An estimated 5.8 million Americans currently live with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and one in 10 seniors aged 65 and older has Alzheimer’s-related dementia. By 2050, the number of seniors with Alzheimer’s is expected to skyrocket to 13.8 million nationwide, and in New Jersey, the age-adjusted death rate from Alzheimer’s now is the fourth-leading cause of death among women, and the eighth among men.

Supporting a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia can take a tremendous emotional and financial toll on families. Thankfully, there are a number of specialized residential memory care facilities in New Jersey that offer 24/7 care, support and treatment for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

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 memory care in New Jersey, including the cost of memory care in New Jersey and neighboring states, programs to help seniors pay for their care costs, and free and low-cost memory care resources. There’s also information on the rules and regulations that govern residential memory care services in New Jersey, and a list of frequently-asked questions about memory care facilities.

The Cost of Memory Care in New Jersey

In general, memory care costs are approximately 20-30% higher than assisted living costs. Genworth’s 2019 Cost of Care Survey shows that the statewide average cost of assisted living in New Jersey is $6,400 per month. Adding 25% to that cost puts the statewide average cost of residential memory care services at $8,000 per month.

Memory Care Costs in Nearby States

At an average of $8,000 per month, memory care costs in New Jersey are well above the national average of $5,064 per month. Average costs in neighboring states are lower and range from $4,891 in Pennsylvania up to $7,544 in Delaware.

$8000

New Jersey

$5064

National

$7544

Delaware

$4891

Pennsylvania

$5788

New York

$6100

Connecticut

Costs of Other Types of Care in New Jersey

Seniors who need long-term care in New Jersey have a number of residential and community-based services to choose from. Assisted living costs an average of $6,400 per month, while a semi-private room in a nursing facility costs an average of $10,646 per month. Community-based, non-residential care options include adult day health care, which runs about $1,842 per month, while in-home care from a homemaker or home health care aide costs an average of $4,767 per month based on 44 hours of support per week.

$8000

Memory Care

$1842

Adult Day Health Care

$6400

Assisted Living

$4767

In-Home Care

$4767

Home Health Care

$10646

Nursing Home Care

The Cost of Memory Care in New Jersey’s Top Cities

While the statewide average cost of memory care in New Jersey is $8,000, actual costs can be higher or lower depending on the location. At a monthly average cost of $8,438, Trenton is by far the most expensive city in the state for residential memory care services, while average prices are closer to the state average in Atlantic City ($6,500), Ocean City ($6,120) and Vineland ($5,750).

$8438

Trenton

$6500

Atlantic City

$6500

Ocean City

$5750

Vineland

Financial Assistance for Memory Care in New Jersey

Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports

Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports is New Jersey Medicaid’s managed care program. This program provides a comprehensive range of medical services and supports to Medicaid beneficiaries who meet the clinical criteria for nursing home admission, but whose care needs can be safely met in a non-institutional setting such as a memory care facility.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for enrollment in the Managed Long Term Services and Supports program, seniors 65 and older must meet the financial criteria for Medicaid coverage and need support to delay or prevent nursing home placement.

How to Apply
To apply for the MLTSS, contact the nearest Area Agency on Aging.

VA Aid and Attendance Benefits and Housebound Allowance

The VA Aid and Attendance Benefits and the Housebound Allowance are two VA pension top-up programs that provide beneficiaries with monthly cash benefits that can be used towards the cost of memory care services. The programs provide qualified veterans, survivors and dependents with a higher pension payment than the regular VA pension plan.

Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for either the Aid and Attendance Benefits or the Housebound Allowance, applicants must first qualify for the regular VA pension. Qualifying disabilities or illnesses do not need to be service-related.

For Aid and Attendance Benefits, applicants must need help to perform one or more activities of daily living such as grooming, using the toilet or getting dressed; be bedridden; reside in a nursing home; or be legally blind even with the use of corrective lenses. For the Housebound Allowance, applicants must have at least one permanent disability rated at 100% by the VA. The disability must restrict the applicant to their home most of the time, and that home can be a memory care facility.

How to Apply
To apply for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits or the VA Housebound Allowance, contact the nearest New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Veterans Service Office.

Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in New Jersey

Seniors, family members and caregivers can access a variety of free and low-cost memory care resources in New Jersey. These resources include health insurance counselling, support groups, subsidized adult day care programs and case management services.

ContactServices Provided
Aging and Disability Resource Connection/Area Agency on Aging

(877) 222-3737

New Jersey’s statewide network of Area Agencies on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Connection agencies coordinate regional programs and services for seniors and adults with disabilities. AAAs also provide free information and referrals to local seniors and their families in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program

1-800-792-8820The State Health Insurance Program, SHIP, provides free unbiased Medicare and Medigap counselling through a statewide network of trained SHIP volunteer counselors. Seniors and their family members can contact SHIP to schedule an in-person or phone counselling appointment.
Alzheimer’s Association – Greater New Jersey Chapter

(800) 272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association is a national charitable organization that works to improve the lives of those living with memory loss through research, education and community-based programming. Seniors, family members and caregivers can contact the AA to learn about dementia treatments, join a local support group and connect with local memory care resources.
Alzheimer’s Adult Day Services Program

(609) 438-4749New Jersey’s Alzheimer’s Adult Day Services Program provides subsidized adult day care services for low and moderate-income adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Subsidies are linked to income and range from 20% to 100%, and services are delivered in one of 38 participating adult day care centers statewide.
New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman

(877) 582-6995New Jersey’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman works to protect the rights of seniors 60 and older who reside in a long-term care facility. Memory care residents and/or their loved ones can contact the NJLTCO with concerns or complaints related to any long-term care facility in the state.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in New Jersey

New Jersey residential facilities that offer memory care services and dedicated residential memory care programs are regulated by the New Jersey Department of Health. State regulations cover the level of care these facilities can offer, rules around medication administration and staff training requirements. In New Jersey, memory care facilities may be licensed as Assisted Living Residences (ALRs) or Comprehensive Personal Care Homes (CPCHs).

Scope of CareMemory care facilities can provide 24/7 support, supervision and assistance with activities of daily living. Facilities cannot admit or retain seniors who need around-the-clock nursing care, or who display aggressive behaviors that could harm themselves or other residents.
Care Plan RequirementsMemory care facilities must obtain a pre-admission health care assessment completed by a licensed medical practitioner no more than 30 days before admission. Once a new resident is admitted, facilities must complete a care plan in coordination with the resident, their family and a licensed registered nurse within 14 days, and this plan must be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
Medication Management RequirementsCaregivers may help residents self-administer medications following successful completion of approved training delivered by a licensed pharmacist or registered nurse. Only regulated and licensed medical professionals may administer medications in accordance with their licence.
Staff Screening RequirementsAdministrators, health care aides and personal care assistants must swear an affidavit with their legal name, social insurance number and the name of their employer attesting that they have not been convicted of any offences that could make them ineligible to work with vulnerable populations such as seniors.
Staff Training RequirementsAll direct care staff must complete an orientation in memory care before commencing work in a memory care facility, and personal care aides must pursue at least 20 hours of ongoing education every two years thereafter.
Medicaid CoverageNew Jersey’s Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports program covers the cost of care in a memory care facility for qualified seniors.
Reporting AbuseSuspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of any resident living in a New Jersey memory care community should be reported to the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman at (877) 582-6995. Situations involving an immediate threat to the health and safety of a resident should be reported to the local law enforcement agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in New Jersey?

The average cost of residential memory care in New Jersey is $8,000 per month. Actual costs vary depending on the location, amenities and services offered by individual memory care facilities, and these costs may be above or below the statewide average cost.

Does New Jersey Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?

New Jersey’s state Medicaid plan will cover care costs for beneficiaries who need specialized residential care services due to a progressive-degenerative memory condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease,

What Types of Therapies are Offered in Memory Care Facilities?

Memory care facilities may offer a range of small group and one-on-one therapies designed to slow the onset of symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These therapies can include pet, music and art therapy, play-based therapy such as memory games, and occupational, speech and physical therapy. Some memory care facilities provide therapeutic recreational programming that includes gardening, aromatherapy and cooking classes.

What Security Features Are Present in Memory Care Facilities?

Memory care facilities have special security features and systems in place to help prevent wandering among residents living with memory loss. Enclosed courtyards, fenced yards and delayed-egress exterior doors secured with a digital lock are common in communities that serve seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease. These facilities also have 24/7 awake staff, and many memory care communities use WanderGuard, a wireless digital tracking system that gives residents the freedom to move about the campus while ensuring caregivers can monitor the exact location of residents at all times.

What Are “Activities of Daily Living”?

Activities of daily living, or ADLs, are the everyday tasks one needs to complete to maintain basic health and personal hygiene. ADLs include getting dressed, bathing, eating and using the toilet, as well as grooming and moving about the home.