Alzheimer’s disease affects approximately 55,000 seniors in Kansas, according to the 2020 report from the Alzheimer’s Association, and this number is expected to increase to 62,000 by 2025. This disease is associated with 899 deaths each year, making it the 6th leading cause of death in Kansas. In addition to those affected by a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementia, the condition also puts pressure on family caregivers, hospitals and the Kansas Medicaid program.

Seniors who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia generally require more supervision and care than those in assisted living or other communities; the need for such care becomes greater over time. Memory care facilities are secure and staffed by employees who are trained in helping seniors with Alzheimer’s and often provide therapeutic options tailored to the disease.

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 created specifically for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and routines that meet the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Continue reading for more information on the cost of care in specialized facilities around Kansas with comparisons to other levels of long-term care for seniors. This guide also provides details on financial assistance for memory care, state-specific regulations and resources.

The Cost of Memory Care in Kansas

The additional staff training, services and amenities involved with memory care come with added cost, which is usually 20% to 30% higher than assisted living costs. To account for this expected difference, we added 25% to the average cost of assisted living to provide a more appropriate comparison between memory care and other options in Kansas and the region.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

According to the most recent Cost of Care Survey by Genworth Financial, residents in Kansas’ memory care communities pay an average of $5,591 per month. This cost makes Kansas the most expensive state in the region — with average prices roughly $2,000 higher than in Missouri — and also approximately 10% over the national average of $5,064. Colorado comes in second place regionally in terms of cost, at an average of $5,119 per month, while Nebraska and Oklahoma are below average at $4,774 and $4,397 per month, respectively.

$5591

Kansas

$5064

The United States

$3601

Missouri

$4397

Oklahoma

$4774

Nebraska

$5119

Colorado

Cost of Other Types of Care in Kansas

Kansas is a state with higher than average costs for memory care and assisted living, with a much lower than average cost for nursing home care. The difference in cost between memory care and a nursing facility is just $36 per month in the state, whereas the difference nationally is roughly $2,500.

In-home care and home health aides are priced significantly lower than memory care — $4,004 and $4,195 per month, respectively — although these non-institutional options may only be temporarily appropriate in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and related conditions. Likewise, adult day care is a more affordable option, with a monthly average cost of $1,733.

$5591

Memory Care

$4004

In-Home Care

$4195

Home Health Care

$1733

Adult Day Care

$4473

Assisted Living Facility

$5627

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Kansas’ Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Kansas

Memory care facilities across Kansas offer rates that differ by as much as 46% when comparing the surveyed cities. The most affordable in the state is Topeka, with an average monthly cost of $4,672, and the most expensive is $6,812 per month in Lawrence. The costs in Manhattan and Wichita are also higher, with averages of $6,219 and $5,872 per month, respectively. Just across the border in Kansas City, Missouri, the average monthly cost of $3,623 presents considerable savings compared to any location in the state of Kansas.

$4672

Topeka

$5872

Wichita

$6219

Manhattan

$6812

Lawrence

$3623

Kansas City, MO

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Kansas

Kansas Medicaid Frail Elderly Waiver

Seniors who qualify financially may receive coverage for nursing and in-home care from KanCare — the managed care program for Medicaid recipients in Kansas. They may also receive additional coverage for care in other settings via the Frail Elderly waiver. This program covers adult day care, personal care in assisted living, enhanced care services, wellness monitoring and nursing evaluations.

Medicaid funding isn’t accepted at all assisted living communities and other facilities in Kansas, and this also applies to its waiver programs, so it’s important to check with individual communities in the area. The waiver program only applies to personal care received in the facility, which leaves the individual and family responsible for room and food costs.

Who is Eligible?
Applicants must be aged 65 and older and receive a functional eligibility assessment that indicates a need for nursing care that can be safely managed elsewhere if granted FE waiver services. Seniors must also be eligible for Kansas Medicaid (KanCare) based on financial criteria — any income over $1,157 per month is required to be spent on care — and be at or below $2,000 in countable assets.

How to Apply
Seniors and adults with disabilities can apply for KanCare online or by calling 800-792-4884 to request an application via mail. Applications for the Frail Elderly waiver must be arranged by contacting the local Aging and Disability Resource Center at 855-200-2372.

Senior Care Act

Kansas implemented the Senior Care Act to satisfy the requirements of the federally mandated Older Americans Act. The SCA is funded by the state and provides coverage for a similar set of services as the Frail Elder waiver, although it’s not connected with Medicaid and accepts applicants at 60 years of age. Depending on their county of residence and specific needs, Kansans may receive relevant services such as homemaker and chore assistance, adult day care and respite, as well as assistance with activities of daily living.

Who is Eligible?
Applicant must be a resident of Kansas, aged 60 and older and in need of services based on a functional assessment and plan of care developed by professionals. Any applicant with an income higher than 100% of the federal poverty level ($1,063 per month as of 2020) is required to pay for some of the cost of care based on a sliding scale.

How to Apply
Seniors and their caregivers should contact a local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) or call the statewide helpline at 855-200-2372. Staff members will perform a functional assessment and develop a care plan.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Kansas

As the scope and costs of Alzheimer’s continue to grow, many Kansans will require counseling or assistance to help understand the disease and care for loved ones. The resources below may be valuable sources of information and referrals at the statewide and local levels.

ResourceContactServices
Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Centers855-200-2372There are 11 agencies in Kansas known as ADRCs. The expert staff at each location maintain a network of connections with local service providers, facilities and programs specifically for seniors with disabilities. ADRC staff can help individuals gain access to services in the community, such as their own home or assisted living facility, as well as institutional settings, such as nursing homes. Referrals may also be made for the appropriate local services.
Institutional Transition SupportContact the individual’s Managed Care Organization or call 1-800-792-4884The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services helps eligible seniors who currently reside in a nursing facility, state hospital or other qualified setting who wish to move back into the community, which includes assisted living facilities. This program is intended to provide access to care in the least restrictive and most appropriate environment for the individual.
University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center913-588-0555This nationally designated ADC is part of the KU Clinical Research Center in Fairway. The center is comprised of a research division, which conducts clinical trials, behavioral studies and prevention trials related to Alzheimer’s, and a memory care clinic that can provide a diagnosis, order further testing and prescribe medications.
Alzheimer’s Association CW Kansas Chapter800-272-3900The Central and Western Kansas Chapter provides local knowledge and support related to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s responsible for advocacy at all levels of government and private industry and ultimately seeks to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The 24-hour helpline can connect seniors and families with support and services in the area, such as clinical trials and treatment options, and many of these resources are free of charge.
Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force785-296-4986This statewide task force was created in 2019 and released its first plan for Alzheimer’s disease in Kansas in January of 2020. The plan addresses many specific elements of the disease and caring for those who have it, and it may contain useful information for family caregivers. Topics include access to care, workforce training, rural complications and current research on dementia care in the state.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Kansas

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is responsible for licensing and regulating adult care homes in the state, which include assisted living, memory care, nursing and other residential health care facilities. An overview of relevant points is provided below.

Resident Admission RequirementsUpon admission to an adult care home and at least annually thereafter, residents must receive a functional assessment that covers cognitive and physical abilities and health requirements. These annual assessments must inform the creation and updating of a plan of care tailored to the individual.
Plan of CareEach resident must be covered by a plan of care that is available in writing to the resident and family members. It should include details on the services required and expected costs for each as well as the facility’s list of resident rights and health care policies.
Staffing RequirementsDirect care workers must receive orientation and ongoing training that cover the principles of assisted living, emergency protocol, resident rights, reporting responsibilities and the appropriate care for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. They must also pass a criminal background check and, if applicable, a search of the Kansas nurse aide registry. No specific ratio of staff to residents is mandated, but the staffing levels must be appropriate to the situation.
Medication RequirementsBy default, most residents of adult care homes in Kansas can maintain possession of medication and self-administer unless otherwise forbidden. Residents with Alzheimer’s generally aren’t permitted to self-administer for safety reasons and require administration by a licensed nurse or certified medication aide.
Medicaid SubsidyKansas Medicaid (KanCare) and its Frail Elderly waiver may subsidize memory care in an assisted living facility, but it won’t cover room and food costs.
Reporting of Abuse and NeglectComplaints related to any long-term care facility in Kansas can be submitted over the phone at 877-662-8362, by email or via the online complaint form of the Kansas long-term care ombudsman program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Kansas?

Memory care costs an average of $5,591 per month in Kansas. This cost is 25% higher than assisted living and roughly 10% more expensive than the norm for the United States.

Are there financial assistance programs for memory care in Kansas?

Yes. Kansas Medicaid, the Frail Elderly waiver and the Senior Care Act program cover certain aspects of care for those with Alzheimer’s.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Memory care is provided in a building or dedicated wing that is secured to prevent wandering and also staffed with appropriately trained employees. Memory care residents are provided with activities based on cognitive abilities.

What types of therapies are offered in memory care facilities?

This is entirely dependent on the individual facility. Common options that are unique to memory care include validation, art, music and reminiscence therapies.

What security features are present in memory care facilities?

Memory care units and facilities generally employ tighter access controls, such as keypad locks on doors and elevators, as well as motion sensors or cameras at the perimeter.