Memory Care in Idaho
According to the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, 27,000 older adults in the Gem State have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, this number is projected to reach 33,000, an increase of over 20%. Alzheimer’s disease is Idaho’s sixth leading cause of death. Fortunately, the state offers a number of resources for dementia patients as well as the friends and relatives who care for them.
In 2021, state legislators formed the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) initiative to raise awareness and promote early detection. This program is a joint effort between the Idaho Commission on Aging, the Center for the Study of Aging at Boise State University and national organizations such as AARP. Along with specialized memory care facilities, which cost $4,798 per month, these resources can improve seniors’ quality of life and provide a helping hand to family caregivers.
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.
In this guide, you’ll find information about long-term care prices in Idaho. We provide a detailed look at the state’s Medicaid program and other ways to pay for care along with a directory of free and low-cost services sponsored by government agencies and nonprofits.
The Cost of Memory Care in Idaho
Note: Because national pricing data on memory care is limited, estimates featured in this guide are based on the cost of assisted living from Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey, plus 25%. This accounts for additional services that increase the cost of memory care by 20%-30%, on average.
Using this formula, you can expect to pay approximately $4,798 per month for memory care, which is $827 lower than the national average of $5,625. Fees are lower in neighboring Utah, where the average is $4,375 per month. Prices are moderately higher in Wyoming, at $5,211, and Montana, at $5,563. In the Pacific Northwest, memory care prices average $6,306 in Oregon, and seniors in Washington pay $7,500 per month, a difference of about $2,700.
The United States
Memory care prices in Idaho’s largest cities range from $4,375 in Idaho Falls to $5,844 in Coeur d’Alene. Rates are lower than average in Boise, at $4,483, and Twin Falls, at $4,775. If you live in Pocatello, you’ll pay approximately $5,258 per month, which is higher than the state median but lower than other parts of the country. Memory care prices in Lewiston ($5,524) are $726 higher than the state median but about $100 lower than the national average.
Dementia care is available in institutional and community-based settings. Daytime dementia care programs are the most affordable option with a median cost of $2,167 per month. Although residential memory care costs more than twice as much at $4,798, it’s $636 more affordable than the $5,434 charged by home care agencies. Traditional assisted living services cost $3,838 per month, but individuals with memory loss and certain health conditions may not be eligible. On the other hand, memory care costs 44% less than the $8,517 charged for a semiprivate nursing home room. Private accommodations cost $9,125 per month, on average.
Home Health Aide
Adult Day Health Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home (semiprivate)
Nursing Home (private)
Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Idaho?
Note: For the purposes of this guide, when we say “Memory Care” we are referring to memory care provided in a “social setting,” such as an Assisted Living Facility. This is the most common way to receive Memory Care and is the best fit for all but the frailest seniors. Sometimes the actual service of memory care can be provided in a Nursing Home (“medical setting”), so the financial assistance options will be very different. To learn more about the financial assistance options available for memory care provided in a nursing home, read our guide to Nursing Home Care in Idaho.
Idaho’s Medicaid program for elderly and disabled adults covers many services that are provided in assisted living and memory care facilities. These benefits are available to individuals who require help with day-to-day activities due to Alzheimer’s, dementia or another disability. There are several ways to receive long-term care benefits in Idaho as long as you have limited income and assets and meet the medical eligibility requirements.
Idaho’s Personal Care Services Program is the primary source of these benefits. Since it’s part of the official Medicaid State Plan, it’s an entitlement available to all eligible beneficiaries without a waiting list. The state also provides a Medicaid waiver for assisted living and residential memory care, and there are several options for dual enrollees who qualify for Medicaid and Medicare.
If Idaho pays your Medicare premiums, you may be eligible for the Medicare Medicaid Coordinated Plan. The MMCP pays for primary and emergency medical care as well as long-term services and supports. Beneficiaries gain access to State Plan Personal Care Services, the Aged & Disabled Waiver and even nursing home care when these services are medically necessary.
Idaho Medicaid Plus is another managed care program available to adults who are enrolled in Original Medicare and Enhanced Medicaid. The program gives beneficiaries access to Personal Care Services and passive enrollment in the Aged & Disabled Waiver. This waiver can help with the cost of memory care when these services are necessary. IMPlus is available to dual enrollees in 21 counties.
What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Idaho?
Idaho’s Personal Care Services Program covers a variety of services that help beneficiaries complete day-to-day activities and live independently, including the following:
- Personal care
- One-on-one assistance
- Help with errands and shopping
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Meal preparation or deliveries
- Medication assistance
Similar services are available through the Aged & Disabled Waiver as an alternative to nursing home placement. However, these programs don’t cover the cost of room and board. Individuals who receive SSI may be eligible for the AABD Cash Assistance Program, which provides an additional monthly stipend based on your living arrangement. This can help to offset the cost of room and board in an assisted living or memory care facility.
Assisted Living Waiver Programs in Idaho
Idaho Aged & Disabled Waiver
The Idaho Aged & Disabled Waiver is a home- and community-based Medicaid program that gives seniors an alternative to nursing home care. It’s designed to promote freedom and independence while helping older adults live safely in a setting of their choice. Seniors must be disabled or aged 65 or older and require a nursing home level of care to qualify. If you meet these requirements, the program can help with the cost of services provided in a memory care facility and many other supports, including:
- Adult day health care
- Personal care attendants
- Adult residential care
- Homemaker services
- Chore assistance
- Case management
- Home modifications
- Meal deliveries
- Medical products
- Emergency alert systems
- Non Medical transportation
To learn more or to apply for the Aged and Disabled waiver, contact your Area Agency on Aging by calling 211.
How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Idaho
To qualify for Medicaid long-term care, you must meet medical and financial eligibility requirements. For individual applicants, the 2022 income limit is $2,543 per month, or $30,516 per year, which is approximately 300% of the federal benefit rate with a small adjustment for personal expenses. Assets, including bank accounts and stocks, are typically limited to $2,000 for individuals or $4,000 for couples. However, if only you or your spouse requires care, the non-applicant can keep up to $137,400 in assets. There are also exemptions for your primary vehicle, home and some valuables. However, you or your spouse must continue living in the residence.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Idaho
(One Spouse Applying)
$2,000 for applicant
$137,400 for non-applicant
(Both Spouses Applying)
Idaho Medicaid long-term care benefits are only available to those who meet residency, age and citizenship requirements. When applying, you must provide proof that you:
- Live in the state
- Are aged 65 or older or have a disability
- Are a U.S. citizen or legal resident
How to Apply for Medicaid in Idaho
There are several ways to apply for Medicaid in Idaho. The easiest way is by completing an online application at idalink.Idaho.gov. Alternatively, you may call (877) 456-1233 or visit your local Department of Health & Welfare office.
If you’d rather complete a paper application, you can send your documents to the DHW by mail, email or fax using the contact information shown below.
Self Reliance Programs
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0026
Fax: (866) 434-8278
If needed, you can complete the authorized representative form located at the end of the application to ensure that family members or other qualified representatives can discuss your application with the agency.
Information You Will Need
You will be asked to provide a variety of personal and financial information when you submit your application. Be sure that you have the following records on hand:
- Current and former names
- Valid identification
- Proof of citizenship or immigration status
- Social Security number
- Information about your household income
- A comprehensive list of assets
- Bank account and property information
- Health insurance policy numbers
- Tax filing status
- Proof of expenses
How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid
If you need help completing or submitting your application, or if you’re applying on behalf of a loved one, the following agencies and departments can provide assistance. You also have a right to appeal any unfavorable decisions.
Idalink is the official online application portal for Medicaid and other benefits administered by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Seniors and low-income families may also qualify for food stamps and cash assistance to help with the cost of room and board.
If you have questions about your eligibility or application, contact the Department of Health and Welfare directly. The customer service line is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or you can email your questions to MyBenefits@dhw.idaho.gov.
Idaho has 28 regional DHW offices that handle applications for Medicaid and long-term care benefits. Local units may focus on personal care services, home- and community-based services and medical needs assessments.
If you have been denied benefits or disagree with a Medicaid decision, you have a right to file an appeal within 30 days of the notice. You must notify the agency online or by mail, email or fax to request a hearing.
Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Idaho?
The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of memory care in Idaho. As was mentioned above, this doesn’t apply to Memory Care received in a Nursing Home. Since it is the most common to receive memory care in a “social setting” (such as an assisted living facility), Medicare won’t be a viable financial assistance option for most seniors who need Memory Care. However, Medicare will still cover things like approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc., just like it would if you lived at home.
For more information about when Medicare can be used to pay for Memory Care in a nursing home, and for Medicare-related resources, see our guide to Nursing Homes in Idaho.
Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Idaho
Seniors who are not eligible (due to location, financial situation, or other factors) for other types of financial assistance, do still have some options. See the table below for an overview of some of the most common ways to make Memory Care affordable.
How to Apply
How It Works
Aid and Attendance
Learn more and apply online at va.gov.
Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for Memory Care.
Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov
If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for Memory Care. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance
Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.
Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for Memory Care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of Memory Care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Idaho
If you’re considering memory care for a loved one in Idaho, there are a variety of free resources that can assist you with long-term care planning, health insurance, legal concerns and ways to pay for care. The following agencies offer free and low-cost services to seniors and families who have been affected by dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Idaho has six Area Agencies on Aging that serve seniors, disabled adults and family caregivers by providing information, referrals, one-on-one advice and direct services. These resources include case management, recreation programs, healthy aging courses, meal deliveries, transportation and nutritional services. Staff members at your Area Agency on Aging can help with long-term care planning, Medicaid waivers and respite care.
This nationwide nonprofit has been serving dementia patients and their families for over 30 years. In addition to funding Alzheimer’s research, it provides education, outreach, counseling and support for families. The Greater Idaho Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association sponsors support groups and connects residents to resources in their community. An online message board is available where you can connect with others impacted by the disease.
The Idaho Caregiver Alliance offers educational resources, training materials and information about support groups, respite care and financial assistance programs. There are also guides on identifying and preventing caregiver burnout. Visit CaregiverNavigator.org, or call the number listed to speak with a family caregiver navigator who can provide information about resources in your area.
Alzheimer's Idaho is a local nonprofit offering client-centered services to families in Boise and the Treasure Valley. It sponsors Sweet Magnolias, a social club for the wives of Alzheimer’s patients, and it provides a directory of related support groups in Ada and Canyon counties. Caregivers may qualify for training programs and a monthly stipend to offset the cost of up to 16 hours of respite care.
Idaho Legal Aid sponsors a senior legal advice line for adults aged 60 and older, and it provides free legal assistance to low-income residents statewide. Elder law attorneys focus on estate planning, long-term care, powers of attorney, guardianship petitions and issues related to government benefits, such as Social Security and Medicare.
The Idaho government founded the ADRD Program in 2021 to increase Alzheimer's awareness and promote early detection. It provides information about Alzheimer’s warning signs, free 3-minute memory screenings for Medicare beneficiaries and other resources that are available to patients, caregivers and their families.
COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Idaho
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.idaho.gov.. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/7/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.
Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?
Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?
Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?
Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?
Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?
Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?
Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.
Outings & Social Activities
Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?
Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?
Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?
Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents
Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?
Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?
Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Idaho
Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare inspects, licenses and regulates residential care and assisted living facilities in the state, including facilities that provide memory care services. The following is a brief summary of the state licensing rules regarding residential care in Idaho.
Scope of Care
Facilities may not admit or retain residents who require 24/7 skilled nursing care, and those who present a danger to themselves or others due to violent, aggressive behavior.
Care Plan Requirements
Each resident must have a completed personal assessment that covers their need for assistance with activities of daily living, need for health services and all physicians’ orders.
Medication Management Requirements
Residents may self-administer prescription and over-the-counter medications. Unlicensed staff who have completed an approved medication course can help residents self-administer meds under the supervision of a licensed nurse. All medications must be supplied in pharmacy-prepared blister packs or dispensed by a registered nurse.
Staff Screening Requirements
All employees who have direct access to residents must complete a fingerprint-based background check that includes a search of state and national criminal registries.
Staff Training Requirements
At least one staff certified in CPR and first aid must be awake and on-site at all times, and all staff need to complete a minimum of 16 hours of orientation before commencing work in a residential care facility. Memory care facilities must ensure that all direct care staff have specific dementia care training that covers communications, behavior management and stress reduction.
Idaho’s Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver provides coverage for memory care services.
Concerns regarding the quality of care provided in a long-term care facility should be reported to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman via the nearest Area Agency on Aging. For issues involving an immediate threat to the health and safety of memory care residents, contact the nearest law enforcement agency.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Idaho?
Statewide, the average cost of residential memory care in Idaho is $4,600. Actual costs vary throughout the state, with costs ranging from a low of $4,188 in Idaho Falls up to a high of $6,244 in Lewiston.
Does Idaho Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?
Yes. Seniors enrolled in Medicaid who require placement in a residential memory care facility may be eligible for benefits through the Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver.
What Is the Difference Between Memory Care and Assisted Living?
Memory care and assisted living provide residents with accommodations, meals and access to 24/7 on-site caregivers. However, assisted living is geared toward those who are free from any major health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Memory care communities generally have a relatively high staff-to-resident ratio, structured daily programming specifically designed to support those living with dementia and special security features to reduce the risk of wandering.
What Types of Therapies Are Offered in Memory Care Facilities?
Memory care facilities often offer a variety of small group and one-on-one therapies designed to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These therapies vary with each facility and may include music, art and pet therapy, and light therapy to help decrease agitation and promote healthy sleep patterns. Some facilities also use aromatherapy, color therapy and fitness classes to support those living with memory loss.
What Security Features Are Present in Memory Care Facilities?
Wandering is common among people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, so in order to help keep residents safe, memory care facilities often have a number of anti-wandering security systems and features in place. These features may include a wearable device that allows staff to monitor the whereabouts of each resident, security cameras, enclosed courtyards and motion sensors.