costs across the state, but Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey found the median fee of assisted living to be $4,250 per month. As a rule of thumb, memory care costs are between 20% and 30% higher than assisted living, which makes Michigan’s average for memory care $5,313 per month.

What Services Do Memory Care Facilities Provide?

A memory care facility provides the same services as assisted living, with homelike rooms and private bathrooms, communal areas where residents can socialize and landscaped grounds with walking paths. The differences come in the community’s devotion to caring for seniors with memory loss and heightened security to ensure residents stay safe and in one place.

A memory care unit will have mechanisms to control sources of entry and exit, such as keypads to open doors. It will also have surveillance cameras to monitor residents, some of whom can be prone to wandering. Outdoor areas, such as courtyards, will be secured by the building itself with fences or walls, so residents won’t become confused and can navigate safely. It’s also common for seniors to be issued wearable tracking devices. Staff can be specially trained to help residents experiencing memory loss, with special consideration for behavioral issues and sensory challenges. Facilities also implement programs designed to slow the advancement of dementia, such as pet therapy and reality orientation therapy.

Paying for Memory Care in Michigan

Paying for memory care in Michigan comes down to Medicaid, which won’t pay for nonmedical care in a memory care facility, although it can pay for medical care administered within the unit. The MI Choice Waiver Program can pay for assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing and dressing, within licensed memory care facilities that accept Medicaid. To be eligible, the senior will need to be considered as living on a low income and have a restricted functional capacity that requires them to get help with ADLs. 

Though Medicare doesn’t cover nonmedical care in residential facilities, there are other ways seniors and their families can source funding. They include reverse mortgages, which release equity on the senior’s home up to its value; long-term care insurance, which is purposefully designed to pay long-term care costs; and annuities, where the insurance company will make regular payments the senior’s family can use to meet care costs.