Alzheimer’s disease is a growing problem throughout the United States. There’s currently over 5 million Americans with memory loss, and that number is projected to skyrocket to 16 million by the year 2050. In Delaware, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death, and 19,000 Delawareans live with a diagnosis of dementia.

Most people with progressive-degenerative dementia experience an increase in symptoms, such as wandering, agitation, confusion and depression, over time which can make managing memory loss at home difficult for families. Thankfully, there are now a number of well-researched treatments available to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and improve the quality of life for those living with memory loss.

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 offers an overview of memory care in Delaware, including the average cost of residential memory care services and information on programs that include memory care benefits. There’s also a list of free and low-cost resources for those living with Alzheimer’s, a summary of state laws and regulations regarding memory care providers and answers to many of the most common questions about memory care.

The Cost of Memory Care in Delaware

Residential memory care includes room and board along with 24/7 supervision, support and recreational programming delivered in a specialized setting, making the cost of memory care about 20-30% greater than that of assisted living. To calculate memory care costs in Delaware, we’ve added 25% to the assisted living costs documented in Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey. This puts the cost of memory care in Delaware at $7,544 per month, which is well above the national average of $5,064.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

At $7,544 per month, memory care costs in Delaware are significantly higher than costs in all but one nearby state, New Jersey, where the average cost is $8,000 per month. To the west, costs are $2,169 less in Maryland, where memory care costs $5,375 per month. Costs are also much lower in nearby Pennsylvania at $4,891, and in Virginia, where memory care costs average $6,000 per month.

$7544

Delaware

$5064

The United States

$8000

New Jersey

$5375

Maryland

$4891

Pennsylvania

$6000

Virginia

Cost of Other Types of Care in Delaware

Residential memory care is just one of the many long-term care options available in Delaware. At an average cost of $1,797 per month, adult day care services are the least expensive long-term care option, while 44 hours of weekly in-home care from a homemaker or home health aide costs an average of $4,671 per month. Assisted living costs average $6,035, while a semiprivate room in a skilled nursing facility costs $10,897 per month.

$7544

Memory Care

$4671

In-Home Care

$4671

Home Health Care

$1797

Adult Day Care

$6035

Assisted Living Facility

$10897

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Delaware’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Delaware

Delaware is a small state, therefore, city-specific cost data is limited to Dover, where the average cost of residential memory care is $7,725. Costs in cities throughout neighboring states are lower, including in Salisbury, Maryland ($6,563), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ($6,094) and Ocean City, New Jersey ($6,120).

$7725

Dover

$6563

Salisbury, MD

$6094

Philadelphia, PA

$6120

Ocean City, NJ

$5750

Vineland, NJ

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Delaware

Diamond State Health Plan Plus

Diamond State Health Plan – Plus Program is a mandatory managed integrated program for Medicaid beneficiaries who need long-term care services, including residential memory care services. The program covers all memory care costs except room and board, which remains the responsibility of participants. Program benefits are assigned on an as-needed basis, and may include case management, private duty nursing, attendant care and behavioral counseling.

Who Is Eligible?
Enrollment in the Diamond State Health Plan — Plus Program is mandatory for all Delaware seniors aged 65 and older who meet the criteria for Medicaid coverage.

How to Apply
To apply for benefits under the DSHP-PP, contact the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance at 1-800-996‐9969.

VA Aid and Attendance Benefits and the Housebound Allowance

Aid and Attendance benefits and the Housebound Allowance are two VA enhanced pension programs that provide monthly cash benefits to veterans. These benefits can be used towards the cost of memory care services.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for either Aid and Attendance benefits or the Housebound Allowance, applicants must first qualify for a regular VA pension.

For Housebound, applicants must have a permanent disability rated at 100% that leaves them largely restricted to their residence, which may be a memory care facility.

For Aid and Attendance, applicants must meet one of these criteria:

  • Be legally blind
  • Be a resident of a skilled nursing facility
  • Be bedridden due to chronic illness or disability
  • Be dependent upon a caregiver to perform at least one activity of daily living, such as getting dressed, installing a prosthetic device, eating or grooming

How to Apply
To apply for Aid and Attendance or Housebound, contact the Delaware Office of Veterans Services or the nearest VA location.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Delaware

A number of government agencies and nonprofit organizations offer services and programs designed to help those living with Alzheimer’s, their families and caregivers. These resources include legal assistance, peer support groups and help accessing long-term care services.

ResourceContactServices Provided
Alzheimer’s Association – Delaware Valley Chapter1-800-272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association is a national not-for-profit organization that works to improve Alzheimer’s research, treatment and support. The Delaware Valley Chapter offers patient and caregiver support groups, referrals to long-term care resources and regular training and information seminars.
Delaware Long Term Care Ombudsman Program1-800-223-9074Delaware’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program works to protect the rights of long-term care residents statewide. The Ombudsman’s office investigates complaints about long-term care facilities, and when possible, works to resolve these complaints. Volunteer ombudsmen also act as friendly visitors to long-term care communities to help monitor conditions and ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.
Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities1-800-223-9074The DSAAPD is a state agency that administers a number of programs and services for seniors and caregivers. These programs vary depending on the region, and may include case management, adult day health services, caregiver respite and assistance accessing Medicaid benefits.
Community Legal Aid Society, Inc.1-800-292-7980 or 302-575-0666The Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income seniors aged 60 and older facing noncriminal legal challenges. The organization works with seniors who need legal help dealing with health insurance, estate planning, guardianship, housing and long-term care issues.
Delaware Medicare Assistance Bureau1-800-336-9500The Delaware Medicare Assistance Bureau provides free, unbiased one-on-one health insurance counselling. Trained volunteer counselors are available for phone and in-person appointments and can answer questions about long term care insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans and health insurance billing issues.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Delaware

Facilities that offer memory care services in Delaware are licensed and regulated by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Health Care Quality Division. In Delaware, residential memory care programs are operated within assisted living facilities.

Scope of CareMemory care programs can admit and retain residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia who require room and board in a supervised setting, and who require no more than 90 consecutive days of intermittent nursing care. Those who are medically unstable, bedridden for 14 days or more, on a ventilator or who exhibit behavior that poses a threat to themselves or others are ineligible for placement in a memory care unit.
Care Plan RequirementsA comprehensive preadmission assessment must be prepared by a registered nurse within the 30 days prior to admission, and again within 30 days of admission. This assessment serves as the basis for the resident care plan, which must detail a residents’ needs and treatment plan.
Medication Management RequirementsWithin 30 days of admission into a memory care program, residents must be assessed to determine if they can self-administer medications. Those who require assistance with self-administration can be helped by caregivers who have passed a medication management exam, or who are licensed medical professionals.
Staff Screening RequirementsStaff who work with vulnerable adults must successfully pass a background check, and those with convictions that could pose a threat to residents are ineligible for employment at a memory care facility.
Staff Training RequirementsNew hires must complete a comprehensive orientation session that covers residents’ rights, infection control, first aid and safety procedures. All direct care staff need to complete a minimum of 12 hours of in-service training related to Alzheimer’s and dementia care on an annual basis.
Medicaid CoverageDelaware’s Medicaid program covers the cost of memory care services delivered in an assisted living facility under the Diamond State Health Plan – Plus entitlement program.
Reporting AbuseBy law, any medical practitioner who has reason to believe a vulnerable person has been the victim of abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-abuse has a duty to report these concerns within 24 hours to Adult Protective Services at 1-800-223-9074.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Delaware?

The average monthly cost of residential memory care services in Delaware is $7,544. Costs may be higher or lower than the state average depending on the amenities, location and services offered.

Does Delaware Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?

Yes. Delaware Medicaid’s Diamond State Health Plan — Plus Program covers the cost of residential care for beneficiaries with memory loss who are unable to safely live in their own homes. It’s important to know that this program does not pay the room and board portion of memory care costs.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Memory care and assisted living are two types of residential care that include room and board, and both are often offered in the same facility. Assisted living is geared toward those who want a maintenance-free lifestyle combined with the security that comes with living in a community where caregivers are on-site 24 hours a day. Memory care involves significantly more structure and supervision than assisted living, and memory care programs are usually staffed by caregivers who have advanced training in the latest nonmedical treatments for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

What types of facilities offer memory care?

In Delaware, residential memory care services are largely delivered within licensed assisted living facilities. These facilities may either have a dedicated memory care unit, wing or floor, or be dedicated to offering memory care programming and services. Skilled nursing facilities can admit and retain residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia who also have complex medical needs that cannot be met in an assisted living setting.

What security features are present in memory care facilities?

Memory care facilities have a number of enhanced security features designed to protect residents against wandering. Delayed-egress exterior doors, motion-activated alarms, security cameras and 24/7 awake staff are methods used help to keep residents safe and secure. Some memory care units also use a wireless resident tracking system called WanderGuard, which allows caregivers to monitor the location of each resident through a small, discrete bracelet that’s similar to a medical alert button.

Memory Care Facilities in Delaware (3)