Approximately 18% of Ohio’s population, or 1,980,000 individuals, are seniors aged 65 and older. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are a growing problem amongst these individuals. As of 2020, approximately 220,000 people in the state suffer from this disease and this number is expected to rise by nearly 14% by 2025. In 2019, the number of Alzheimer’s deaths in Ohio was 5,234, making it the 6th leading cause of death in the state.

Ohio has a low cost of living and low crime rate, which ensures a safe and affordable environment for seniors. The state also has several high-ranked hospitals to treat illness, injury and chronic conditions, including the #1 ranked Cleveland Clinic and the #2 ranked Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. On average, health care costs are lower in Ohio than across the nation; however, memory care costs are slightly higher at $5,794 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, be provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility. Memory care programs are designed specifically for those with memory impairment. 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 Ohio and a comparison of other types of long-term care. It also includes information on available services, details about memory car regulations and available insurance options.

The Cost of Memory Care in Ohio

Note: The cost of memory care tends to be 20 to 30% higher than the cost of an assisted living community. To determine the cost of memory care in Ohio, we’ve added 25% to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey assisted living average.

At $5,794, memory care in Ohio is approximately $169 more than the national average. Comparing neighboring states, memory care in Kentucky is one of the lowest in the region at $4,310 per month. West Virginia seniors pay around $5,200, while those in Philadelphia pay around $5,125. Indiana has the second-highest costs of neighboring states at $5,354 per month.

$5794

Ohio

$5625

The United States

$4310

Kentucky

$5354

Indiana

$5200

West Virginia

$5125

Philadelphia

Cities in Ohio all have varying costs depending on many factors, including the age of the community, the size, the exact location and the types of care provided. Cincinnati has one of the highest costs at $6,333 per month, while Canton is slightly less at $6,131. In the northeast in Youngstown, the cost is around $5,923 per month, and in the center of the state in Columbus, memory care costs around $5,106. Dayton residents can expect to pay approximately $5,313, while those in Lima are closest to the state average at $5,754 per month.

$5754

Lima

$5313

Dayton

$6333

Cincinnati

$5106

Columbus

$6131

Canton

$5923

Youngstown

There are other options for long-term care depending on a seniors’ needs. Homemaker services and a Home Health Aide are both ideal for individuals who prefer to age in place. In Ohio, these services cost $4,957 and $5,053, respectively. They both provide help with daily living tasks, but Home Health also offers some medical care. Adult Day Health is the least expensive at $1,733 per month, and an assisted living community is around $4,635. Seniors who require round-the-clock monitoring and more involved medical treatments may choose a nursing home for care. A semiprivate room costs around $7,300, and a private room is $8,213.

$4957

Homemaker Services

$5053

Home Health Aide

$1733

Adult Day Health Care

$4635

Assisted Living Facility

$7300

Nursing Home (Semiprivate room)

$8213

Nursing Home (Private room)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Ohio?

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 Ohio.

In Ohio, Medicaid doesn’t directly cover the cost of memory care; however, it does cover some of the cost of an assisted living community and home health care for qualified applicants. A program and several waivers help cover some of the costs, including personal support services.

Ohio’s Assisted Living Waiver Program pays for the cost of care for specific services, including meals, housekeeping, transportation, laundry, social activities and companionship. Other services covered under the program include medication reminders and assistance and health assessments and monitoring. Assessments are made by a local Area Agency on Aging to determine eligibility for the program.

How to Know if You’re Eligible for Medicaid in Ohio?

Medicaid eligibility in Ohio is determined by the amount of income and assets, citizenship, age and disability. An individual’s income must not be greater than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. This amount is $30,276 per year for a single applicant, and in a two-person household, the income limit is $30,276 per person. If one spouse doesn’t apply, this individual may be entitled to additional benefit amounts based on the Spousal Impoverishment Rule, which prevents leaving the spouse at home with little to no income.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Ohio

Income Limits*

Asset Limits

Single Applicant

$30,276

$2,000

Two-Person Household

(Only One Person Applying)

$30,376

$2,000 for applicant

$137,400 for non-applicant

Two-Person Household

(Both People Applying)

$60,552

$3,000

*Per year

Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • Be either 65 and older, blind or have a qualifying disability
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident or legal alien
  • Resident of Ohio

How to Apply for Medicaid in Ohio

Seniors in Ohio may apply for Medicaid online at Ohio Benefits or by phone via the Consumer Hotline at (800) 324-8680. Applications may be submitted in person at any local Department of Job and Family Services at any local Area Agency on Aging. To apply by mail, download the appropriate forms and mail to the Ohio Department of Medicaid, 50 West Town Street, Suite 400, Columbus, Ohio 43215 or fax to (614) 280-0977.

Information You Will Need

  • Proof of citizenship
  • Social Security number
  • Valid government-issued ID
  • Copies of bank statements for the last 60 days
  • Copies of income for the last 60 days
  • Proof of property ownership, including deeds and titles
  • Social Security Income (SSI) awards letter
  • Copies of your will, powers of attorney and other documents related to your estate

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid

Navigating the different plan options for Medicaid can be a challenge for seniors who need assistance paying for memory care. The following resources provide information on eligibility and how to apply.

Program

Contact

Services Provided

(800) 324-8680

The Ohio Medicaid hotline provides counselors who answer questions concerning coverage, eligibility, appeals and status updates. The service is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

(614) 285-6710

Ohio Legal Help offers basic information on Medicaid, including how to apply and what the plan covers for eligible individuals. Legal Help also assists with Medicaid fraud and other issues that arise with payments.

(800) 488-0134

CareSource is one option for Medicaid plans in Ohio. With CareSource, seniors take advantage of free transportation to medical appointments, and there’s never a copay for medical and behavioral health services.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Ohio?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Ohio

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 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 an LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Ohio

Several free to low-cost programs and services are available to seniors in memory care throughout Ohio. These services address various needs and can provide support to loved ones and caregivers of those with cognitive impairments.

Contact

Services Provided

(614) 481-3511

Local Area Agencies on Aging develop, coordinate, execute and advocate for services for the aging population and for those with disabilities. A part of the national network of nonprofit agencies, the Area Agencies on Aging help with home-delivered meals, social and recreational activities, caregiver support, case management, insurance counseling and transportation.  

(800) 272-3900

The Alzheimer’s Association is a national nonprofit charitable organization that serves as an advocate for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It also provides education, caregiver support and support groups.

(800) 282-1206

The Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for seniors living in long-term care communities and provides information and resources. Volunteers in the ombudsman program work to resolve complaints, link seniors with other agencies and services and visit long-term care communities to regulate their services.

(614) 644-0898

The Ohio Department of Veterans Services connects men and women who’ve served in the military with available programs and services to address daily needs and to improve their quality of life. The Aid and Attendance Housing Benefit helps seniors in long-term care pay for services like housekeeping, transportation, meals, grooming and health care.

(800) 438-4380

Operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center provides free information about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The center compiles authoritative, up-to-date information from various agencies and organizations to help seniors live with the disease.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Ohio

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including coronavirus.ohio.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 4/26/22, 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 OHIO COMMUNITIES

Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?

Yes

Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?

No

Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?

Yes

Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?

Yes

Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?

Yes

Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Outings & Social Activities

RULES FOR OHIO COMMUNITIES

Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?

Yes

Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?

No (Conditions Apply)

Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?

No

Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents

RULES FOR OHIO COMMUNITIES

Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?

Yes

Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?

Yes

Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?

Yes

Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?

No

Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?

Yes

Are residents being tested for coronavirus?

Yes (Conditions Apply)

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Ohio

Ohio assisted living communities that provide memory care services are known as residential care facilities, and these facilities are regulated by the Ohio Department of Health. Every RCF that offers accommodations for three or more unrelated individuals who require supervision and personal care services must be licensed by the Bureau of Regulatory Operations of the ODH, and a minimum of one unannounced inspection is performed every 9-15 months by ODH inspectors.

MEMORY CARE LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN OHIO
Scope of Care
Home care agencies may provide assistance with activities of daily living, personal care, homemaking, companionship, respite and any other nonskilled services that a patient may need.
Care Plan Requirements
Ohio memory care facilities must develop and maintain an up-to-date care plan for all residents that includes the individual's personal preferences and goals.
Medication Management Requirements
Memory care providers may assist patients with self-administered medications, while RCFs with licensed nursing staff on-site may administer medications as permitted by the nursing license.
Staff Screening Requirements
All RCF staff must successfully undergo a criminal background check, and staff with direct resident contact must be screened for tuberculosis.
Staff Training Requirements
Care providers must demonstrate a basic understanding of residents' rights, principles of care and management of Alzheimer's disease and memory loss by successfully completing a competency evaluation program administered by the facility's director.
Medicaid Coverage
The MyCare Ohio Plan, Assisted Living Waiver and Residential State Supplement programs cover some or all of the cost of memory care for those who qualify.
Reporting Abuse
Anyone who suspects elder abuse in an Ohio memory care community should contact Ohio's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by calling (800) 282-1206 or filing a report with the local law enforcement agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Ohio?

Memory care costs approximately 20 to 30% more than the cost of assisted living, which is $4,635 per month in Ohio. Based on this average, memory care costs between $5,562 and $6,026 per month.

Does Ohio Medicaid Pay for Memory Care?

Ohio seniors who meet the financial eligibility criteria for MyCare Ohio Plan, Ohio’s Medicaid Waiver program, and who require care in a memory care community, can apply to have their care costs covered by Medicaid.

What Is the Difference Between Memory Care and Assisted Living?

While memory care and assisted living provide 24-hour residential care, memory care programs tend to have a higher staff-to-resident ratio than assisted living programs. Memory care also offers highly structured daily activities for residents, while assisted living residents have much more autonomy around choosing their daily routines. Most memory care programs include anti-wandering policies and devices, whereas assisted living residents are free to come and go at their leisure.

What Types of Therapies Are Offered in Memory Care Facilities?

Memory care facilities provide a variety of group and individual therapies designed to promote physical activity and socialization while slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These modalities may include pet therapy, music and art therapy, brain games and light exercises. Some facilities offer aromatherapy and light therapy to reduce stress and agitation, and many have cooking and gardening programs.

What Security Features Are Present in Memory Care Facilities?

Memory care facilities are usually equipped with keyless access systems to prevent wandering. Other common security features include fully enclosed outdoor courtyards and campuses bordered by fences. Most facilities have motion-activated security cameras and 24/7 security staff on-site, and some memory care communities are equipped with a wearable wander guard system that allows residents the freedom to move about the campus while being closely monitored by caregivers.