Maine is now the state with the highest percentage of seniors in its population — 21.2% of Mainers are aged 65 or older — claiming the title from Florida as of the 2021 Census estimate. With such a large senior population, the number of people with Alzheimer’s in the state is correspondingly high as well. In 2020, there were 29,000 seniors with Alzheimer’s, and by 2025, that number is estimated to be 35,000. The disease ranked as Maine’s sixth-leading cause of death in 2019.

Maine is a relatively safe and healthy state for seniors overall, however, with very low crime rates and above-average ratings for water and air quality. Upon becoming a member of the AARP Age-Friendly Network in 2019, Maine reorganized its public assistance framework for elderly residents. Health care costs are on par with the national median, and memory care services in Maine cost an average of $7,331 per month.

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 understand the typical cost of memory care in Maine and the wider region. Assistance programs from state agencies and nonprofit organizations are also detailed, along with regulations governing memory care and available options to help pay for services. 

The Cost of Memory Care in Maine

Note: The additional care required for people with Alzheimer’s typically increases the monthly cost of assisted living by 20-30%. To estimate memory care costs, we added 25% to the assisted living rates reported in the Genworth Financial’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey

Memory care services in Maine have an average cost of $7,331 per month, which is 30% above the norm for the United States. The cost goes up slightly in neighboring New Hampshire, with its average of $7,566 per month, and climbs even higher in Massachusetts to $8,125. Memory care services in Vermont ($6,563) and New York ($5,725) are significantly more affordable than in Maine. Seniors in Vermont save an average of $768 per month and those in New York save $1,606.

$6461

Maine

$5064

The United States

$6673

New Hampshire

$8776

Vermont

$7050

Massachusetts

$6499

New York

Within Maine, the cost of memory care varies widely depending on location. Bangor is the most affordable of the three cities included in the Genworth survey, with an average cost of $5,938 per month. Rates in Lewiston are also below the statewide average at $6,855 per month. Memory care programs in Portland charge the highest rates, with an average cost of $8,156 per month. 

$8156

Portland

$6855

Lewiston

$5938

Bangor

At $7,331 per month, memory care is one of the more expensive types of senior care available in Maine. Assisted living averages $5,865 per month, followed closely by home care and home health care services, which both cost $5,720. Adult day health care costs an average of $2,600 per month, although not all have programs for people with Alzheimer’s. Nursing homes offer the most expensive level of care in Maine. Semiprivate rooms cost $10,494, on average, while private rooms cost $11,254 per month, which is about $3,000-$4,000 more expensive than the rate paid for memory care.

$7331

Memory Care

$5720

Home Care

$5720

Home Health Care

$2600

Adult Day Health Care

$5865

Assisted Living

$10494

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

$11254

Nursing Home (private)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Maine?

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 Maine.

The state Medicaid program in Maine is known as MaineCare. Seniors and people with disabilities who are eligible for both Medicaid and the Residential/Assisted Living program or Medicaid Waiver for Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities program may receive coverage for memory care services.

These programs are for low-income residents in certain vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, who need help paying for care in order to avoid nursing home placement. 

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Maine

Medicaid recipients who qualify for MaineCare’s Residential/Assisted Living program may receive coverage for services on an individual basis. Financial, functional and other needs are assessed when determining coverage. The following list is a general overview of covered services:

  • Personal care (help with activities of daily living, mobility, hygiene, etc.)
  • Nursing care
  • Personal emergency response system (PERS)
  • Assistive technology (devices that improve quality of life)
  • Environmental modifications (accessibility aids, etc.)
  • Homemaker services
  • Case management
  • Transportation

The cost of room and board in memory care facilities and other types of noninstitutional settings isn’t covered. 

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Maine

Medicaid Waiver for Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities

The Medicaid Waiver for Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities program is available to individuals who meet eligibility guidelines for MaineCare. The services provided through this waiver are based on an assessment of the applicant’s financial status, medical needs and functional ability.

The waiver may cover services provided in the recipient’s own home, a residential care facility or a nursing home. As such, coverage for memory care services is a possibility if determined to be appropriate for the person’s needs and circumstances.

To apply for services through the Medicaid Waiver for Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities program, visit the DHHS website and complete the Long-Term Care application or submit a request online. Assistance with the application process is available at no cost from the resources provided further below.

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

MaineCare is intended to help people with a low income and genuine need for the corresponding services. For the purposes of this guide, we’re focusing on the eligibility requirements for seniors and people with disabilities in residential care facilities, such as memory care and assisted living.

To qualify, an individual must:

  • Be aged 65 and older or blind/disabled
  • Currently live in Maine
  • Be a U.S. citizen (or lawfully admitted alien)
  • Demonstrate a financial need for assistance
  • Demonstrate a functional need for services

Financial eligibility consists of income and asset limits as well as examinations of recent transactions and transfers of money and assets. As of 2022, an individual applying for Medicaid in Maine can have annual income of up to $17,131 and $2,000 in countable assets. Applicants may be required to spend a certain amount of their own income on care each month before the rest is funded by Medicaid.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Maine

 

Income Limits*

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$17,131

$2,000

Two-Person Household (Only One Person Applying)

$23,169

$2,000 for applicant

$137,400 for non applicant

Two-Person Household (Both People Applying)

$23,169

$3,000

*Per year

Applicants must also be assessed as to their functional abilities and requirements. The results of this assessment are used to determine coverage for most long-term care services. As such, coverage of residential care facility services may be provided for an individual who needs more help than what can reasonably be provided at home but doesn’t require nursing home placement.

How to Apply for Medicaid in Maine

Applications for MaineCare can be completed at DHHS district offices or submitted online to begin a step-by-step process that helps determine eligibility for assistance. MaineCare and Long-Term Care applications can be printed out and mailed or delivered to a local DHHS office.

What Information You Will Need

Applicants should expect the process to involve questions and/or requests for verification of financial, medical and personal information. The following is a list of things to keep in mind, as details may be needed to complete the application or during the review stage.

  • Identity (name, date of birth, Social Security number)
  • Disabilities and/or blindness (and whether an official decision from Social Security has been received)
  • Income (including benefits)
  • Assets (stocks, bonds, trusts, annuities, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, etc.)
  • Expenses (care, rent, mortgage, property taxes, insurance, utilities, etc.)
  • Health insurance coverage (policy name, service coverage and other details)

If the application is missing information or contains something that can’t be verified, the applicant will be asked for further details and/or specific documents relevant to that claim.

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

The resources detailed here may help seniors, people with disabilities and their representatives in the various stages of applying for Medicaid and other assistance. Information and assistance from these sources is provided at no cost.

Program Name

Contact Information

Services Available

Call (855) 797-4357 or view local contact listings online

The Maine DHHS is responsible for the state Medicaid program (MaineCare) and can provide assistance with applications over the phone or in person at district offices throughout the state. DHHS staff can also help residents make an appointment for the functional assessment required for long-term care services.

Call (877) 353-3771 with questions and requests

Medicare beneficiaries in Maine, and those who expect to be eligible soon, can access free services and assistance via SHIP. Staff can clarify the different parts and plans available through Medicare, and importantly, the ways in which Medicaid can interact with Medicare. Callers are connected with local agencies to deal with the relevant issues, such as getting in-person help to enroll in programs.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Maine?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Maine

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 Maine

Maine residents can contact the agencies and nonprofit organizations listed below for free help with accessing dementia resources, legal services and financial assistance programs, among other services.

Program Name

Contact Information

Services Available

View the service map to find local offices and contacts

Maine's Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) provides information and direct services to eligible residents via this network of local centers. Seniors and people with disabilities can ask about local and state assistance programs, Medicare and healthcare issues, legal assistance, assistive technology and aging-related topics in general.

Call (866) 636-0355 or find in-person help locations by zip code

This is the official health insurance marketplace for Maine. Applications for coverage via the website are also reviewed for MaineCare (Medicaid) eligibility, which can help streamline the process and reduce paperwork for those expecting to obtain both forms of coverage.

Call the national helpline at (800) 272-3900 or visit the website for information

The Alzheimer's Association chapter in Maine helps people with the disease and those who care for them. The helpline is available 24/7 for anyone with questions, and local support groups are hosted on a regular basis. The website also features a calendar of events as well as news and clinical trial updates.

Call (800) 499-0229 with questions or concerns

The LTCO Program is a free source of answers and assistance for Maine residents of long-term care facilities and those in need of memory care services. Staff can help residents and their families understand their rights and investigate complaints on their behalf. Seniors and caregivers with questions about long-term care services and financial assistance programs can call for assistance.

Call (800) 750-5353 or learn more on the website

Low-income residents aged 60 and older in Maine may be eligible for free assistance and legal representation for civil matters. Lawyers at MLSE can help seniors and their families in matters such as access to public benefits and long-term care facilities, guardianships, wills and estates, and consumer fraud.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Maine

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including maine.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 4/25/22, 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 Maine 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 Maine 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 Maine 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 Maine

Assisted living facilities and dementia care units are licensed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services. This agency sets specific standards for resident accommodations and all aspects of care.

MEMORY CARE LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN MAINE
Scope of Care
Residential care facilities provide 24-hour personal assistance, service coordination, housekeeping and related services. Additionally, licensed dementia care units must provide weekly individual and group activities that promote physical activity, self-care, social engagement and spiritual well-being. They must also offer outdoor activities, crafts and multisensory therapy.
Facilities
Dementia care units must provide a secure, segregated or locked environment with comfortable, noninstitutional common areas that promote freedom of movement. Facilities must also establish written policies and procedures for addressing dementia-related behaviors, such as wandering.
Care Plans
Individualized service plans must be developed within 30 days of admission and reassessed every six months. Facilities must secure a written diagnosis of Alzheimer's or dementia, as well as documentation appointing a health care agent who is authorized to make decisions on the resident's behalf.
Medication Management
Maine permits self-administration and staff-guided medication management based on a resident assessment performed at the time of admission. Such activities must be performed by a specially trained staff member or overseen by a registered nurse.
Staffing
New employees must complete eight hours of classroom training and eight hours of clinical orientation related to dementia before direct patient contact. All certified nursing assistants must pass a criminal background check.
Medicaid Coverage
Financial assistance for personal care and related services provided in a residential care facility may be available through the Section 19 home- and community-based services Elderly and Adults With Disabilities Waiver, or the Section 20 home- and community-based services Adults with Other Related Conditions Waiver.
Reporting Abuse
Instances of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or any rights violation must be reported immediately to the Department of Health and Human Services by calling 1-800 383-2441.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Maine?

The median cost of memory care in Maine is $7,331, although rates may vary depending on the geographic location and facility amenities and services. According to survey responses from long-term care providers, the average monthly cost across the state ranges from $5,938 in Bangor to $8,156 in Portland.

Are there financial assistance programs for memory care in Maine?

Yes, individuals who meet medical and financial criteria may qualify for the state’s Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver, which is part of Medicaid. Families who don’t qualify for other programs may be eligible for the Maine Caregiver Respite Program, which covers a limited amount of institutional and in-home care. Military benefits can also help with these costs.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Memory care is type of assisted living provided in a dedicated unit. These facilities have secure entry systems and advanced security features to prevent wandering and ensure resident safety. They also provide specialized individual and group activities geared toward individuals who have memory loss or cognitive impairments.

Does Medicare pay for memory care?

Unfortunately, traditional Medicare does not pay for personal assistance provided at home or in a residential care facility. Relevant benefits included in this federal health insurance program are limited to hospice care and up to 100 days of skilled nursing. Alternatively, seniors may qualify for a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan designed especially for individuals with dementia. These plans may cover the cost of personal care provided in designated settings, but they aren’t available in all areas.

What types of therapies are offered in memory care facilities?

Activities and therapeutic services offered by memory care facilities are designed to create a calm, peaceful environment while giving residents a sense of personal achievement. In particular, habilitation therapy is intended to enhance residents’ day-to-day functioning. Multisensory activities, such as music, pet visits, massage and aromatherapy, may also be helpful.

Memory Care Facilities in Maine (3)