The scenic state of Oregon is home to over 4.3 million people and a large senior community that makes up more than 18% of its population. Oregon’s generally pleasant climate and high access to affordable health care appeal to retirees, resulting in a senior community that’s growing at a fast rate. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately one in nine people aged 65 and over are living with Alzheimer’s, a disease that’s currently the sixth-leading cause of death in the state. Between 2020 and 2025, the number of Oregonians living with Alzheimer’s is projected to increase by over 20%.  

To combat this trend, Oregon offers numerous programs and outstanding medical facilities, including Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland and St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. It also has numerous memory care facilities that provide specialized care. 

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 introductory guide for memory care in Oregon outlines how much seniors pay for residential dementia services and some options for paying for care. It also highlights free resources for seniors and families and answers commonly asked questions about memory care services in the state.

The Cost of Memory Care in Oregon

Note: In Oregon, memory care is provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, and in general, costs 20-30% more than standard assisted living services. No authoritative cost data is available for this type of care, so we estimated memory care rates by adding 25% to assisted living fees in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.  

Nationally, memory care facilities charge $5,625 per month for services, but in Oregon, rates are considerably higher at an estimated $6,306. Seniors may save money by obtaining care in the nearby states of Idaho or Nevada, where respective care costs come in at $4,798 and $4,688. Obtaining care in Oregon is an affordable alternative to living in a memory care facility in California, where fees are higher at $6,563, or in Washington, where rates average $7,500 per month.  

$6306

Oregon

$5625

The United States

$7500

Washingotn

$4798

Idaho

$4688

Nevada

$6563

California

Corvallis is the cheapest city in Oregon to obtain memory care, with local rates slightly lower than the national median at $5,606. In Albany, seniors pay $5,663, and in Medford, memory care facilities charge $5,800. Bend residents pay $6,044, and in Portland, fees are closer to the state average at $6,219. Salem facilities charge $6,875, while Eugene is the costliest city to obtain care with an average rate of $7,029.  

$5606

Corvallis

$5663

Albany

$5800

Medford

$6044

Bend

$6219

Portland Area

$6875

Salem

$7029

Eugene Area

Older adults in the early stages of dementia may be able to obtain the care they need through home care services, which cost $6,006 per month, or home health care, which is a little costlier at $6,101. Adult day care, which provides care in a daytime community setting, is considerably cheaper at $2,654. Those without memory impairments who need personal care may consider assisted living, which is more economical at $5,045. Memory care rates are over $1,000 higher at $6,306. Those obtaining nursing home level care pay the highest rates of $10,342 for shared rooms and $11,113 for private accommodations.  

$6006

In-Home Care

$6101

Home Health Care

$2654

Adult Day Care

$5045

Assisted Living

$6306

Memory Care

$10342

Nursing Home Facility (semiprivate room)

$11113

Nursing Home Facility (private room)

Does Medicaid Cover Memory Care in Oregon?

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 Oregon.

Oregon’s Medicaid program pays for memory care services for qualifying individuals directly via the K Plan option and through the Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver program. These programs are designed to help individuals avoid, delay or shorten the duration of nursing home placement.  

The K Plan option, officially called the Community First Choice State Plan Option, is part of the regular Medicaid program. It provides comprehensive coverage for community-based residential care as well as services in an individual’s home. The K Plan option is an entitlement of the Medicaid program and available to everyone who qualifies. The APD waiver is designed to help those in skilled nursing facilities return to their home or move to a community setting. Unlike regular Medicaid, this waiver has limited enrollment slots, and eligible applicants may be placed on a wait list.   

What Memory Care Services Are Covered by Medicaid in Oregon?  

Oregon Medicaid pays for many services individuals obtain in memory care facilities. The scope of covered services depends on whether the individual is enrolled in the K Plan option or the APD waiver.

K Plan Option Coverage  

The K Plan, which is authorized under the Affordable Care Act, pays for services in an individual’s home or residential care community as an alternative to nursing home care. All members receive case management services plus additional services to meet their care needs. These may include: 

  • Adult day health care services 
  • Attendant care, including personal care and homemaker services 
  • Assistive technology 
  • Chore services 
  • Transportation  
  • Durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walkers 
  • Home modifications 
  • Memory care services 
  • Respite  
  • Transition services to help individuals move from a nursing home to a memory care facility 

Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver Coverage

Like the K Plan option, the APD waiver pays for services related to moving from a nursing home to a less restrictive environment. It has higher income allowances than regular Medicaid, so those who don’t qualify for full Medicaid coverage may still be eligible from this waiver. Those who qualify for regular Medicaid’s K Plan option and the APD waiver may be enrolled in both programs simultaneously.  

Memory Care Waiver Programs in Oregon  

Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver  

Moving out of a nursing facility and into a less intensive environment such as a memory care facility can help individuals save thousands of dollars per year and enjoy greater freedom and flexibility, but making the transition can be expensive. While the APD waiver doesn’t cover ongoing expenses such as room and board, meals and recreational activities, it can pay for transition-related costs. Covered services may include: 

  • Case management 
  • Housing support services, including help with finding housing and submitting applications 
  • Transition services to move from an institutional setting to a memory care facility, including security deposits and basic furnishings   

The APD waiver is available to those aged 65 and over who meet Medicaid’s residency guidelines. Additionally, applicants must be in a nursing home but want to live in at home or in a community setting. The program also has income and asset limits. Single applicants can have a monthly income of up to $2,523 and up to $2,000 in countable assets. Married applicants who are both applying for the waiver may have a joint monthly income of no more than $5,046 and up to $4,000 in countable assets. If only one spouse is applying, only their income is considered, and it can be a maximum of $2,523 per month. The applicant’s asset limit is $2,000, and the non-applicant spouse can have up to $137,400 in countable assets.  

To apply for the APD waiver, individuals can request a paper application by calling the Oregon Health Plan Customer Service hotline at (800) 699-9075. They can also apply online here.  

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

Applicants must meet Oregon Medicaid’s income and asset limits to qualify for coverage. Single applicants can have up to $17,131 per year in pretax income from all sources, including public benefits, pensions and retirement savings accounts. In two-person households in which both people are applying for Medicaid, the household income limit is $23,169. If only one person is applying, the income limit is the same and only the applicant’s income counts.    

Applicants must also meet asset limits, which are set at $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for married couples. If only one spouse is applying for Medicaid, the non-applicant may retain up to $137,400 in jointly owned assets.

Exceeding income and asset limits may not disqualify individuals from enrolling in Medicaid. Spend-down programs, irrevocable trust funds and spousal asset transfers can help applicants meet the program’s eligibility guidelines.  

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Oregon 

 Income Limit*

Asset Limit

Single Applicant

$17,131

$2,000

Two-Person Household
(Only One Person applying)

$23,169

$3,000 applicant 

$137,400 non-applicant 

Two-Person Household
(Both People Applying)

$23,169

$3,000

* Per year

To be eligible for Medicaid, applicants must be at least 65 years old, legal U.S. citizens or residents and permanent residents of Oregon. They must also need help with daily living activities.  

How to Apply for Medicaid in Oregon  

Seniors can apply for Oregon Medicaid online by submitting an application through ONE.Oregon.gov, or they can fill out and submit a paper application to:  

OHP Customer Service 
P.O. Box 14015  
Salem OR, 97309   

Individuals can call the OHP Customer Service hotline at (800) 699-9075 to get help with applying for Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs or learn more about coverage options.   

Information You Will Need  

To apply for Medicaid, individuals must have the following information available:  

  • Social Security Number  
  • Date of birth (birth certificate, if available) 
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration documentation 
  • Proof of Oregon residency 
  • Proof of income and assets 
  • Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans, including TRICARE and Medicare  

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid  

Those seeking support or information regarding Oregon Medicaid have access to several government and nonprofit agencies. Through the following resources, seniors can get help with applying for the program, learning how to pay for memory care services through Medicaid and disputing denied applications or benefits.  

Resource

Contact

Description

(877) 642-0450

The OHA Ombudsman Program has a trained team of advocates who help older adults get the most from their Medicaid coverage. Through this program, seniors can learn more about regular Medicaid and its waiver programs, get help with applying for coverage and dispute denied coverage for memory care services. The office generally replies to complaints regarding Medicaid coverage within 5 business days.

(800) 699-9075

OHP Customer Service provides in-depth information on Oregon Medicaid’s eligibility criteria and the documents applicants need to have on hand when applying. Its representatives are available by phone and via email to answer questions about Medicaid benefits, replacing lost Medicaid cards, changing plans or filing complaints.

(800) 562-4620

OHPCC works in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Human Services to promote access to health services. This program is free to all Oregon Medicaid beneficiaries and provides services such as nurse advice and help with finding eligible primary and specialty care providers.

Does Medicare Cover Memory Care in Oregon?

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

Other Financial Assistance Options for Memory Care in Oregon

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 Oregon

Several government agencies and independent nonprofit programs serve Oregon seniors and families affected by dementia. Through the following resources, individuals can learn more about residential memory care and home-based alternatives, obtain advocacy services and connect with legal and financial advisors who help them navigate issues related to dementia.

Resource 

Contact 

Description

(800) 272-3900 

The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit organization that provides free advice and referrals for seniors and families. It has a 24-hour helpline staffed with specialists and master’s-level clinicians who provide confidential support and information for families, caregivers and seniors. Additional services are available through the Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter, including support groups, early-stage engagement activities and free educational programs for the community. 

(503) 494-7647 

The Brain Institute is based out of Portland and provides supportive and clinical services to seniors and families. It publishes a regular newsletter with up-to-date information on dementia-related topics, support groups and information on brain health and the latest in Alzheimer’s research. Those living outside the Portland area can access the organization’s website for tips on what to do during the early stages of dementia and access to online resources with information and practical tips.

(503) 364-8100 

The Alzheimer’s Network of Oregon is a nonprofit volunteer-driven program that provides support for people with memory-related conditions and their families in a four-county region. The organization also maintains an online directory of support groups.

(800) 930-6851 

Oregon Care Partners is a nonprofit organization that provides free educational resources to informal caregivers of those with dementia. It has online classes available to anyone living in Oregon, along with in-person classes throughout the state that cover topics related to dementia.

(503) 945-5600 

Oregon is home to 16 Area Agencies on Aging that administer services to those aged 60 and over. Seniors and families can contact their local AAA to speak with options counselors and legal and financial advisors who can help them make informed decisions regarding memory care and issues related to dementia, such as assigning guardianship. The agency also connects individuals and families with support groups and early-stage engagement activities in the community. 

(855) 673-2372 

The ADRC serves as a single point of contact for programs and services throughout the state. It’s staffed with information specialists who help seniors and families plan for long-term care needs and find services in the community such as support groups and informational and educational resources. 

(800) 522-2602 

The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman provides advocacy services to Oregon seniors living in memory care facilities. The ombudsman helps seniors in long-term care obtain the level and quality of care they deserve and can mediate conflicts related to care planning. The ombudsman also investigates cases of abuse or neglect.

COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care in Oregon

The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including oregon.gov/DHS/COVID-19. These rules apply to nursing homes and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/13/2022, 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 Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon

The Oregon Department of Human Services handles licensing for memory care communities. Each licensed facility must meet or exceed state requirements and train staff members on topics specific to dementia care. Licenses are valid for two years at a time, and facility inspections occur at least once during that period. To offer memory care, a residential care facility must obtain an endorsement specific to memory care on its license.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Oregon

Scope of Care

All senior residential programs must provide a minimum of three meals a day and snacks. Menus must be published at least a week in advance. Personal and laundry services are required, along with a schedule of activities designed to meet the capabilities of the residents, including those tailored toward residents in a memory care unit. Staff must use accepted methods for supporting residents with cognitive impairments and assist with all activities of daily living.

Care Plans

A service plan or care plan must be completed prior to a resident moving into a memory care unit and updated within 30 days of their residency. The service plan must be evaluated and changed to meet evolving needs on a quarterly basis.

Medication Management

Medication can be administered by memory care staff under the supervision of a registered pharmacist or registered nurse. The supervisor must inspect medications and processes every 90 days to ensure compliance with regulations and dosage instructions. Medications must be kept secure when not being delivered to residents.

Staffing

While there are no specific staffing requirements beyond having ample staff available 24 hours per day, staffing minimums may be assessed after an inspection or complaint.

Medicaid Coverage

Several Oregon Medicaid programs may provide financial assistance with residential long-term care services. Each program has personal and financial eligibility requirements.

Reporting Abuse

To report suspected abuse, seniors or their loved ones can call the hotline administered by the Department of Human Services (1-855-503-SAFE), the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (1-800-522-2602) or a local Area Agency on Aging.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does memory care cost in Oregon?

Seniors in Oregon can expect to pay an average of $5,624 per month for memory care. This cost is slightly more expensive than the national average and approximately 20-30% more than standard assisted living. Additional charges associated with specialized activities and care account for the increase in cost.

Are there financial assistance programs for memory care in Oregon?

Oregon has a variety of programs that may provide financial assistance to seniors moving into memory care, including the K Plan, PACE and several other programs administered through the state Medicaid program.

Does Medicare pay for memory care?

Medicare doesn’t cover assisted living or memory care and has limited benefits for nursing home care. It does cover hospice care, even if delivered in a residential setting. It may provide care planning, safety inspections and cognitive assessments. For seniors who don’t qualify for Medicaid, long-term care insurance is a possible option.

What are activities of daily living?

Critical everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, preparing a meal, eating and moving around the house, are considered activities of daily living.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living?

Memory care is often offered at assisted living communities in specialized housing with entry and exit restrictions. The level of care is nearly identical, but all services in memory care facilities are tailored to meet the needs of those with cognitive impairments.