Mississippi is home to more than 485,000 seniors aged 65 and older, which is over 16% of the state’s population. Like other states across the nation, Alzheimer’s is a growing concern among this age group. As of 2020, approximately 57,000, or one in 10, of these seniors are living with Alzheimer’s in Mississippi. Sadly, in 2019 there were 1,662 deaths due to the disease. By 2025, the number of Alzheimer’s cases in Mississippi is expected to rise by 8,000.

Located in the south and bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi has a low cost of living, and Social Security Income and retirement income aren’t taxed. The overall rate of crime is low, and with 216 sunny days per year, Mississippi offers excellent weather for seniors who enjoy the outdoors. Individuals who require memory care can expect to pay around $4,375 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 covers the cost of memory care in Mississippi and provides a general overview of the cost of other types of long-term care. It also includes information on Medicaid and Medicare and a list of resources to help improve the quality of life of seniors within the state.  

The Cost of Memory Care in Mississippi

Note: The cost of memory care is typically 20-30% higher than the average cost of assisted living. Currently, no authoritative database tracks the cost of memory care, so to determine the cost in Mississippi, we added 25% to the cost of assisted living as reported by the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.

The median cost of memory care in Mississippi is $4,375 per month. This cost is more than the national average of $5,625. Alabama residents pay close to the same at $4,379, while those in Louisiana pay slightly more at $4,685. Arkansas residents can expect to pay about $175 less at $4,200.

$4375

Mississippi

$5625

The United States

$4685

Louisiana

$4379

Alabama

$4200

Arkansas

Comparing cities across the state, memory care ranges in price from $4,750 in Gulfport to $5,438 in Jackson. Hattiesburg seniors pay around $780 more than the state average at $5,155 per month.

$5438

Jackson

$5155

Hattiesburg

$4750

Gulfport

Aside from memory care, other long-term care options exist for seniors in Mississippi. Homemaker services and home health aides allow homeowners to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Both services cost around $3,813, and both provide assistance with daily care needs, including meals, transportation, housekeeping and grooming. A home health aide also includes some medical care. Adult day health care is for seniors who need help during the daytime, usually while their loved ones are at work. It’s the least expensive option at $1,408 per month. An assisted living community costs around $3,500. Nursing homes provide comprehensive care and cost around $7,118 for a semiprivate room and $7,314 for a private room.

$3813

Homemaker Services

$3813

Home Health Aide

$1408

Adult Day Health Care

$3500

Assisted Living Facility

$7118

Nursing Home (semiprivate room)

$7314

Nursing Home (private room)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Mississippi?

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 Mississippi.

Mississippi Medicaid doesn’t cover the cost of memory care directly, but there are waivers that can help pay for home and community-based services within residential care facilities.

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Mississippi?

Assisted Living Waiver (ALW)

The ALW was designed for seniors who’d otherwise require nursing home care to receive services in a licensed assisted living home. The waiver covers services like case management, personal care, housekeeping, medication management, recreational programs, transportation and skilled nursing. To be eligible for the waiver, seniors must meet the Medicaid income requirements and be at least 65 or older or 21 and older with a qualifying disability.

To apply, seniors should contact their local Office of Eligibility at (800) 421-2408 or apply online at the Division of Medicaid website.

Elderly and Disabled Waiver

The Elderly and Disabled waiver is provided by the Office of Long-Term Care to help pay for services like adult day health care, home-delivered meals, personal care, respite services, community transition and physical and speech therapy.

Eligible individuals must meet the Medicaid income requirements and be at least 21 years of age or older. To apply, contact the Division of Medicaid Office of Long-Term Care.

How To Know If You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Mississippi

Medicaid applicants in Mississippi must meet the income requirements as defined by the state. All income is counted with the exception of a monthly personal needs allowance, Medicare premiums and, if applicable, a Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) as defined by the spousal impoverishment rule. For a single applicant, the income limit is $30,276 per year or $2,523 per month. In a two-person household with only one person applying, the income limit is the same. For a two-person household with both individuals applying, the amount is $60,552 per year or $30,276 per person. Assets must not total more than $4,000 for a single applicant.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Mississippi

Income Limits*

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$30,276

$4,000

Two-Person Household
(Only One Person Applying)

$30,276

$4,000 for an applicant
$137,400 for non-applicant

Two Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$60,552

$30,276 per applicant

$8,000
$4,000 per applicant

*Per year

Other eligibility requirements include that applicants must:

  • Be 65 years of age or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualifying alien
  • Be a resident of Mississippi

How To Apply for Medicaid in Mississippi

Apply for Mississippi Medicaid online through Access.ms or by submitting an application through Healthcare.gov. To apply by mail, applicants may download an application and mail it to the Office of Eligibility at the Division of Medicaid, 550 High Street, Suite 1000, Jackson, MS 39201. The application may also be submitted in person at any Division of Medicaid regional office or faxed to (610) 576-4164. Applications may be taken over the phone by contacting (800) 421-2408.

Information You Will Need

  • Government-issued ID
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Copies of home deeds and property titles
  • Copies of tax returns for the past five years
  • Copies of life insurance policies
  • Copies of bank statements and income for the past 60 days
  • Copies of powers of attorney and other documents related to your estate

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Navigating Medicaid and other government insurance programs can be tricky, especially for seniors who require help paying for residential care. There are several programs that provide information and support to those who need Medicaid and additional forms of funding.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 421-2408

Benefits.gov is a federal website that provides detailed information on the available government programs and benefits. The site provides an overview of each program, eligibility requirements and information on how to apply. Seniors may also contact the program directly by phone to get answers to questions concerning the status of an application or to make changes.

(800) 498-1804

MS Legal Services is a free service that offers civil legal help for low-income seniors and individuals in the state. Medicaid help is also provided, with information online concerning details on recent changes in the Medicaid program, eligibility requirements and how to apply.

(844) 437-6282

The Department of Human Services provides counselors who are trained to provide assistance with Medicaid applications and can provide answers to questions regarding claims, denials, benefits and applications.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Mississippi?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Mississippi

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 Mississippi

Mississippi helps improve the lives of seniors throughout the state by the administration of several free to low-cost programs and services. These resources address memory care needs and can support loved ones and caregivers. 

Resource

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 272-3900

The Alzheimer’s Association serves as an advocate to support those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and to accelerate global research towards early detection, risk reduction, care and support. The association also provides those with Alzheimer’s information on what to expect with the disease, how to plan for the future and programs and support.

(601) 984-1000

The UMMC Alzheimer’s support group provides assistance to caregivers and those with dementia and other cognitive issues. The group meets regularly to discuss updates on diagnoses, medications, early intervention, home care, stress management, research and personal experiences with the disease.

(844) 822-4622

The Mississippi Access to Care Network helps connect seniors to available long-term care services and supports. For Alzheimer’s patients, these supports include education, local Alzheimer's Association chapters, support groups, resources centers and care centers.

(602) 960-0335

Senior Services promotes and encourages a better quality of life for the state’s elder population. The program is designed for individuals 60 years of age or older who live in the Jackson area. Services include congregate and home-delivered meals, information, referrals and outreach and senior transportation.

(800) 444-8014

The Mississippi Area Agencies on Aging work with the Mississippi Department of Human Services to improve the quality of life of seniors throughout the state. The agency operates the long-term care ombudsman program that advocates for seniors in long-term care. The agency also connects seniors with services like insurance counseling, case management, facility referrals and nutrition.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Mississippi

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including msdh.ms.gov. 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi

Care facilities that provide memory care are issued with the Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Care Unit Designation in their licensure. These licensed facilities include standalone memory care residences, nursing homes and personal care homes or assisted living facilities. Licensed and regulated by the Division of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification of the Mississippi State Department of Health, personal care homes and A/D units must meet the state’s minimum standards as highlighted below.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Mississippi

Scope of Care

A personal care home shall disclose the following:basic charges on room and board and other standard servicesperiod covered for the chargesspecial charges for additional servicesrefund terms for advance paymentsThe above information must be indicated in the resident’s written admission agreement. This must also include a statement that the facility shall promptly notify the client’s representative of any changes in the resident’s status, including those that require transfer or discharge. Families of residents with dementia should be provided with information regarding social services such as support groups.

Care Plans

With reference to medical examinations and functional assessments by a licensed physician and/or nurse practitioner/physician assistant, the staff shall develop individual care plans for each Alzheimer’s disease/dementia care unit resident upon admission. Families shall be involved in the development of care plans whenever possible and appropriate. Care plans shall be reviewed at least quarterly or more frequently as a resident’s needs change.

Medication Management

For instances where a resident is unable to self-administer prescription medication, medication administration must be done by a licensed nurse or an unlicensed staff under direct supervision by a licensed nurse or physician.

Staffing

A minimum of two staff members shall be present in an A/D unit at all times, in addition to a registered or licensed nursing practitioner. For non-freestanding A/D units, licensed nursing staff may be shared with the rest of the facility to meet the minimum staffing requirement. A/D staff shall undergo an orientation program on dementia care upon employment and receive ongoing in-service training at least quarterly.

Medicaid Coverage

Mississippi Medicaid covers the costs of community-based services provided in personal came homes through waiver programs. Recipients must meet the financial criteria and require nursing facility level of care if services are not provided.

Reporting Abuse

Resident abuse and neglect within personal care homes shall be reported to the Mississippi State Department of Health at 800-227-7308 or the Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 800-852-8341. A complaint form may also be completed and submitted online.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Mississippi?

The estimated cost of memory care in Mississippi is $4,405 per month, based on the assumption that memory care facilities charge 20 to 30% higher than standard assisted living facilities. This average cost is about 55% more affordable than nursing home care in the state.

Does Mississippi Medicaid pay for memory care?

Yes. There are Medicaid waivers for home and community-based services provided in personal care homes or assisted living facilities. In addition to being qualified for nursing facility level of care, beneficiaries must be financially eligible based on income and resource limits, and those who exceed the limit may qualify upon payment of their excess income to the Division of Medicaid under an income trust. The state also has a Medicaid waiver for seniors in need of long-term care but do not qualify for Medicare, and this program is subject to a maximum number of enrollments.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Assisted living and memory care communities provide similar services, particularly residential accommodations, daily meals, medication management and assistance with the activities of daily living. They mainly differ by the level of care provided and the physical environment. Because memory care facilities provide a higher level of care for residents with irreversible dementia, they are usually designed with accessible but secured areas, specialized lighting and calming color themes. Memory care staff normally consists of specially trained caregivers and licensed health care professionals such as skilled nursing personnel, registered nurses and/or licensed nursing practitioners.

What types of services does memory care provide?

In addition to personal care services, memory care facilities offer medication assistance, tailored dining programs, companionship and a specialized program of activities that help alleviate the symptoms of dementia. Some facilities have in-house rehabilitative therapy services, and coordination of other health care services such as physician, dental, podiatry and psychology/psychiatry services may be available.

What types of facilities offer memory care?

Memory care facilities can be standalone establishments that exclusively accommodate persons with dementia, and they can exist as separate units or neighborhoods within assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities and nursing homes.