There are 710 memory care facilities in Texas, most of which form part of an assisted living community, although several cater exclusively to seniors dealing with cognitive decline. The costs for memory care are generally between 20% and 30% above those of assisted living. There isn’t a single source for average memory care costs, but by adding 25% to the $3,998 median monthly fee for assisted living, the figure for Texas is $4,998 per month.

What Do Memory Care Facilities in Texas Provide?

A memory care facility has much in common with assisted living. Both provide bedrooms residents can decorate with their own furniture, serve three meals daily in communal dining rooms and set aside areas for games, socializing and exercise. Where they differ is their focus on care and security. A memory care facility’s staff will likely be trained to spot signs of confusion and anxiety in residents and how to handle them accordingly. They’re also equipped to deliver the facility’s memory care program, which will help seniors stay focused on the present while encouraging them to reminisce so they don’t lose touch with their memories.

Security is a major feature of memory care. The typical facility will have access-restriction devices fitted to doors, particularly external ones. Surveillance cameras are common, as is issuing residents with wearable tracking devices in the form of necklaces and bracelets. Courtyards are frequently enclosed within the building’s structure, and those that aren’t can be secured by high fences or walls to keep residents from wandering. Room temperatures will also be controlled from a central point to ensure residents don’t become confused and make them too hot or too cold.

How to Pay for Memory Care in Texas

Because a memory care facility is qualified as a “social setting”, Medicare does not cover memory care, but Texans who qualify for Medicaid may be able to get financial assistance. STAR+PLUS is a Texas Medicaid program for adults aged 65+ whose income and assets are at or below the limits at the time of their application. The Community First Choice Waiver is a federal program providing very similar services and with similar qualifying criteria. Both programs will pay for care services, such as help with activities of daily living (e.g. bathing, dressing, etc.), but do not cover room and board.

Seniors who don’t satisfy Medicaid’s qualifying criteria typically use their savings and retirement income to pay for memory care. Other options include family members combining their resources to contribute what they can and arranging a reverse mortgage to release equity on the senior’s home to pay the bills. Long-term care insurance is specifically designed to pay for care, and veterans (and surviving spouses) may qualify for VA Aid and Attendance if they already receive a VA pension.