Memory Care in Mississippi
Mississippi ranks third among the U.S. states with the highest death rates related to Alzheimer’s disease with 1,547 documented deaths as of 2018. This count places the disease as the sixth leading cause of death in the Magnolia State, on par with its ranking throughout the United States. Around 57,000 older Mississippians are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease as of 2020, and this number is projected to grow by 14% or to 64,000 in 2025. At least 20% of hospice admissions and hospital readmissions are related to dementia, and there’s a growing demand for medical care as the number of geriatricians in the state needs to increase by 396% in 2050.
Purposely built to support the holistic well-being of seniors with dementia, memory care facilities in Mississippi offer a community-based alternative to institutionalization. These facilities operate as Alzheimer’s disease/dementia care units in licensed personal care homes or assisted living communities. Memory care residents benefit from supportive homelike accommodations, specialized care, brain-healthy meals and individualized programs that support their cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being.
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 offers seniors and their loved ones insightful information on memory care in Mississippi, touching on expected costs, available financial assistance programs, free resources and government regulations.
The Cost of Memory Care in Mississippi
Because seniors with dementia need a higher level of care, memory care facilities usually charge 20 to 30% more than standard assisted living communities. The higher pricing is typically associated with higher staff ratios, specialized services, advanced security systems and tailored care programs. Memory care facilities in Mississippi include exclusive residences for seniors with dementia and those that operate as Alzheimer’s disease/dementia care units in assisted living and larger retirement communities. While actual costs may vary based on a facility’s location and pricing structure, memory care cost comparisons are based on the adjusted costs for assisted living.
Memory Care Costs in Nearby States
According to the Genworth Financial Cost of Care Survey for 2019, Mississippi’s average memory care cost for memory care is $4,405 per month. This is nearly $700 lower than the U.S. average of $5,064 and is relatively midrange compared to Mississippi’s surrounding states. Arkansas is the most affordable neighboring state at $3,969, close to Alabama at $4,063 and saving seniors around $300 to $400 compared to Mississippi. Memory care in Louisiana costs $4,563, nearly $200 more than the Magnolia State. The most expensive nearby state is Tennessee at $4,875, costing seniors nearly $400 more per month.
Cost of Other Types of Care in Mississippi
Mississippi’s average memory care cost of $4,405 per month is nearly $900 more expensive than standard assisted living and home health care, both care options priced within the $3,520 range. These price differences are fairly justifiable as memory care facilities can provide assisted living and home health care services, in addition to board and room. Nonmedical home care is nearly $1,000 more affordable than memory care, but both options should be weighed based on the differences in covered services.
Memory care is significantly more affordable than nursing home care which costs $6,844, saving older Mississippians about $2,400 per month. There are also nursing homes in Mississippi that have dedicated Alzheimer’s disease/dementia care units, and this may benefit seniors who require both memory care and 24-hour skilled nursing. Adult day care is the cheapest senior care option at $1,398 per month, but its limited scope of care may not suit the needs of individuals with later stages of dementia.
Home Health Care
Adult Day Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home Care
The Cost of Memory Care in Mississippi’s Top Cities
Comparing Costs Across Mississippi
Memory care costs in Mississippi significantly vary by location. The most expensive area is Jackson, the state’s capital and largest city, with an average of $5,204 per month. Hattiesburg is the most affordable option at $4,469, while the Gulfport area is considered midrange at $4,563. For the nearest cities outside Mississippi, the most affordable option is Mobile, Alabama, at $4,000, while New Orleans, Louisiana, is the most expensive at $5,875. Memphis, Tennessee costs $5,141, somewhat comparable to Jackson.
New Orleans, LA
Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Mississippi
Assisted Living (AL) Waiver
Mississippi Medicaid’s AL waiver pays for the costs of community-based services provided in licensed personal care homes for assisted living (PCH-AL). Covered services may benefit memory care residents, and these include case management, personal care services, medication assistance, activity programs and intermittent skilled nursing services.
Who Is Eligible?
Seniors must be income-eligible for Medicaid, either as SSI recipients or earning within a set income limit to qualify for the AL waiver. Applicants must also meet the medical criteria which includes nursing home level of care and cognitive conditions among others.
Elderly and Disabled Waiver
The Elderly and Disabled waiver program covers the costs of home and community-based services as alternatives to institutional care. These services include case management, personal care, adult day, physical therapy and speech therapy services.
Who Is Eligible?
Applicants who require nursing home level of care must be Medicaid-eligible to qualify for the Elderly and Disabled waiver. Financial eligibility is based on SSI benefits or a set maximum income.
Healthier Mississippi Waiver
The Healthier Mississippi Waiver is a Medicaid program that pays for long-term care services in nursing facilities and personal care homes. This waiver specifically benefits those who are not entitled to Medicare and has a maximum number of enrollments.
Who Is Eligible?
Seniors 65 and older who are not Medicare-eligible must meet the financial criteria based on income and resource limits. Existing Healthier Mississippi Waiver recipients who might become eligible for Medicare may be reviewed for eligibility in a Medicare cost-sharing coverage group.
How to Apply
Applicants may contact a Mississippi Division of Medicaid regional office first to inquire if the program is open for enrollment.
Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Mississippi
The Magnolia State supports older Mississipians and their families through a network of senior services providers. These free resources include local Alzheimer’s organizations, the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, local senior service centers and elder law referrals.
|Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter||800-272-3900||The Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter offers local support groups, education programs and fundraising events for the benefit of seniors with dementia and their caregivers.|
|Alzheimer’s Mississippi, Inc.||877-930-6190||Alzheimer’s Mississippi is a nonprofit, donor-supported organization that offers statewide programs and services for seniors, families and caregivers affected by dementia. Services include in-depth care consultations, support groups, educational programs, caregiver conferences and helpful resources.|
|Mississippi Access to Care Network||844-822-4622||The MAC Network is a No Wrong Door access point for Mississippi’s services and programs, including health, long-term care and social services from various state departments. There are six local MAC Centers that serve all counties throughout the Magnolia State, providing information and referrals, counseling services and Medicaid waiver screenings for seniors who need long-term services and supports. Services may be offered by phone, in the resident’s home or any convenient location.|
|Adult Day Services||601-341-0441||Mississippi’s Adult Day Services facilities provide a structured program of community-based health, social and support services for seniors in need of supervision and personal care.|
|Senior Centers||Senior centers in Mississippi provide recreational, social and educational activities, and they serve as local focal points for various services provided by their operating county offices and Area Agencies on Aging. These may include congregate meals, health screenings, referrals and counseling services.|
|MSLegalServices.org||1-800-498-1804||Maintained by the Mississippi Legal Services Coalition of North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, Mississippi Center for Legal Services and The Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer Project, MSLegalServices.org provides comprehensive resources on available free civil legal services for low-income citizens. Its free elder law resources include information and Medicare, living wills, estate taxes and advance directives.|
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.
|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.