Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are some of the most stressful health issues for families throughout the state of Kentucky. There are currently more than 75,000 seniors in the state living with Alzheimer’s disease. According to projections, this number will go up by 11,000 in just the next five years. Millions of individuals, families and caregivers are affected by this disease on a daily basis. In addition to being the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is responsible for a large increase in emergency room visits and hospital readmissions.

Seniors and families in Kentucky who are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease may benefit from the help provided by a facility that offers memory care. The Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living licenses and regulates assisted living communities, which can be staffed by individuals who are trained to care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

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 a complete look at memory care in Kentucky, including estimated costs, financial assistance programs, free resources and state regulations.

The Cost of Memory Care in Kentucky

The memory care provided within assisted living communities throughout Kentucky requires specialized staff training and equipment, which can make costs higher than typical residential care. That’s why, on average, memory care costs 20-30% more than assisted living. The cost comparisons in this guide are based on appropriate adjustments made to the average costs of assisted living. Rates can also be higher or lower depending on a community’s location, programming and pricing structure.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

According to Genworth Financial’s Cost of Care Survey for 2019, seniors in Kentucky can expect to pay $4,372 per month, which is about $700 less expensive than the national average of $5,064. The most costly neighboring state is Virginia, at $6,000. West Virginia and Tennessee are just a few hundred dollars more than Kentucky, at $4688 and $4,875 per month, respectively. Of its neighboring states, Kentucky is only more expensive than Missouri, the cheapest at $3,601 per month.

$4372

Kentucky

$5064

National

$3601

Missouri

$4688

West Virginia

$4875

Tennessee

$6000

Virginia

Cost of Other Types of Care in Kentucky

At $4,372 per month, memory care is one of the more expensive types of long-term care for seniors in Kentucky. Nursing homes are the most costly, at $6,905 per month for a semiprivate room, but memory care within an assisted living community provides a more traditional living environment with enhancements like specialized staff training and cognitive programs. In-home care, which costs about $500 less per month than memory care, is an alternative for some seniors. Adult day care is the cheapest option for seniors in Kentucky, at just $1,560, but this option lacks many of the amenities and services families require.

$4372

Memory Care

$3813

In-Home Care

$3813

Home Health Care

$1560

Adult Day Care

$3497

Assisted Living Facility

$6905

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Kentucky’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Kentucky

Due to the diversity within Kentucky, memory care costs can vary by more than $2,500 between cities. By far the least expensive area in the state for memory care is Owensboro, which has an average monthly cost of $2,708. At nearly $1,500 more per month, the next least expensive city is Elizabethtown, with a monthly average of $4,250. Bowling Green, which is in the central party of Kentucky, is about right in the middle of prices, at $4,500 per month. The two most expensive areas for memory care are in the state’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington. They have monthly averages of $5,091 and $5,371, respectively.

$2708

Owensboro

$4250

Elizabethtown

$4500

Bowling Green

$5091

Louisville

$5371

Lexington

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Kentucky

The Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Program

The Home and Community-Based Waiver is a Medicaid program that helps older adults with certain disabilities remain in their community and avoid placement in a nursing home. To reach this goal, HCBS provides several support options, including attendant care, home adaptations and home-delivered meals. It also offers specialized and nonspecialized respite care at assisted living communities. One appealing aspect of this program is that it allows for Participant Directed Services, which means that beneficiaries can choose their own employees to carry out nonmedical and nonresidential services.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for HCBS, applicants must be aged 65 or over and meet the financial qualifications for Medicaid and the requirements for admission at a nursing facility.

How to Apply
All applicants for HCBS must first be enrolled in Medicaid. Applications for HCBS can then be filled out online through the Benefind Self-Service Portal or in-person at an Aging and Disability Resource Center or a Community Mental Health Center.

Aid and Attendance Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides benefits to certain veterans and their surviving spouses to help pay for memory care in Kentucky. This is paid on top of their existing pensions so they can afford the additional costs of memory care. Veterans may need to be careful that this benefit doesn’t conflict with other benefits received from systems like Medicaid. The Aid and Attendance benefit may also be called an improved pension or assisted living benefit.

Who Is Eligible?
Veterans who already qualify for the regular VA pension may be eligible for Aid and Attendance. They must also need helps with ADLs, have to stay in bed, be a resident in a nursing home or have limited eyesight.

How to Apply
Applicants can send a completed form to their local pension management center, which is located in Wisconsin for Kentucky residents. Veterans can also apply at a local VA office, which has locations in many Kentucky cities.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Kentucky

A wide array of local and statewide resources are available for Kentucky families who have needs related to Alzheimer’s disease and long-term care. These programs can help families with everything from free referrals and low-cost services to guidance and long-term planning.

ResourceContactServices
Kentucky Association of Hospice and Palliative Care1-888-322-7317This nonprofit state organization provides families with access to hospices and palliative care organizations throughout Kentucky. Many of these organizations offer free programs that are designed to give patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia a pain-free life. It uses a holistic approach to promote independence and quality of life for seniors in memory care.
Alzheimer’s Association1-800-272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association for Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana provides free education programs for seniors and families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It also has a 24/7 helpline to answer questions for both patients and caregivers. This chapter hosts a walk every year to raise funds and awareness.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Council1-502-564-6930This council works with a variety of local agencies, families and organizations to identify ways to help Kentuckians who are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It offers information and education to help Kentuckians locate memory care services and other programs designed to improve quality of life.
Sanders-Brown Center on Aging1-859-323-5550The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is an organization within the University of Kentucky College of Medicine that helps families in need of memory care with a variety of issues. It can help seniors participate in research studies, provide clinical evaluations, offer support to caregivers and perform quick memory screens. It’s also responsible for educating the Kentucky public about Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.
LeadingAge Kentucky1-502-992-4380This nonprofit organization coordinates with memory care professionals in a variety of settings to improve the quality of care for seniors with disabilities throughout Kentucky. Its goal is to offer members information and education, networking and leadership opportunities, and advocacy resources. Seniors in Kentucky who need memory care can benefit from the variety of industry resources LeadingAge gives to service providers.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Kentucky

The assisted living facilities in Kentucky that provide memory care are regulated by the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living. Personal care homes that offer memory care are regulated by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services, Office of Inspector General, Division of Health Care. Any special staff training, services, placement processes, costs and other factors related to memory care must be carefully documented.

Scope of CareSeniors receiving memory care in Kentucky benefit from the entire scope of services provided by assisted living facilities and personal care homes, including the activities of daily living. While regulations don’t require any specific memory care services, any specialty services in this area must be fully documented so that they can be subject to review.
Admission RequirementsResidents at assisted living facilities that provide memory care must be ambulatory or mobile nonambulatory. There is an exception if the condition is temporary. Their care requirements must fall within the scope of care documented by the facility. They must also not be a danger to themselves or others.
Care PlanningPrior to entering a new community, a memory care resident must go through a thorough assessment to determine their exact care needs. A similar assessment must take place at least once per year to identify changing needs. Residents have the right to make additional service arrangements with outside individuals or providers.
Medication ManagementResidents who can self-administer their medication can get help with reminders, opening containers and pouring medication by trained staff members. However, the staff at assisted living facilities, including those with memory care, are not permitted to administer medication for patients directly. Only licensed professionals, such as registered nurses, are allowed to administer medication.
StaffingAssisted living communities with memory care services must have a designated manager, but there are no minimum staffing ratio requirements. At least one staff member must be awake and available at all times, and there must be sufficient staff to meet both the scheduled and unscheduled needs of residents.
Training RequirementsAll staff members at an assisted living facility providing memory care must go through an orientation within 90 days of hire. Workers who are caring directly for residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia must go through specific training related to their duties. Annual education is required for a variety of topics, including resident’s rights, first aid, abuse and neglect, and CPR.
Reporting AbuseResidents in memory care or their loved ones can report abuse to Kentucky’s Elderly Protective Services. It investigates issues involving abuse, neglect and exploitation involving victims aged 60 and older. Louisiana’s Health Standards Section is responsible for investigating complaints and grievances against assisted living facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Kentucky?

Memory care in Kentucky can cost anywhere from $2,708 to $5,371 per month, depending on the location. The least expensive city is Owensboro, while the most expensive is Lexington. The overall Kentucky average is $4,372.

Are there financial assistance programs for memory care in Kentucky?

Some Kentucky seniors may be able to get financial assistance for memory care through Medicaid or the VA. Medicaid recipients can apply for the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Program, which can pay for supports within a memory care setting. Veterans may be eligible for Aid and Attendance, which can pay for room and board.

What are activities of daily living?

Activities of daily living, or ADLs, are the things people need to do to survive and maintain a positive quality of life. They include bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, eating and general mobility.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Memory care usually includes all the amenities and services of assisted living with additional features designed to support residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, such as special cognitive programs and enhanced security.

What security features are present in memory care facilities?

The main security features of memory care facilities are designed to prevent residents from wandering off the property. They can include locked entry and exit points, cameras, fencing and well-lit exteriors. Many properties also have alarms.