In Connecticut, where seniors make up nearly 18% of the population, cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are becoming increasingly prevalent. According to statistics published by the Alzheimer’s Association, 80,000 seniors aged 65 and over were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2020. By 2025, the number of Alzheimer’s cases is projected to increase by nearly 14%, to 91,000. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the state and correlates with an increase in emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.

.For many seniors living with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, memory care facilities provide comforting, engaging environments where residents receive around-the-clock care, In Connecticut, memory care is available in Alzheimer’s special care units, or SCUs. Like traditional assisted living facilities, SCUs offer personal care services, meals and lodging, but they are required to obtain additional licensing to provide memory support services. These facilities have specialized programming to highlight residents’ strengths and enhance their quality of life. SCU staff receives professional training, and the facilities have additional security features to prevent wandering.

Memory care can either be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or, more often, it’s provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility. Memory care programs are designed specifically for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This guide provides an overview of memory care costs in Connecticut, as well as the financial assistance options that are available to qualifying seniors. It also covers several free and low-cost resources for seniors and their families and addresses the most frequently asked questions regarding memory support services.

The Cost of Memory Care in Connecticut

In Connecticut, memory care is offered in Alzheimer’s special care units, which are assisted living facilities that provide expert care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In addition to standard assisted living services, SCUs feature increased security measures, special training for staff and unique programming that focuses on cognitive functioning. Because of the specialized services provided in memory care facilities, care costs about 20-30% more than standard assisted living. The following memory care cost comparisons are based on assisted living costs published in Genworth Financial’s 2019 Cost of Care Report, with the necessary adjustments.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

Memory services in Connecticut cost $6,100 per month on average, which is nearly $1,000 higher than the national monthly cost of $5,064. While Connecticut is costly compared to the average U.S. state for this level of care, it’s among the more economically priced states in the northeastern region of the country. In Rhode Island, care costs $6,499 per month, and in New York, seniors pay $5,788 monthly. Massachusetts and Delaware are considerably more expensive at $7,050 and $7,544 per month, respectively.

$6100

Connecticut

$5064

National

$6499

Rhode Island

$7050

Massachusetts

$5788

New York

$7544

Delaware

Cost of Other Types of Care in Connecticut

Seniors in Connecticut have several care options, depending on their needs and preferences. For those who need around-the-clock skilled nursing services, nursing home care may be a viable option. This level of care costs roughly twice as much as memory care, at $12,699 monthly for semiprivate accommodations. Memory care and assisted living offer room and board, meals and personal care services in a community setting and cost $6,100 and $4,880 per month, respectively. For seniors who prefer to remain in their own home, no-medical in-home care costs $4,195 per month on average, and skilled home health care costs $4,576. The most affordable option is adult day care, which costs $1,842 monthly.

$6100

Memory Care

$4195

In-Home Care

$4576

Home Health Care

$1842

Adult Day Care

$4880

Assisted Living Facility

$12699

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Connecticut’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Connecticut

While Connecticut tends to be a pricey state for memory care, in some cities, this type of care is comparatively affordable. In the New Haven area, monthly costs are lower than state and national averages, at $4,688. In Hartford and Norwich, care costs are affordable relative to the statewide average, at $5,813 and $5,309 per month. The most expensive major city in Connecticut is Bridgeport, where seniors pay $7,938 per month on average for memory care.

$7938

Bridgeport Area

$4688

New Haven Area

$5813

Hartford Area

$5309

Norwich Area

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Connecticut

Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders

The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is offered by the Health and Human Services Department and provides services and supports to seniors who are at risk of nursing home placement. It includes two programs, the Community Options Assisted Living Services and the Private Pay Assisted Living Program, that combine supportive services, personalized assistance and health care services for those who need help with daily living activities. These programs feature four packages, based on the needs of the individual, with services ranging from occasional personal service up to one hour per week to extensive personal services up to 25 hours per week. Depending on the participant’s income and assets, they may be required to pay a 9% cost share or applied income.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible, applicants must be at least 65 years old and residents of Connecticut. They must be at risk of nursing home placement and meet the program’s financial eligibility guidelines.

How to Apply
For more information, applicants should call the toll-free line at 800-445-5394 or the local number at 860-424-4904.

Comprehensive Waiver

The Comprehensive Waiver is a Home and Community-Based Waiver that helps seniors pay for services they may otherwise be unable to afford. This waiver covers expenses such as licensed residential services, including assisted living and memory care, adult day services, health care coordination and transportation. Each program participant has an individual budget for the services and supports they need. They have several options for accessing services, including working with qualified enrolled vendors, working with an agency to find and hire caregivers and self-directing their care. Funding for HCBS waivers is limited, so eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for the Comprehensive Waiver, applicants must be eligible for Medicaid. They must need at least one service covered by the waiver program and require a nursing home level of care.

How to Apply
To apply for the Comprehensive Waiver, seniors should contact the Department of Developmental Services by calling 860-418-6000.

Optional State Supplement

Connecticut has an optional state supplement that adds money to the federal SSI benefit for beneficiaries. This cash benefit, which starts at $39 a month, can be used at the recipient’s discretion for living expenses, including those associated with memory support. In addition to this standard benefit, the state has assistance for special needs through this program. Extra money is provided to cover expenses such as trash removal, therapeutic diets, telephone installation, up to three months of storage fees and essential clothing.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for the optional state supplement, seniors must meet SSI’s income and asset limits, and they must reside in a community setting.

How to Apply
Seniors should contact their local Social Security Field Office.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Connecticut

ResourceContactServices
Alzheimer’s Association – Connecticut Chapter800-272-3900The Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association provides supportive services for seniors and families who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, including support groups, newsletters and community events. It also advocates on behalf of those living with the disease and facilitates fundraisers for Alzheimer’s research.
Area Agencies on Aging860-247-0775Connecticut has five Area Agencies on Aging across the state. These private, nonprofit agencies run programs such as social services, nutritional support, disease prevention and wellness services, family caregiver support and adult day care aide services. Local agencies may provide additional direct services such as benefits counseling, transportation and case management.
Connecticut Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program866-388-1888The Connecticut Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program promotes quality care for seniors through advocacy services, informational resources and free, unbiased advice. The program also fields and investigates complaints of abuse, sub-par care and interpersonal conflicts in assisted living and memory care facilities.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers860-424-5055Connecticut has a network of aging and disability resource centers that serve as information hubs for older adults, those with disabilities and caregivers, helping them connect with the services and supports they need. These centers help clients find detailed information on community services through activities like benefits screenings, care transitions and options counseling.
Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program800-994-9422The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program provides relief for caregivers caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias by subsidizing a portion of respite care costs. Respite care can be provided in the home or in a community setting.
Benefits Counseling800-773-4636Seniors who receive disability cash or medical benefits such as SSI, Medicare/Medicaid or State Supplement are eligible to receive benefits counseling from a trained Benefits Specialist. Assistance can be provided in person or over the phone.
CHOICES800-994-9422The state’s CHOICES program helps adults aged 60 and over in the state understand their health care options, Medicare and Medigap coverage and other age-related topics. It’s staffed by volunteers and professionals from local service agencies and provides outreach presentations and information and referrals to agencies where seniors access services such as financial assistance, nutrition and transportation.
LiveWell Dementia Specialists860-628-9000LiveWell is a local nonprofit resource center that provides advocacy, information, free workshops and specialized dementia care services for seniors and families who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the Department of Public Health licenses and regulates assisted living services agencies that provide memory care services, which are officially referred to as Alzheimer’s special care units. The Department has regulations in place regarding scope of care, staffing and public funding. While individual facilities aren’t licensed, they are required to register with the Department.

Scope of CareMemory care facilities are required to provide three meals daily, living accommodations, regularly scheduled housekeeping and laundry services, transportation, social and recreational programs and round-the-clock security and emergency call systems. They also have special programs for residents with dementia and security measures in place to prevent wandering.
Care PlansWithin seven days of admission, a registered nurse must develop a care plan that addresses the resident’s problems and needs, the types of services they must have, prescribed medications, treatments and required nursing services. This care plan must be reviewed as often as the resident’s condition warrants.
Medication ManagementMedications must be administered by a licensed nurse or pre-poured by a licensed nurse for residents who self-administer their medication. With approval from the resident or their representative, the facility is permitted to monitor self-administration, including providing medication reminders, verifying that the medication was taken and opening the medication’s packaging. All medications must be stored in the resident’s unit.
StaffingA supervisor, who must be a registered nurse, must be available at least 20 hours per week for every 10 or fewer residents. While a 24-hour awake staff isn’t required for every facility, it may be necessary in facilities with residents who require around-the-clock care or monitoring. The Department doesn’t require a minimum staffing ratio, but a sufficient number of caregivers must be available at all times to meet residents’ needs. Direct care staff must receive eight hours annually of dementia-specific training and two hours of training annually on pain recognition and pain management techniques.
Medicaid CoverageConnecticut’s Medicaid program has two waivers that cover memory care expenses: the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders and the Comprehensive Waiver.
Reporting AbuseSuspected abuse can be reported by seniors, their families or memory care staff to the Connecticut Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by calling 866-388-1888.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Connecticut?

Memory support services in Connecticut cost $6,100 per month on average, which is considerably more than the national average of $5,064. Statewide, costs vary from $4,688 to $7,938, depending on the city’s cost of living.

Does HUSKY Health pay for memory care?

HUSKY Health, Connecticut’s Medicaid program, covers memory care services through two waiver programs: the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders and the Comprehensive Waiver. To be eligible for these waivers, seniors must meet income and asset guidelines and require a nursing home level of care.

Does Medicare pay for memory care?

While Original Medicare doesn’t cover memory care services, some Medicare Advantage plans cover long-term care as an additional benefit. Seniors who want this coverage should call 1-800-994-9422 or contact their nearest Department of Aging and Disability Services office to talk to a health insurance counselor.

What types of therapies are offered in memory care facilities?

Memory care facilities use unique therapies to provide a calming, engaging environment for residents. Some therapies that facilities may use include aromatherapy, music therapy, art therapy and pet therapy with trained assistance dogs.

What security features are present in memory care facilities?

Memory care facilities have specialized access controls to keep residents from wandering. Most memory support wings have just one point of entry, making it easy to monitor who enters and leaves, as well as video surveillance indoors and out. They also have secured courtyards that let residents enjoy the outdoors safely.