Michigan has a large senior community of about 1.8 million people, which makes up 18% of the 10 million residents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of Alzheimer’s-related deaths in the state has remained steady in recent years. Between 2016 and 2020, the number of deaths linked to Alzheimer’s went up by 24%. During this reporting period, the number of deaths from all causes went up by 25%. In both 2016 and 2020, Alzheimer’s was the main cause of 7% of deaths in the state.

There are numerous dementia care facilities throughout the state that offer specialized solutions for seniors and families impacted by Alzheimer’s. At these facilities, residents have around-the-clock monitoring, individualized care plans and daily meals. Facilities help residents remain engaged through dementia-informed recreational programs, which may include brain games, life skills stations and therapeutic activities such as gardening and picnics.

This guide helps families determine whether memory care is right for their loved ones by highlighting the cost of care, ways to pay for services and resources that provide information and support.

The Cost of Memory Care in Michigan

Note: Most often, residential memory care is provided within assisted living facilities. The cost of memory care is generally 20-30% higher than standard assisted living. Because there isn’t a national database that tracks the cost of memory care throughout the United States, costs listed here are estimated based on assisted living costs provided by the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey plus an extra 25%. 

At an average of $5,213 per month, the cost of memory care in Michigan is among the lowest when compared to nearby states. Indiana is slightly more expensive at $5,354 monthly, while Wisconsin and Ohio are priced even higher at $5,750 and $5,794, respectively.

$5213

Michigan

$5625

The United States

$5438

Wisconsin

$5794

Ohio

$5354

Indiana

In most of Michigan’s cities, memory care rates hover just above $5,000 per month. In Jackson, one of the least expensive cities, seniors pay an average of $5,000 monthly, while Muskegon and Detroit are just slightly more expensive at $5,016 and $5,269 per month. Farther south in Kalamazoo, seniors pay about $5,438 monthly, while in Midland and Lansing, memory care is just a little less at $5,325 and $5,391 per month, respectively.

$5016

Muskegon

$5269

Detroit

$5325

Midland

$5000

Jackson

$5438

Kalamazoo

$5391

Lansing

There are several options for senior care outside of memory care. That includes home care, which averages $5,529 per month in Michigan, as well as assisted living, for which most seniors in the state pay $4,250 per month. Adult day health care provides non-residential care for seniors at $1,733 per month, while nursing homes are best for seniors who require around-the-clock medical supervision and costs $9,095 monthly for a semiprivate room and $9,855 for a private room.

$1733

Adult Day Health Care

$4250

Assisted Living

$5529

Home Care

$5529

Home Health Care

$5213

Memory Care

$9095

Nursing Home (semi-private)

$9855

Nursing Home (private)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Michigan?

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 Michigan.

Although Medicaid doesn’t cover memory care directly, there is a waiver program available to help Medicaid-eligible seniors access financial help to cover the cost of memory care.

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Michigan?

Memory care services provided in a licensed facility are generally covered under Medicaid’s MI Choice Waiver Program. While the cost of room and board is excluded from coverage, seniors can get help paying for their care and therapies received, whether living at home or within a community setting.

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Michigan

MI Choice Waiver Program

Michigan seniors who require memory care and who are Medicaid beneficiaries can obtain help with the cost of their care under the MI Choice Waiver Program. This waiver exists to help seniors with dementia and other conditions access services that help them avoid nursing home placement. It can cover the cost of care in memory care or assisted living facilities, as well as the cost of home care or adult day care services. 

Covered services include personal care, including help with mobility and daily tasks, as well as medication management. On top of that, cognitive and behavioral therapies provided to seniors in memory care facilities are generally covered under this waiver.

Seniors can apply for the MI Choice Waiver by contacting their local HHS office online, in person or over the phone.

How to Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Michigan

Eligibility requirements for Michigan’s Medicaid program include age and financial restrictions. When applying on the basis of age, only those aged 65 and older who are full-time residents of Michigan and who have permanent or legal citizenship qualify for general Medicaid. 

While regular Medicaid for aged, blind or disabled applicants requires a maximum income of $1,133 per month or $13,596 per year, the MI waiver income limit is slightly higher at $2,523 per month or $30,276 per year. Seniors may not own more than $2,000 in assets, with the exception of their home and any other exempt assets. 

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Michigan

Income Limits* 
Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$13,596

$2,000

Two-Person Household
(Only One Person Applying)

$18,312

$3,000

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$18,312

$3,000

*per year

How to Apply for Medicaid in Michigan

There are three ways to apply for Medicaid in Michigan, each providing different communication options to suit seniors’ preferences. They are:

  • Online: Visit MI Bridges and follow the onscreen instructions
  • Phone: Call (855) 789-5610 to be connected with the Michigan Health Care Helpline
  • In-Person: Visit your local Department of Human Services office

Information You Will Need

When you apply for Medicaid in Michigan, you’ll be required to provide information about your income, spending and assets. Be prepared to provide the following:

  • Government-issued photo ID verifying your citizenship and residency status
  • Proof of ownership for any assets, including your home and vehicle as well as burial plots if applicable
  • Your income tax returns for the past 5 years

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Michigan

Applying for Medicaid in Michigan can be confusing and possibly stressful for some seniors. Fortunately, there are organizations that provide information and direct support for free.

Resource

Contact

Description

Online Only

The ACOA provides free information and online support for seniors who want to know more about Medicaid in North Dakota. The website includes some useful tools, such as an eligibility checker and a spend-down calculator, to help visitors determine whether they can apply for Medicaid or if they need to spend down their assets to meet the program's limits.

Visit MI Bridges website

Michigan’s Health and Human Services department manages the state’s medicaid program. It provides help for potential applicants through the state-owned MI Bridges website. There, seniors will find step-by-step guidance and helpful YouTube videos. Those not confident using the site can download paper-based help documents here

Submit an online application to be directed to a local counselor

The program provides free and unbiased information, advice and direct assistance to Michigan seniors who want to know more about Medicaid. Counselors can help them determine if they might qualify prior to their application and discuss what Medicaid will and won’t pay for in their unique cases.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Michigan?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Michigan

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 toward 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 Michigan

There are plenty of free and low-cost resources available for seniors in Michigan who are living with dementia and memory loss. These may provide help in accessing healthcare and prescriptions, as well as assistance with benefits and long-term care.

Program 

Contact

Services Provided

Contact regional agency

Seniors in Michigan can access help with a variety of needs via the state's Area Agencies on Aging, which offer assistance with benefits, local aging services, nutritional care, transportation and caregiver training.

Contact via website

The Michigan Rx Card helps eligible seniors and other residents of Michigan access discounts of up to 80% on their out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. Participation in this program is free of charge for those who are unable to afford the cost of prescriptions independently.

(866) 485-9393

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program ensures that memory care and assisted living facilities throughout the state are adhering to local, state and federal regulations. It also accepts and resolves complaints regarding elder abuse or other violations.

(800) 272-3900

The Alzheimer's Association works with seniors who are living with dementia, helping them access local resources and services that can provide them with memory support and cognitive therapy. Additionally, this organization offers caregiver training and support groups for both seniors and caregivers.

(866) 400-9164

Elder Law of Michigan is a nonprofit organization that provides seniors with legal help. Its services include pension counseling, benefits counseling, financial legal advice and help in elder abuse cases.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Michigan

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including michigan.gov/coronavirus. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/8/2022, 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 Michigan 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

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

Not Available*

Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?

Yes

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

Yes

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

Outings & Social Activities

Rules for Michigan 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 Michigan Communities

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?

Yes

Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Michigan

Scope of Care
In a home for the aged with a memory care wing, the facility must provide a detailed description of how the facility is designed to accommodate dementia patients. It must also list services provided and any fees specific to the memory care wing, along with a calendar that shows the frequency of events and activities offered to residents.
Care Plans
Before admission, homes for the aged must provide a document that describes their care planning process and its admission and discharge criteria for all incoming residents in the memory care wing. It must also work with incoming residents to design a care plan that identifies care needs for the individual. Care plans must be updated annually or after a significant change in health.
Medication Management
Homes for the aged are required to provide medication management services, including reminders and administering medications. Staff must be trained to administer medications.
Staffing
There are no minimum staff ratios required, but all homes for the aged must have an administrator and resident care supervisor listed in addition to direct care staff. The care supervisor must be awake and aware during shifts, and there should be one assigned to all shifts.
Medicaid Coverage
Michigan has two Medicaid waiver programs that may pay some of the costs of assisted living, though room and board is typically not included. Financial eligibility limitations apply and there may be extended wait times before enrollment.
Reporting Abuse
Anyone can report abuse by contacting Adult Protective Services at 855-444-3911. For residents in a home for the aged, the long term care ombudsman can be reached by phone at 866-485-9393

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Memory Care cost in Michigan?

The average cost of memory care in Michigan is $5,213 per month. 

Does Medical Assistance pay for Memory Care?

In Michigan, the state Medicaid program is also referred to as Medical Assistance. Two waiver programs, Michigan Choice and Health Link, may pay for some of the expenses of memory care. Some waivers may only be available in specific counties, and there may be a wait time before enrollment. For more information about these programs, contact a local Area Agency on Aging.

What are Activities of Daily Living?

Living safely and comfortably at home or in an independent living environment means performing everyday personal tasks, such as preparing meals, getting dressed and showering, often referred to as the activities of daily living (ADL).

What is the difference between Memory Care and Assisted Living?

Memory care is also assisted living but with a higher level of care and more security. Both types of senior care offer residential support, meal preparation, housekeeping and personal care services. However, memory care entrances and exits are usually secured, seniors wear pendants and staff monitor their movements to ensure residents stay out of dangerous areas while unmonitored.

What security features are present in memory care facilities?

Many memory care wings advertise the use of WanderGuard technology to ensure residents stay on the property, secured entry to the memory care wing and the use of wearable pendants for emergency alerts.

How Many Memory Care Facilities Are in Michigan?

There are 454 memory care facilities in Michigan, most within existing assisted living communities, although some focus exclusively on memory care. There isn’t a single source for memory care costs across the state, but Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey found the median fee of assisted living to be $4,250 per month. As a rule of thumb, memory care costs are between 20% and 30% higher than assisted living, which makes Michigan’s average for memory care $5,313 per month. Read More