Without question, hiring outside assistance to help care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or related dementia can be very expensive. Of course, costs vary depending on the type of care. Home care, adult day care, assisted living and nursing home care all provide vastly different services and have dramatically varying price tags.
Many subtle factors influence that cost of care, such as:
● What state you live in
● Population density (rural vs. urban)
● Agency vs. independent caregiver
● Local laws and ordinances
● Demand (especially for residential care)
● Which activities of daily living you need help with
● Tax credits and deductions
Home care is almost always charged on an hourly basis. Fortunately, most home care providers do not charge higher hourly rates for persons suffering from Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, or other type of dementia. It should be noted that there is a difference between Home Health Care (injections, IV infusions, dressing wounds) and Non-Medical Home Care (housekeeping, running errands, companionship).
Most persons with dementia do not require home health care. The best home care option for someone with dementia is usually called “personal care,” and includes non-medical home care services like companionship and some housekeeping, as well as help with exercising and activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, getting dressed, eating, and using the bathroom. Nationwide, as of June 2021, the average cost is $24.21 / hour, $151 / day, $4,615 / month, and $55,381 / year. Like all types of care, there is considerable geographic variation in the cost of home care. Regional information can be useful for families. In the southern and mid-western United States, state averages for home care are between $17.50 – $21.50 / hour. In New England, the mid-Atlantic states and on the West Coast, state averages are in the range of $26.00 – $31.00 per hour. The most expensive state for home care is Washington, for about $32 per hour in 2021; the most affordable state is Louisiana, for roughly $17.50 per hour.
Adult day care is usually billed on a daily basis. There are different types of adult day care: adult day social care, adult day health care and even Alzheimer’s day treatment. Surprisingly, there is not a lot of cost variance between these different types of program. The national average rate in 2021 is $75. This makes adult day care a more affordable option than the home care described above.
The greater variance is the state in which one resides, and the difference can be huge. The most affordable state for adult day care is Texas, for about $32 per day. The most expensive is Vermont, for about $130 per day. More generally, n the deep south and the plains states, adult day care usually costs $58 – $75 per day; in the Northeast and on the West Coast, one should expect to pay $85 – $125 per day. Regardless of where one lives, adult day care is the most cost-effective form of care for persons with dementia. Many adult day care centers provide transportation, some for free while others charge a fee.
Assisted living for persons with dementia is often called Memory Care. Memory care typically provides higher levels of care, with more specialized training for staff, as well as greater security to prevent wandering. Memory care costs vary greatly by community, with some residences even in the same geographic area charging almost twice as much as others.
Nationally, as of June 2021, the average cost of assisted living is $4,429 / month ($53,148 / year). However, memory care (for persons with Alzheimer’s or other related dementia) costs, on average, $1,000 more per month, or $5,429. In the southern states and through the plains, the monthly cost can be as low as $3,300 / month. In the Northeast and on the West Coast, costs are much higher. Families can expect monthly costs upwards of $5,500, even $7,000. For the cost of memory care in a specific state, and other information including state-specific programs that will help cover costs to make memory care more affordable, click here and find your state.
For persons with later-stage dementia, nursing home care may be necessary. Like adult day care, nursing homes charge by the day. The national average for a shared room in a nursing home as of June 2021 is $263 per day. State averages range from $150 – $425 daily with the exception of Alaska where care costs are significantly higher (as much as three times more than any other state). Unlike assisted living communities, nursing homes do not charge additionally for individuals with dementia.