Home to more than six million, approximately 17.3% of Missouri’s population is aged 65 or over. Around 120,000 seniors in Missouri have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia that are degenerative and progressive. The incidence of cognitive decline is rising, with a projected increase of 8.3% by 2025. Each year, more than 2,500 Missouri residents die from Alzheimer’s disease, making it the sixth-leading cause of death in the state.          

Missouri has four distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters, and sees an average of 206 sunny days each year. Living costs in Missouri are lower than the national average, and the state is considered to be relatively tax-friendly toward seniors. Statewide health care costs are on a par with the national average, and Missouri is home to several high-performing hospitals, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis. On average, residential memory care in Missouri costs around $3,750 per month, which is substantially lower than the national average of $5,625.

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 provides a comprehensive overview of the cost of memory care in Missouri, along with rate comparisons with other types of long-term care and services for seniors. It also contains information on regulatory requirements for memory care providers in Missouri and various ways to pay for memory care services, as well as useful resources for seniors who are navigating life with dementia.

The Cost of Memory Care in Missouri

Note: Residential memory care services are typically provided within traditional assisted living communities. Rates for memory care are generally around 20-30% higher than the costs of assisted living. As there is no national cost data available for memory care in the U.S., we have estimated monthly costs by adding 25% onto the assisted living fees per Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey.  

At an average of $3,750 per month, the cost of residential memory care in Missouri is substantially cheaper than in all neighboring states. The biggest price difference of almost $2,000 per month is with Kansas, where memory care costs $5,725 on average. Seniors in Iowa, Illinois and Arkansas also pay more for memory care, with respective average monthly rates of $5,459, $5,610 and $4,700.  

$3750

Missouri

$5625

The United States

$5725

Kansas

$5459

Iowa

$5610

Illinois

$4700

Arkansas

Costs of memory care in Missouri vary widely between locations. At $2,595, the state capital of Jefferson City has the lowest monthly costs for memory care. The priciest rates are found in the state’s two largest cities of Kansas City and St. Louis, where costs are $5,731 and $5,125 respectively. In Cape Girardeau, memory care rates run around $3,173. Columbia and Joplin have similar monthly averages of $3,500 and $3,506.

$5125

St. Louis

$5731

Kansas City

$2595

Jefferson City

$3500

Columbia

$3173

Cape Girardeau

$3506

Joplin

There are several options for long-term senior care in Missouri. The most affordable option is adult day health care, which costs an average of $1,907 per month. The priciest care solution is in a nursing home, where the average rates for semiprivate and private rooms are $5,262 and $5,931 respectively. Assisted living costs around $3,000 per month, while seniors can expect to pay $4,767 each month for home care and home health care.   

$1907

Adult Day Health Care

$3000

Assisted Living

$3750

Memory Care

$4767

Home Care

$4767

Home Health Care

$5262

Nursing Home (semiprivate)

$5931

Nursing Home (private)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Missouri?

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 Missouri.

MO HealthNet is Missouri’s Medicaid program. While MO HealthNet does not cover memory care, seniors in Missouri who qualify for Medicaid and require residential memory care services can apply to the Missouri Care Options (MCO) program. The MCO provides long-term care services, with the aim of enabling people to live as independently as possible. It is also available for those who would normally need long-term care at a nursing home level. The program funds a range of medical and non-medical support and services, which may be delivered at home, at an adult day care program or in an environment that offers daily personal services and assistance, such as a residential care facility.

Seniors requiring memory care may also apply for MO HealthNet’s Supplemental Nursing Care financial assistance program. The program provides monthly cash payments to assist seniors residing in a residential care facility (RCF) or assisted living facility (ALF) with meeting the costs of their care.

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Missouri?  

Although Missouri does not provide assistance especially for memory care services, the Missouri Care Options program can help seniors to offset some of the costs associated with residential memory care. The program may fund assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, dressing and toileting. It may also provide help with physical needs, along with housekeeping and other homemaking tasks. Nursing care may also be covered, including 24-hour care that provides continuous personal and medical assistance.   

As Supplemental Nursing Care (SNC) is a cash payment made directly to recipients, seniors are free to use the money to fund any elements of their care. For people living in a residential care facility, the maximum monthly payment is $156. Seniors living in an assisted living facility, including those that admit people with dementia, may receive up to $292 per month. Anyone who receives SNC also gets a personal needs allowance of $50. Seniors must be aged 65 or older to be eligible for SNC, and they must undergo screening by the Department of Health and Senior Services. Eligibility is also based on the applicant’s income being less than the facility’s base rate.

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

In Missouri, eligibility for MO HealthNet Medicaid cover is based on an individual’s income and assets. An applicant’s annual household income before taxes must not exceed 85% of the federal poverty level to be able to claim Medicaid assistance. The maximum income for single applicants is $10,320, and for couples the maximum permitted yearly household income increases to $13,992. Individuals have an asset limit of $3,000. This doubles for couples to provide an asset limit of $6,000.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Missouri

 

Income Limits* 

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$10,320

$3,000

Two-Person Household

$14,808

$6,000

*Per year

Eligibility for MO HealthNet for seniors also depends on other factors, including age, citizenship and residency. To qualify for Medicaid assistance as a senior in Missouri you must:

  • Be 65 years old or above
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Be a full-time resident of Missouri
  • Have a Social Security number  

How to Apply for Medicaid in Missouri

There are several ways to apply for MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid program. The MyDSS online portal, part of the Missouri Department of Social Services, is accessible 24/7. People can also apply by telephone by calling (855) 373-9994 during regular office hours.

Alternatively, individuals can download and print a paper application form. Once completed, the form can be returned by post to the Family Support Division at 615 E 13th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106. It can also be sent by fax to (573) 526-9400, or scanned and emailed to FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov.

Note that seniors also need to complete the Supplemental Form.      

Information You Will Need

Seniors will need to supply certain information when applying for MO HealthNet. This includes proof of all incomes, recent bank statements, information about all assets and details about any insurance policies, such as health and life insurance.  

You’ll also need to provide:

  • Photographic proof of identity
  • Proof of local residency
  • Proof of citizenship or residency status
  • Social Security number
  • Recent medical expenses

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Seniors who require assistance applying for Medicaid in Missouri can call the Family Support Division Contact Center for help making claims, to obtain information about eligibility and to check the status of claims. Seniors may also contact their local Area Agency on Aging for free advice and help related to diverse topics, including Medicaid, and MO HealthNet Division is a valuable online source of information. Some senior centers in Missouri may also offer Medicaid counseling and workshops for elders.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(855) 373-9994

Advisers provide information about Medicaid eligibility and assist with applications over the telephone during office hours.

 (573) 526-4542 

Located throughout the state and known collectively as MA4, Missouri’s 10 Area Agencies on Aging provide free advice and assistance to people aged 60 and above, including on issues related to Medicaid. Seniors can visit or call their local AAA office.

 Online

This website includes comprehensive details about Medicaid, including various programs and waivers.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Missouri?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Missouri

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 Missouri

Missouri seniors who need memory care can access several free and low-cost services and resources. These include education, advocacy and information. Resources, such as support groups and educational guidance, are also available for family members of seniors with dementia.

Program 

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 272-3900

The Alzheimer’s Association has two chapters in Missouri: The Greater Missouri Chapter, with offices in St. Louis, Columbia and Springfield, and the Heart of America Chapter, with offices in St. Joseph and Prairie Village. Seniors living with dementia and their family members can obtain information and support from the 24/7 toll-free hotline, and the organization advocates on behalf of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

(800) 390-3330

Trained volunteers provide free and unbiased information and benefits counseling to recipients of Medicare. Areas include organizing health care paperwork, understanding the Medicare appeals process and applying for health insurance.   

(800) 235-5503

Provided by the Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Senior and Disability Services, Missouri Senior Legal Helpline offers free civil legal assistance to seniors and their caregivers. Areas of law include wills, trusts, power of attorney and guardianship.

(314) 253-4455

Seniors who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including those with dementia, can obtain free advice and assistance concerning veteran benefits from accredited Veterans Service Officers (VSOs).

(800) 309-3282

Missouri Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program monitors assisted living facilities, including those that offer memory care services, to ensure regulatory compliance and acceptable standards of care. The office investigates complaints of elder abuse and neglect, and advocates for the rights of residents in assisted living facilities.  

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Missouri

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including ltc.health.mo.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 4/27/2022, 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 Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri

In Missouri, memory care is situated in assisted living facilities and is governed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The department has a range of regulations for these facilities to follow to ensure high-quality care, including laws pertaining to care plan requirements, staffing ratios and medication management.

MEMORY CARE LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN MISSOURI
Scope of Care
Memory care facilities in Missouri provide 24-hour care and services to three or more adults that need room, board and protective oversight. This may include medication storage and short-term care following illness or hospitalization. These facilities provide three meals daily. They must also accommodate residents who would require minimal or more than minimal assistance to evacuate the building in the event of an emergency.
Care Plans
Prior to admitting a new resident, a memory care facility must conduct a thorough screening to ensure that the facility can meet the individual's needs. Within five days of admission, the facility must conduct an assessment using a Department-approved assessment tool to document the individual's medical status and outline any necessary special orders or procedures. This assessment must be repeated semi-annually or whenever the resident experiences a significant change in ability or cognitive function.
Medication Management
With the approval of a licensed health provider, memory care residents may self-administer prescription and nonprescription medications. The resident's medication regimen must be reviewed every other month by physician, pharmacist or registered nurse. Staff who administer medications, must be level I-certified medication aide or certified medication technicians unless they are a physician, nurse or pharmacist. Injections must be administered by a nurse or physician, except insulin injections, which may be administered by a certified medication technician or medication aide who has completed a state-approved course for insulin administration.
Staffing
Memory care facilities have stricter staff-to-resident ratios than assisted living facilities and are required to have a ratio of 1:15 during day and evening shifts and 1:20 during night shifts. All staff members must complete one hour of fire safety training and orientation relevant to their duties, along with training pertaining to Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Those who provide direct care must receive at least three hours of training that includes topics such as communicating with residents with dementia, behavior management and promoting independence in ADLs. Staff that doesn't provide direct care but may come into contact with residents must have at least one hour of training. Ongoing dementia training must be incorporated in in-service curricula.
Medicaid Coverage
Services provided in memory care facilities may be covered by MO HealthNet via two waivers, including the Aged and Disabled waiver and the Supplemental Nursing Care waiver.
Reporting Abuse
All staff members who work in memory care facilities are required by law to report witnessed or suspected senior abuse, neglect or exploitation to the Missouri ombudsman program. Residents and family members may also contact the ombudsman to share concerns or complaints.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Missouri?

Across Missouri’s largest cities, memory care services range between $3,438 and $4,810 per month, Across Missouri’s largest cities, memory care services range between $2,594 and $5,731 per month, with the statewide cost averaging $3,750 monthly.

Are there financial assistance programs for memory care in Missouri?

Memory care may be covered by several publicly funded programs, including the Medicaid Aged and Disabled waiver, Supplemental Nursing Care and Missouri Care Options. Income and asset limits apply, and some programs have enrollment caps.

What are “activities of daily living?”

Activities of daily living are tasks that must be carried out daily to ensure health and safety. These include bathing, dressing, toileting, eating and ambulating. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, many individuals need assistance with ADLs. Memory care facilities have specially trained staff to provide this assistance while still supporting the individual’s independence.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Memory care services are typically provided in assisted living facilities, resulting in significant overlap of services and amenities. Both types of care provide room and board, meals, around-the-clock personal care and recreational activities. However, memory care is designed around the needs of those with dementia and feature specialized programming and enhanced security to prevent residents from wandering.

What types of services does memory care provide?

Memory care provides a safe, structured environment with familiar routines for seniors living with dementia. In Missouri, facilities that provide this type of care offer services such as meal preparation and assistance with eating, personal care tasks, housekeeping and laundry.