Costs of assisted living/memory care facilities are breathtaking! Will they accept patients with early-severe stage AD?

4 answers | Last updated: Sep 19, 2016
Laurakay asked...

I've been checking on places for Mom here in SE Michigan and have found that most memory care facilities charge between $6,000 and $7,000 a month. Is this normal? Needless to say, that's breathtaking! Will most assisted living communites accept patients with early-severe stage AD?

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

I'm in northern New Jersey and the cost of memory care facilities is about the same, sometimes higher. Assisted living communities vary in their capacity to serve AD residents. One differentiator is whether the resident is a "wanderer" and needs to be in a secured environment. Some facilities have "memory care" units separated from the rest of the residents. These are either separate wings or separate floors that require access codes for entry or exit. Residents in "memory care" units require more individual attention and specialized activities. It is more expensive for the facility to care for AD residents, so the cost is higher. If your Mom is not a wanderer, some assisted living communities may be prepared to care for her needs within the general population. The answer depends on your Mother's needs and each facility's capabilities.

If you're overwhelmed trying to find the best fit, you may want to try a local senior living placement service. A good one will be famiiar with the facilities in your area and the services they offer fo AD residents. They will work with you to identify your Mom's needs and provide a short list of facilities for you to visit. The only caveat is they are usually paid by the facility, so they will only guide you to facilities where they have contracts.

Community Answers

Caring community answered...

Hello 'LauraKay', Thank you for sharing your caregiving concerns with our community! In addition to Ms. Steinberg's advice, you can also search for local Alzheimer's care facilities and read ratings and reviews from people who have had first-hand experiences with care providers in's Senior Living Directory

You may also consider searching for a Geriatric Care Manager to help guide you with difficult decisions about care and living arrangements during this transitional time. Geriatric care managers, or GCMs, can take over nearly all aspects of eldercare in some cases. Some local government agencies and charities offer geriatric care consulting services free or on a sliding scale. If hired privately, expect to pay a GCM $75 to $250 an hour. Geriatric care managers are best for crisis or needs assessment, complicated ongoing care, and supporting long-distance caregivers. You can do a search of GCM's in your area in our Senior Care Directory at

Barbara steinberg answered...

Thank you for adding that information.

Ktzman answered...

Yes the costs are extremely high. Even if your mom has some LTC it is rare for these policies to cover 100% of her entire stay. In our situation one parent was in nursing home with dementia for almost 5 yrs. LTC paid only $40/day after 180 day elimination (self-pay) period. The other parent watched helplessly as most of their nest egg disappeared. Finally the first parent died. Now, my remaining parent is showing signs of needing to move to a facility, but doesn't have the funds for more than a year self-pay. We are looking at those that accept welfare, but they require 2 or 3 years self-pay before they will accept you. Once you've exhausted self-pay, they move you from a private room to a 2, 3 or 4 person room with a view of the loading docks/parking lot. This is certainly not how I want my parent to live, but there's no money left, and we can't afford to pay 6-7, 000 for our parent to have a private room. We are considering having her move in with us, but then our whole family dynamic will change, and we will have no privacy, no days off, no camping trips. Its an extremely difficult time, and not much real help in terms of money, anywhere. But it does help to have this nice website where we can all write in our questions, thank you to caring dot com. And good luck with finding a place for your parent.