Memory Care in Vermont
Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of death in Vermont, compared to being the sixth-leading cause in the United States as a whole. The Green Mountain State also has the second-highest death rate in the country, where 333 senior citizens died from the disease in 2018. About 13,000 older Vermonters who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as of 2020, and this number is projected to grow to 17,000 or by 30.8% in 2025. The disease also accounts for a significant percentage of emergency room cases and hospital readmissions in the state.
To help seniors and their loved ones cope with the challenges of dementia, there are memory care facilities in Vermont that provide specialized services in safe, structured residential environments. These facilities benefit memory-impaired seniors with secured, purposely structured homelike settings, a tailored routine of activities, brain-healthy meals and round-the-clock expert care. Memory care facilities in Vermont are governed by the Division of Licensing and Protection of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging Independent Living.
Memory care can either be offered on its own in a community designed especially for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. More often, it’s provided as a service in a separate wing of an assisted living facility, usually one that has enhanced security and care. 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 offers a comprehensive view of memory care in Vermont, highlighting its estimated costs, available financial assistance programs, free resources and existing government regulations.
The Cost of Memory Care in Vermont
Memory care in Vermont is provided in assisted living residences with designated memory care neighborhoods, as well as in residential care homes with care units. The cost of memory care is usually 20% to 30% higher than assisted living due to the higher level of care provided to residents with dementia. This is typically attributed to specialized staffing, larger staff-to-resident ratios, advanced security systems and tailored dementia care programs. Memory care cost comparisons are based on adjusted average assisted living costs, and actual rates for each facility may vary based on location, pricing structure and level of care.
Memory Care Costs in Nearby States
At $6,673 per month, memory care in Vermont is more expensive than most areas in the United States. It’s around $1,600 higher than the national average of $5,064, based on the Genworth Cost of Care Survey for 2019. The Green Mountain State is also the third most expensive state in New England. New Hampshire has the steepest cost in the region at $8,776, $2,100 more compared to Vermont. Massachusetts is also expensive at $7,050, nearly $400 more than the Green Mountain State. Seniors can save about $200 per month when opting for Maine, which costs $6,461. Neighboring New York is the nearest most affordable state at $5,788, costing nearly $900 less than Vermont.
The United States
Cost of Other Types of Care in Washington
While memory care is among the most expensive senior care options in Vermont at $6,673 per month, it’s significantly less costly than institutionalized care. It’s about $4,000 less expensive than nursing home care which costs $10,722. This makes memory care a financially sound option for those who need specialized support in a residential setting. With this, memory care facilities are reasonably more expensive by around $1,300 than standard assisted living residences which charge a monthly average of $5,338.
Seniors and loved ones opting home care arrangements may expect to pay $5,169 for in-home or home health care, nearly $1,500 cheaper than memory care. Although home health care may benefit care recipients with personalized support, memory care facilities are also capable of providing these services in addition to round-the-clock supervision, safe living accommodations and companionship with peers. Adult day care is the most affordable option at $3,033 per month, but its limited scope of care may not fully support those with later stages of dementia.
Home Health Care
Adult Day Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home Care
The Cost of Memory Care in Vermont’s Top Cities
Because Vermont is a small state, its average memory care costs do not significantly vary by area. Burlington, the largest city, has an average cost of $6,391, close but slightly lower than the state average. In Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city, memory care is much steeper at $8,978. The nearest cities in New York, Glens Falls and Albany, are more affordable with costs falling within the $5,000 range. Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is the nearest and most affordable city outside Vermont with an average cost of $3,776.
Manchester, New Hampshire
Albany, New York
Glens Falls, New York
Financial Assistance for Memory Care in Vermont
Medicaid for the Aged, Blind or Disabled (MABD)
Green Mountain Care is the Medicaid program of Vermont, and its MABD program provides free or low-cost coverage on various health care services for eligible older Vermonters. MABD-eligible seniors may benefit from Green Mountain Care’s long-term care programs that cover the costs of health care and other services provided in memory care facilities.
Who Is Eligible?
Seniors 65 and older must meet the financial qualifications for Green Mountain Care based on maximum income and resource requirements.
How to Apply
An accomplished 205ALLMED application form may be submitted online or by mail to the Green Mountain Care office.
Choices for Care
Choices for Care is Vermont’s dedicated long-term care Medicaid program. It helps qualified seniors pay for long-term care services provided in their settings of choice, including their own homes and approved nursing homes, assisted living residences and residential care homes. Services covered may include case management, personal care, nursing overview, medication management and housekeeping services.
Who Is Eligible?
Applicants must be Vermont residents 65 and older, qualified to receive a nursing home level of care and meet the income criteria for Medicaid.
How to Apply
Applications may be done by submitting an accomplished 202LTC application form online or via mail to the Green Mountain Care office.
Enhanced Residential Care (ERC)
ERC is a Choices for Care option that benefits qualified seniors with a daily bundled service package provided in participating Level III residential care homes and assisted living residences. Memory care facilities enrolled as ERC providers receive reimbursements from Medicaid to help eligible residents pay for various services such as case management, personal care, nursing overview and medication management.
Who Is Eligible?
ERC services are only provided by participating long-term care facilities to Choices for Care program beneficiaries.
How to Apply
An applicant’s chosen long-term care facility must be a licensed ERC provider. Local Area Agencies on Aging may be contacted for assistance in applying for the Choices for Care program and its ERC option.
Assistive Community Care Services (ACCS)
ACCS is a Medicaid State Plan option that pays for supportive services provided in participating Level III residential care homes and assisted living residences. These services include restorative and on-site assistive therapies, nursing assessments, medication management, personal care services and case management.
Who Is Eligible?
To qualify for ACCS, Vermonters 65 and older must be qualified to receive Medicaid and SSI benefits, and their chosen residential facilities must be participating in the program.
How to Apply
Applicants may contact their local Area Agencies on Aging for assistance with Medicaid and/or SSI applications and in choosing ACCS-certified facilities.
Free and Low-Cost Memory Care Resources in Vermont
Vermont has several local and statewide programs for seniors in terms of long-term care and coping with dementia. These free resources include information and service referrals for older Vermonters and their loved ones, as well as local organizations that assist seniors with community integration, legal support and planning for the future.
|Alzheimer’s Association Vermont Chapter||800-272-3900||The Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association offers support groups, education programs and caregiver training and resources for Vermonters with dementia and their families.|
|Aging and Disability Resource Connections (ADRC) – No Wrong Door||Contact a local Area Agency on Aging||Vermont’s ADRC provides No Wrong Door access to various long-term services and supports, helping residents of any age and income, including seniors with dementia and their families. This initiative reduces the need to contact multiple agencies, effectively assisting residents in making informed decisions on long-term care.|
|Governor’s Commission on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD)||802-241-0375||ADRD makes policy recommendations, promotes public awareness and supports community programs toward making Vermont a dementia-friendly state. Its multidisciplinary panel of appointed representatives from various sectors include government, health care, long-term care, social work, legal and business professionals.|
|Adult Day Services||802-241-0294||State-certified adult day centers provide non-residential supports to physically and cognitively impaired adults, helping them stay active and connected to their communities. These include nutritious meals, social activities and professional health care services. A complete list of adult day providers is available on the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) Adult Services Division webpage.|
|Senior Centers||1-800-642-5119||Supporting Vermont’s effort in promoting healthy aging and helping delay institutionalization, the state’s senior centers provide social engagements, wellness activities and nutritious meals at little to no cost. DAIL maintains an online map of senior centers throughout the state to help seniors find the nearest ones in their areas.|
|Elder Law Project of Vermont Legal Aid||1-800-889-2047||Vermont Legal Aid’s Elder Law Project benefits citizens 60 and older with a full range of legal services including advance directives, powers of attorney and full representation. An online legal help tool and specific information, instructions and forms on various topics are available at the organization’s VTLawHelp.org website.|
|Vermont Ethics Network||802-828-2909||The Vermont Ethics Network advocates ethical health care decisions and provides free educational resources and written materials, including advance directive templates for Vermont residents. Because Vermont doesn’t have a specific dementia directive, this can be integrated into the provided standard form by stating the client’s specific condition.|
Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Vermont
Through the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, the State of Vermont has specific licensing regulations for assisted living residences (ALRs) and residential care homes (RCHs). These facilities include those with designated memory care units, as well as those that are exclusively for memory care. For assisted living facilities, Vermont’s ALR regulations must be used in conjunction with the RCH regulations.
|Scope of Care||ALR’s uniform consumer disclosure shall describe all its service packages, tiers and rates. It must also include a statement that rates are subject to change due to changing care needs and other situations that should be described. This disclosure shall be available to the public upon request and noted of its availability in the facility’s marketing and other written materials.|
|Care Plans||An ALR or RCF must coordinate with the resident and/or the client’s legal representative in developing a care plan based on the resident’s assessment. Using an assessment instrument provided by the licensing agency, assessments must be done within 14 days after a resident’s admission and submitted to the agency annually or as requested. Care plan reviews must be done at least annually and whenever necessary due to a resident’s changes in condition or circumstances.|
|Medication Management||The administration of specific medications must be delegated by a registered nurse to designated staff for designated residents. The registered nurse is responsible for teaching unlicensed staff with proper medication administration techniques and the medication’s potential side effects with respect to the resident’s condition. Non-RN staff members can only perform insulin injections if they have received additional training and upon delegation by a registered nurse.|
|Staffing||For RCH or ALR with more than 15 residents, there must be at least one awake staff member on duty at all times. The licensing agency may require a specific staffing level to meet the residents’ needs. Facilities with special care units such as those for memory care shall provide specialized training to staff members who have direct care responsibilities for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia.|
|Medicaid Coverage||While Vermont’s Medicaid programs do not cover room and board costs, residents who are ERC and/or ACCS recipients benefit from subsidized supportive services provided by participating ALRs and RCHs. These participating facilities include those with memory care units that have either or both ERC and ACCS certifications.|
|Reporting Abuse||Any ALR or RCH staff member can report any case of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation to the Adult Protective Services (APS) unit of DAIL. APS reports should be made within 48 hours of learning the alleged incident. This may be done online or by calling 1-800-564-1612 toll-free.|
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does memory care cost in Vermont?
Vermont’s monthly average memory care cost is $6,673. Although memory care facilities usually charge 20 to 30% more than standard assisted living facilities, memory care in Vermont is estimated to be 60% more affordable than nursing home care.
Does Green Mountain Care pay for memory care?
Yes. Applicable Medicaid programs include the Enhanced Residential Care (ERC) option under the Choices for Care waiver and the Medicaid State Plan’s Assistive Community Care Services (ACCS). Eligible seniors may qualify for either or both programs and must be residents of participating ERC and/or ACCS providers.
Does Medicare pay for memory care?
Medicare does not cover memory care or assisted living costs, but it pays for the costs of care planning and cognitive assessments for individuals diagnosed with dementia, as well as hospice care provided in long-term care facilities.
What types of facilities offer memory care?
There are assisted living and residential care facilities that are exclusively for memory care, as well as those that have special care units designated as memory care neighborhoods. Nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities can also have dedicated memory care units.
What security features are present in memory care facilities?
For the residents’ safety, memory care facilities should have 24-hour monitoring and alert systems, enhanced access controls and individual emergency call systems.