In Kansas, those aged 65 and over make up a little over 16% of the population, and according to data from the Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force, approximately 54,000 people in this demographic are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2025, that number is projected to increase to 62,000. 

For those seeking memory care for loved ones with dementia, Kansas offers a range of resources and benefits. Its cost of living is about 15% lower than the national average, and generally warm weather with just 15 inches of annual snowfall makes it easy to visit loved ones in residential care. Top medical facilities serve the state, including the University of Kansas Hospital, providing outstanding care for older adults. The state also has several dozen memory care facilities where residents get professional support and supervision. On average, memory care costs $5,725 monthly in Kansas, which is slightly higher than the national average. 

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 more information on memory care costs in and around Kansas as well as how seniors may be able to use Medicaid and other financial assistance options to cover care costs. It also highlights top resources for seniors and families affected by dementia and answers to frequently asked questions regarding memory care.  

The Cost of Memory Care in Kansas

Note: Memory care is typically provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, but because they feature additional services and have increased staff training requirements, care costs are typically 20-30% higher than standard assisted living rates. Nationwide memory care cost data Isn’t available, so we estimate costs by adding 25% to assisted living rates in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey

In Kansas, memory care residents pay $5,725 per month for services, which is relatively consistent with the national median rate of $5,625. Compared to its bordering states, Kansas is a relatively expensive option for care, with only Colorado having higher care costs of $5,938. In Nebraska, monthly memory care rates are several hundred less than in Kansas at $5,095, and in Oklahoma, seniors pay $4,819. Arkansas seniors pay an estimated $4,700 per month, and in Missouri, rates are among the lowest in the nation at $3,750. 

$5725

Kansas

$5625

The United States

$5095

Nebraska

$5938

Colorado

$4819

Oklahoma

$4700

Arkansas

$3750

Missouri

Of the four surveyed cities in Kansas, Topeka is the cheapest option for memory care services, with local facilities charging an estimated $5,619 per month for care. In Lawrence, rates are a little higher at $5,673. Seniors in Manhattan pay $6,748 for services, and facilities in Wichita charge the highest surveyed rates in the state of $6,781. 

$5673

Lawrence

$6748

Manhattan

$5619

Topeka

$6781

Wichita

Memory care is among the costliest senior care options in Kansas at $5,725 per month. Nursing homes, which provide a higher level of care for those with more extensive medical needs, charge $6,296 for shared accommodations and $6,813 for private rooms. Older adults who arrange for care services in their own homes pay $4,576 for in-home care and $4,671 for home health care. Assisted living, which is similar to memory care but doesn’t provide dementia support, costs $4,580 per month. Adult day care, which provides dementia services in a daytime community setting, is the cheapest senior care option at $1,788. 

$5725

Memory Care

$4576

In-Home Care

$4671

Home Health Care

$1788

Adult Day Care

$4580

Assisted Living

$6296

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

$6813

Nursing Home (private)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Kansas?

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 Kansas.

Income-qualifying seniors in Kansas may pay for memory care through the state’s Medicaid program, officially called KanCare. While KanCare doesn’t pay for residential care under its regular coverage, it features the Frail Elderly Waiver, which expands its benefits to include some personal care services.  

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Kansas 

Kansas Medicaid’s Frail Elderly Waiver covers supportive services to help older adults maintain as much independence as possible. The services someone receives under this program depend on their own needs. To determine the level of coverage, a case manager conducts a thorough assessment with the help of the individual applying for coverage and/or their responsible persons.  

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Kansas 

Frail Elderly Waiver 

The Frail Elderly Waiver is a Home and Community Based Service Waiver that helps those who require nursing home level care to remain in the community. While it doesn’t pay for housing or meals, it covers a range of other services that memory care facilities may provide, which may reduce overall monthly care expenses. These services include:  

  • Adult day care 
  • Assistive technology 
  • Personal care services 
  • Supportive services 
  • Medication reminders 
  • Enhanced care services, including assistance with toileting, mobility assistance and liquid intake 
  • Telehealth 
  • Financial management services 
  • Nursing evaluation visits 
  • Dental services  
  • Personal emergency response systems 
  • Wellness monitoring 

To qualify for this waiver program, applicants must meet Medicaid’s age and residency criteria, and they must be assessed by a qualified case manager to need the services this waiver provides. Seniors are free to choose their own providers, but they must obtain services from memory care facilities that are licensed to accept payment from Medicaid. There are no income limits for Medicaid waivers in Kansas, but depending on the applicant’s countable income, they may be required to pay some of their own money towards their care. 

To learn more about this waiver or to begin the application process, seniors or their representatives should call the program manager at (785) 296-4983. 

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Kansas 

Kansas Medicaid has strict income and asset guidelines applicants must comply with to be eligible for coverage. The household income limit for single and married applicants is $5,700 per year, and single applicants may have up to $2,000 in countable assets and married applicants may have up to $3,000. While these income limits are low, those who qualify for Supplemental Security Income, which has an income limit of $10,092 for single applicants and $15,132 for married applicants, are automatically eligible. Those whose income and assets exceed these limits but who are still unable to afford care may qualify through Medicaid planning.  

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Kansas 

Income Limits*  

Asset Limits 

Single Applicant 

$5,700 

$2,000 

Two-Person Household 

(Only One Person Applying) 

$5,700 

 

$3,000 

Two-Person Household 
(Both People Applying) 

$5,700 

$3,000 

*Per year 

Seniors must meet additional eligibility criteria to qualify for Medicaid. These include: 

  • Age: Applicants must be at least 65 years old 
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be legal U.S. citizens or residents 
  • Residency: Applicants must be permanent Kansas residents 
  • Need: Applicants must need primary or secondary health insurance coverage 

How to Apply for Medicaid in Kansas 

Seniors or their responsible persons can apply for Medicaid online by visiting the KanCare Medical Consumer Self-Service Portal. To obtain a paper application, individuals can contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at (800) 792-4884. Once they fill out the application, they can mail it to KanCare Clearinghouse at P.O. Box 3599, Topeka, KS 66601 or faxed it to (844) 264-6285. 

Information You Will Need 

To ensure a speedy application and approval process, seniors should have several pieces of information on hand. This includes: 

  • Birth certificate 
  • Proof of address 
  • Social Security card 
  • Proof of income and assets 
  • Policy numbers for existing health insurance, including Medicare 

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid 

There are several resources to help older adults navigate the system and obtain the health insurance coverage that’s best for their needs. Through the following helplines and programs, seniors in Kansas get personalized assistance with applying for Medicaid, disputing denied claims and understanding their benefits.  

Resource 

Contact  

Description 

The American Council on Aging highlights key information on Kansas’s Medicaid program, including income and asset limits, waiver options and details on how to apply for coverage. It also outlines the state programs that can help older adults qualify for coverage if they exceed financial limits.   

(855) 643-8180 

The KanCare Ombudsman answers questions regarding Medicaid and helps callers review and understand documents they receive from Medicaid. The ombudsman can also help resolve issues regarding their coverage and assist seniors with filing complaints, appeals or fair hearings.  

(800) 792-4884 

The Office of Administrative Hearings processes eligibility state fair hearings, which seniors can file if they believe they were wrongfully denied Medicaid coverage. By requesting an eligibility state fair hearing, seniors can take their case before a judge and testify on their own behalf or through a lawyer regarding their eligibility for Medicaid.  

(785) 296-8637 

The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General fields and investigates reports regarding Medicaid fraud, waste or abuse. If Medicaid beneficiaries or their representatives are concerned about billing errors, charges for services not rendered or excessive services in memory care facilities, they can file a complaint with this agency.  

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Kansas?

The short answer is that no, Medicare does not cover the cost of memory care in Kansas. 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 Kansas.

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Kansas

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.

Reverse Mortgages

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 Kansas

Kansas has several agencies and programs that guide seniors and families in making challenging decisions regarding long-term care options. These resources provide legal and financial advice, options counseling and referrals for community-based resources, helping those with dementia obtain the support they need for optimal quality of life. 

Resource  

Contact 

Description 

(855) 200-2372 

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services operates a variety of community-based programs for those aged 60 and over. It houses the Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force, which improves the lives of those with dementia through initiatives such as public awareness, promoting access to care, training tools and direct dementia services. The department also operates 11 Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state where residents can meet with long-term care options counselors for help with understanding memory care options in their communities as well as ways they can pay for services.  

(785) 296-3976 

The Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs operates two veterans’ homes in the state, including the Kansas Soldiers’ Home in Fort Dodge and the Kansas Veterans’ Home in Winfield, where residents get free or low-cost residential long-term care services. The commission administers state and federal benefits such as state income tax deductions, Aid and Attendance and disability compensation, which may help cover memory care. Veterans get help over the phone or in person by visiting their county’s local office.  

(800) 723-6953 

Kansas Legal Services provides over-the-phone and in-person assistance with navigating issues related to dementia, including public benefits counseling and assistance, understanding memory care contracts and resolving issues related to the quality of care in residential facilities. The organization also operates the Elder Law Hotline, which those aged 60 and over can call at (888) 353-5337 for assistance and referrals.  

(785) 296-3017 

The Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has paid and volunteer advocates who visit memory care communities throughout Kansas to ensure they comply with state regulations and provide a high standard of care. The ombudsman helps families learn about long-term care options and ways to pay for services and resolves complaints on behalf of memory care residents. 

(913) 588-0555 

The KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center is a nonprofit program that provides access to information regarding Alzheimer’s, current research and treatment options. It also has clinical research trial opportunities for older adults with and without dementia diagnoses.  

(800) 272-3900 

There are two chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association in Kansas, including the Central and Western Kansas Chapter and the Heart of American Chapter. Through these local offices, seniors and families affected by Alzheimer’s access a range of services and resources including free one-on-one care consultations, support groups, dementia-friendly social and recreational activities and networking opportunities. The organization also has a 24-hour toll-free helpline that provides callers with information and referrals for resources in the community.  

(800) 989-8137 

The Kansas Care Planning Council is a nonprofit organization that provides up-to-date information on a range of topics pertaining to memory care, including how to pay for services with veterans benefits and reverse mortgages, accessing public benefits such as Medicaid and finding wellness services in the community. The council also has a list of memory care facilities in the state.  

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Kansas

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including kdads.ks.gov and cdc.gov. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 4/25/2022, 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.

Visitation Policies

Rules for Kansas Communities

Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?

Yes

Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?

No

Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?

Yes

Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Kansas Communities

Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

Rules for Kansas Communities

Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?

Yes

Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?

Yes

Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?

Yes

Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

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.

MEMORY CARE LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN KANSAS
Resident Admission Requirements
Upon 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 Care
Each 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 Requirements
Direct 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 Requirements
By 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 Subsidy
Kansas 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 Neglect
Complaints 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 $5,725 per month in Kansas. This cost is $1,145 higher than assisted living and $100 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.