Memory Care in Louisiana
Alzheimer’s disease ranks sixth among the leading causes of death in Louisiana, the same as the United States as a whole. As of 2018, 2,166 deaths in the Pelican State have been associated with the disease. In addition, around 20% of emergency room visits, hospital readmissions and hospice cases are related to patients with dementia. The estimated number of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is projected to grow by 19.6% in five years, from 92,000 in 2020 to 110,000 in 2025. With this estimated population increase, the greater demand for medical care means the state’s current number of geriatricians needs to increase by 539% in 2050.
To provide specialized care for seniors with irreversible dementia, memory care facilities in Louisiana offer supportive homelike environments. These facilities operate as specialized care programs in licensed adult residential care providers or assisted living establishments. Memory care programs are carefully designed for the residents’ holistic well-being and usually feature brain-healthy food, therapeutic life stations and individualized activities for cognitive, physical and social wellness.
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 helps seniors and their families know more about memory care in Louisiana, its expected costs, financial assistance programs, available free resources and facility regulations.
The Cost of Memory Care in Louisiana
Memory care usually costs 20% to 30% more than standard assisted living, primarily due to the higher level of care that residents with dementia require. The higher pricing usually compensates a memory care facility’s larger staff-to-resident ratio, enhanced security features and specialized programs. Memory care facilities in Louisiana include standalone residences and specialized care units within larger senior communities. Actual costs for each facility normally vary based on location, service programming and pricing structure. For cost comparison purposes, memory care costs are derived from adjusted assisted living costs.
Memory Care Costs in Nearby States
Louisiana is the most expensive state in the Deep South for memory care. However, its average cost of $4,563 per month is about $500 lower than the U.S. average of $5,064, according to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey for 2019. The Bayou State is also one of the costliest options for memory care compared to its surrounding states. Texas is the most expensive neighboring state at $4,688, more than $100 higher than Louisiana. Mississippi is considered midrange at $4,405, costing about $160 less. The most affordable nearby states are Arkansas and Alabama, which are close to $4,000, saving seniors around $500 to $600 per month.
Cost of Other Types of Care in Louisiana
Memory care is among the most expensive options for senior care in Louisiana, at $4,563 per month. This is about $900 more expensive than standard assisted living, which has an average cost of $3,650. However, it’s nearly $900 more affordable than nursing home care, which costs $5,434. Seniors should weigh these three care options based on their needs and preferences, as memory care facilities provide both assisted living services and intermittent skilled nursing care in safe, homelike settings.
For seniors who prefer to stay in their own homes, in-home and home health care in Louisiana have comparable average costs within the $3,200 range. These estimated costs are around $1,300 more affordable than memory care, but this difference covers the costs for meals, accommodations and 24-hour supervision. Adult day care may be the most cost-saving care option, at $1,625 per month, but its limited scope of care may call for additional services and costs for seniors with moderate to severe dementia.
Home Health Care
Adult Day Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home Care
The Cost of Memory Care in Louisiana’s Top Cities
Comparing Costs Across Louisiana
Louisiana’s memory care costs significantly vary by location, ranging from $3,700 to $5,900 per month. New Orleans, the state’s largest city, is the most expensive area, at $5,875. Shreveport is the second most expensive area, at $4,654, but it’s significantly more affordable than New Orleans by about $1,200. Many places in the Acadiana region have midrange costs, including Lafayette at $4,556 and Lake Charles at $4,385. Alexandria is also midrange at $4,481, while Baton Rouge, the state capital, is among the most affordable major areas for memory care, at $4,141. Older Louisianians with monthly budgets below $4,000 may opt for Monroe or Hammond.
Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Louisiana
Community Choices Waiver
CCW is a Louisiana Medicaid program that covers the costs of a wide range of home and community-based services for seniors and persons with disabilities. Services may include case management, personal care, nursing assessments and rehabilitation therapy services.
Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for CCW, seniors must need a nursing facility level of care and be Medicaid-eligible based on income and resource limits. Those who are eligible for the Long-Term Personal Care Services waiver may also qualify for CCW.
How to Apply
A Medicaid long-term care application form should be submitted to a Medicaid Application Center or online, and existing Medicaid recipients must be waitlisted on the CCW Request for Services Registry.
Long-Term Personal Care Services Waiver
Louisiana Medicaid’s LT-PCS waiver allows qualified recipients to receive assistance with activities of daily living. These include self-care tasks, mobility assistance, light housekeeping, medication reminders, shopping and escorting to medical appointments.
Who Is Eligible?
Applicants must need a nursing facility level of care and require assistance with at least one ADL. Qualified LT-PCS recipients who require more supportive services may also be eligible for CCW.
Adult Day Health Care Waiver
The ADHC waiver pays for the costs of community-based services provided by ADHC centers, and these services include personal care, meals, social services, medication assistance, case management, and nursing and medical services. An adult day health care center may be a standalone establishment or part of a senior center, assisted living facility, nursing home or hospital.
Who Is Eligible?
ADHC recipients must qualify for a nursing facility level of care and be eligible for Medicaid based on income and resource limits.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
PACE benefits participants with a comprehensive range of services, including personal care, primary care, medical services, social services and recreational therapy. These services may be provided in homes, ADHC centers, nursing facilities and hospitals.
Who Is Eligible?
Louisianians 55 and older must meet Medicaid’s financial eligibility requirements, need a nursing home level of care and reside within the service areas of PACE providers. PACE enrollees would no longer get Medicaid and Medicare benefits but may receive them again upon disenrollment from the program.
How to Apply
Existing Medicaid or Medicare recipients should contact a local PACE center for more information. First-time Medicaid applicants may submit a completed Medicaid long-term care application form to a Medicaid Application Center or online.
Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Louisiana
State and local services related to dementia, long-term care and other aging-related concerns are available to older Louisianians and their families. These free resources include state-supported information and referral agencies, local senior service centers, elder law networks and advance care planning tools.
|Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter||800-272-3900||Serving all parishes across the Pelican State, the Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter offers local support groups and educational resources to seniors and families affected by dementia.|
|Louisiana Answers||225-342-7100||Louisiana Answers is an online platform that provides easy access to services from the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers. It offers seniors, families and caregivers comprehensive information on available long-term supports and services. Louisiana’s eight regional ADRCs are also primary access points for the state’s SenioRx program.|
|Adult Day Health Care Services||See directory to find your local facility in the link to the left.||As an alternative to nursing facilities, Louisiana’s licensed Adult Day Health Care centers provide a comprehensive range of medical, skilled nursing, social and personal care services to adults and seniors with functional impairments, including those with dementia.|
|Senior Centers||See directory to find your local facility in the link to the left.||Louisiana’s senior centers serve as the focal points for local services provided by the state’s Councils on Aging or Area Agencies on Aging. These services may include congregate meals, wellness activities, public education and information and assistance on long-term care programs.|
|LousisianaLawHelp.org||985-345-21304||A project of Louisiana’s Access to Justice Community that consists of five nonprofit law organizations, LouisianaLawHelp.org offers free information and referrals to low-income individuals and their local legal aid providers. Its free 60+ Senior resources include information on living wills, powers of attorney, long-term care services and elder abuse.|
|Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment||225-334-9299||Supported by the Alzheimer’s Association and approved by the State Legislature, LaPOST is a Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum initiative that documents the end-of-life care plans and personal wishes of patients with serious and advanced illnesses. Authorized health care providers can seamlessly access these documents via the LaPOST electronic registry.|
Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Louisiana
Assisted living facilities in Louisiana are referred to as Adult Residential Care Programs, and those that provide memory care services are designated with Specialized Dementia Care Programs. These facilities are licensed by the Health Standards Section of the Louisiana Department of Health and have their own general provisions.
|Scope of Care||Upon request by the public, Adult Residential Care Providers with specialized dementia care programs shall provide written information on the following:|
|Care Plans||Within 30 calendar days of a resident’s admission, an ARCP shall develop a Person-Centered Service Plan based on the resident’s assessment.|
|Medication Management||Medication administration may only be performed by registered nurses, licensed nursing practitioners and those licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy. Intravenous therapy by staff from select ARCPs is permitted on a time-limited basis and must be under the supervision of a licensed RN, physician or advanced practice nurse.|
|Staffing||ARCPs shall have sufficient and trained direct care staff at all times to meet the residents’ scheduled and unscheduled needs. Within the first 90 days of employment, all ARCP employees must receive dementia training based on dementia-specific training curricula approved by the LDH. In addition, direct care staff shall receive at least eight hours of dementia-specific training annually, while non-direct care employees who have regular contact with residents require at least two hours annually. All other employees shall receive written general information on interacting with residents with dementia.|
|Medicaid Coverage||Residents enrolled in home and community-based services waivers should have comprehensive care plans developed in accordance with Medicaid’s or the LDH’s policies and procedures. These care plans may substitute PCSPs for reimbursement purposes. However, a PCSP must be coordinated if a resident needs services beyond what the comprehensive plan of care provides.|
|Reporting Abuse||ARCPs shall report suspected incidents of abuse, neglect, injuries of unknown origin and misappropriation of personal property to the HSS. An initial report shall be submitted within 24 hours of occurrence or discovery of the incident, and a final report must be submitted within five business days regardless of the outcome.|
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does memory care cost in Louisiana?
The average monthly cost for memory care in Louisiana is $4,563 per month, based on a rough estimate where memory care is priced 20% to 30% higher than standard assisted living. This figure is about 19% more affordable compared to nursing home care in the Bayou State.
Does Louisiana Medicaid pay for memory care?
Yes. Louisiana’s Medicaid waivers for home and community-based services cover seniors who are financially eligible and require a nursing facility level of care. Some recipients may also qualify for more than one waiver program, and some programs are subject to waiting lists.
Does Medicare pay for memory care?
Medicare doesn’t directly pay for memory care services in residential facilities. However, it covers care planning and cognitive assessment costs for eligible seniors diagnosed with dementia, and it may provide partial coverage of skilled nursing services and hospice care.
What are activities of daily living?
Activities of daily living are routine self-care tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and mobility. These ADLs require basic life skills for them to be properly performed, and they are used for evaluating an individual’s abilities and long-term care needs.
What security features are present in memory care facilities?
Memory care facilities are secured by controlled-entry access and 24-hour monitoring and alert systems that detect incidents of wandering. Residential units are equipped with emergency call systems, and residents may wear medical alert pendants or bracelets for added safety.