Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have become increasingly widespread in Missouri as the state’s population ages. In 2020, the Alzheimer’s Association reported that 120,000 adults aged 65 and over were living with Alzheimer’s. This figure is projected to increase by 8.3% to 130,000 adults by 2025.

For many seniors with Alzheimer’s, memory care facilities provide an optimal level of care while supporting dignity and independence. These facilities have specially trained staff, secured grounds and specialized programming to meet the needs of those with dementia.

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 an overview of the cost of memory care in Missouri’s largest cities, as well as the publicly funded options that are available for paying for services. It also covers the rules and regulations that memory care facilities must abide by and descriptions of available resources for seniors and their families.

The Cost of Memory Care in Missouri

In Missouri, memory care services are typically provided in assisted living facilities. Because residents with dementia require a higher degree of supervision, focused programs and security measures, and caregivers are required to receive specialized training, this type of care costs 20%-30% more than assisted living. The following cost comparisons are based on assisted living fees as reported in the Genworth 2019 Cost of Care Survey, with the appropriate adjustments. Exact costs vary depending on a facility’s programming, location and pricing structure.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

Compared to four of its bordering states, Missouri is a very cost-effective option for memory support. On average, seniors pay $3,601 per month for services, which is nearly $1,500 lower than the national average. Arkansas, which borders Missouri from the south, has comparable monthly fees of $3,968. In Iowa, Illinois and Kansas, seniors pay more than the national average for memory care, with corresponding monthly fees averaging $5,098, $5,213 and $5,591.

$3601

Missouri

$5064

National

$3968

Arkansas

$5098

Iowa

$5213

Illinois

$5591

Kansas

Cost of Other Types of Care in Missouri

Missouri seniors have several care options, some of which are provided in community or institutionalized settings and others that take place in the individual’s home. The costliest senior care option is nursing home care, which provides skilled nursing services and around-the-clock supervision, at $6,326 per month. Memory care, which offers a more traditional living environment but also features 24-hour care and supervision, costs $3,601 per month. Assisted living provides lodging, meals and assistance with some activities of daily living and costs $2,881 monthly. Seniors who prefer to live in their own home may opt for in-home care or home health care, both of which cost $4,195 per month, or adult day care, where monthly costs average $1,777.

$3601

Memory Care

$4195

In-Home Care

$4195

Home Health Care

$1777

Adult Day Care

$2881

Assisted Living Facility

$6326

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in Missouri’s Top Cities

Comparing Costs Across Missouri

Across Missouri, monthly fees for memory support services in major cities vary between $3,438 and $4,810. Memory care in St. Louis, which is located in the easternmost region near the Illinois border, has a monthly average fee of $4,810, making it the priciest option in the state. In Jefferson City, the state capital, monthly costs are similarly high at $4,693, and in Cape Girardeau, which is the southeastern region of the state, memory care residents pay $4,030 per month. The most affordable cities for this type of care are Kansas City, $3,623, and Joplin, $3,438.

$4693

Jefferson City

$3623

Kansas City

$4810

St. Louis

$3438

Joplin

$4030

Cape Girardeau

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Missouri

Aged and Disabled Waiver

MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid program, covers services provided in memory care facilities through the Aged and Disabled Waiver. This program offers in-home services for Missouri residents who have been assessed to require nursing home-level care but prefer to receive care in their home instead. It covers a wide variety of services for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, including adult day care, home-delivered meals and chore services, with the intent to make it easier for family members to care for their loved one at home.

Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for this waiver depends on an applicant’s age, income and ability. Applicants must be at least 63 years old and have a functional disability that requires the level of care typically received in a nursing home. Applicants must also meet MO HealthNet’s income and asset guidelines. In 2020, a single applicant may have a monthly gross income of up to $1,370 and up to $4,000 in countable assets.

How to Apply
To apply for the Aged and Disabled Waiver, applicants should contact their local Area Agency on Aging.

Supplemental Nursing Care

Missouri’s Supplemental Nursing Care is a financial assistance program from MO HealthNet. The program pays out a cash benefit to help seniors who reside in residential care settings to afford their care. Payments vary based on the type of facility the applicant resides in. As of 2020, seniors who live in assisted living facilities, which admits residents who need assistance with activities of daily living including those with dementia, receive $292 per month.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for this program, applicants must be at least 65 years old and meet eligibility requirements for MO HealthNet for seniors. Additionally, they must be screened and certified by the Department of Health and Senior Services for nursing home care.

How to Apply
For more information and to apply for this program, applicants should contact their local Division of Senior and Disability Services office.

Missouri Care Options

The Missouri Care Options program provides information and services to Missouri residents who are exploring long-term care options, including for those with dementia. The home and community-based long-term care services that it covers include help with the activities of daily living, 24-hour nursing care, meal preparation, housekeeping and laundry services and supervised adult day care programs.

Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for this program, applicants must qualify for or be enrolled in Medicaid, and they must be in need of long-term nursing home-level care.

How to Apply
To apply for services, individuals should contact their local Division of Senior and Disability Services office.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Missouri

ResourceContactServices
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

866-232-8484The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides free memory screening services throughout the country. It has one Missouri location, Livingston County Health Center, situated in Chillicothe. Services are available on a weekly basis on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
MUSIC & MEMORY, Inc.

carequestions@musicandmemory.org

MUSIC & MEMORY is a nonprofit organization that helps those with dementia to relax and engage with their world through the use of personalized music playlists. It has a nationwide network of MUSIC & MEMORY Certified organizations that are specially trained in using this form of therapy, including several dozen assisted living and memory care facilities in Missouri.
Alzheimer’s Association

800-272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association provides support, advocacy and informational resources to those living with Alzheimer’s and their family members. The organization operates three chapters in Missouri, including the Heart of America Chapter, the Greater Missouri Chapter and the St. Louis Chapter.
SeniorAge Senior Centers

417-862-0762SeniorAge operates 36 senior centers in 17 counties throughout the state, providing recreational and educational opportunities to Missouri residents aged 60 and over. Programs and services vary by location but typically include congregate meals, wellness programs, arts and crafts, board games, day trips and holiday celebrations.
Area Agencies on Aging

573- 526-4542Missouri’s local Area Agencies on Aging provide a wide array of services to adults aged 60 and over, including congregate and home-delivered meals, tax counseling, access to transportation, case management and legal services. All services are free to seniors, but donations are accepted.
United Way 2-1-1

211United Way 2-1-1 is a directory that connects Missouri residents with local resources like nutrition services, income support, clothing and prescription drug assistance.
Missouri Senior Legal Helpline

1-800-235-5503The Missouri Senior Legal Helpline is a service of the Department of Health and Senior Services in partnership with Missouri Area Agencies on Aging to connect older adults with local attorneys who provide legal assistance for seniors and their caregivers. Callers may receive information and assistance on living wills, guardianship, power of attorney, advance directives and trusts. Assistance is funded by the Older Americans Act and is free to consumers.
Ombudsman Program

1-800-309-3282The State Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides an array of services to seniors residing in assisted living. Ombudsmen regularly visit assisted living facilities to ensure high-quality care for residents and serve as advocates for residents’ rights. They also field and investigate complaints regarding elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.

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.

Scope of CareMemory 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 PlansPrior 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 ManagementWith 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.
StaffingMemory 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 CoverageServices 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 AbuseAll 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, with the statewide cost averaging $3,601 monthly. Exact pricing varies widely across the state depending on factors such as where the facility is located, services and amenities provided and whether residents live in private or shared units.

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.