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Connecticut Residential Alzheimer’s Care (Memory Care): Laws, Costs & Financial Help

Last Updated: November 13, 2022

 

Assisted living homes in Connecticut for people with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia are called Alzheimer’s special care units or memory care. These homes support residents who can no longer live independently. For your loved one, this means daily work with staff trained to manage difficulties with socialization, communication, aggression, other important issues related to dementia and assistance with activities of daily living like eating and bathing.

Aiding your loved one with activities of daily living, regular meals, housekeeping should all be considered standard for adults in assisted living. Connecticut also allows nursing services to be provided in assisted living homes, meaning it’s possible to get medical care in addition to personal care. Someone in need of 24-hour-per-day nursing care, however, may not be admitted.

In order to be licensed as an Alzheimer’s special care unit, the residence must provide additional services. Anyone considering memory care in Connecticut is given a document with the following information:

– The residence’s overall philosophy and mission statement reflecting the needs of people with dementia
– The process of placement within, or transfer from, the unit
– The process for assessing a resident’s health needs
– The method for altering a health plan if conditions change
– Staff-to-patient ratios and staff training
– Physical space and design features appropriate for residents with dementia
– Types of activities offered, and how often
– Familial involvement and support programs
– Costs, including additional fees

If you’re looking for memory care in Connecticut, asking for the disclosure document and taking a tour should provide much of the information you’ll need to decide if the home is right for your family. You’ll also want to talk with other residents and staff, and spend some time watching how the guests live, including sharing a meal. There are approximately 130 memory care communities and over 110 board and care homes (with services like assisted living in a smaller house-like setting, including memory care in some cases). Free assistance is available in locating a memory care home to meet your needs and budget, start here.

 Did You Know? About 13.5% of people over 65 in Connecticut have Alzheimer’s’ disease, one of the highest averages in the country.

 

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Connecticut?

The average cost of memory care per month in Connecticut is $6,221. The state’s most expensive place for memory care is also its largest city. In Bridgeport, memory care costs $7,582 per month. The least costly place is Norwich averaging $5,190 per month.

 Free assistance is available in locating a memory care home to meet your needs and budget, start here.

Connecticut is one of the smallest states, and residents frequently commute across the border into New York and Massachusetts. If you reside in Connecticut, you might want to see what your options are in neighboring states, and there may be an opportunity for savings. New York state is costly for memory care, on average, running $5,558 per month. Massachusetts’ state-wide averages even more than Connecticut’s’ averaging $7,877 monthly, and Rhode Island is also more expensive, costing $8,245 monthly. It can still be possible to find less expensive options in those states because the costs of homes can vary widely. You can get free assistance by clicking here to find affordable memory care in all states.

More cities in Connecticut and their memory care costs:

Connecticut Memory Care / Assisted Living Costs (updated Sept. 2022)
Region / City Daily Cost Monthly Cost
Statewide $204 $6,221
Bridgeport $249 $7,582
New Haven $202 $6,147
Hartford $208 $6,331
Norwich $171 $5,190

 

Connecticut Assisted Living Laws & Regulations

 Covid 19-Related Measures (updated Sept. 2022)
Residents – Their temperatures are checked and patients are also tested regularly.
Visitors – Can visit loved ones, must wear a mask and temperature is checked upon entry.
Staff – Have temperatures checked upon entry and are regularly tested.

Admissions Process & Requirements

New residents must be assessed to create a plan called a Client Services Program. This should occur within seven days of moving into assisted living. The assessment is completed by a registered nurse and outlines healthcare needs and specific services that the unit will provide to your loved one. An example would be determining exactly which activities of daily living, like eating, the staff will need to assist with. The personalized care plan should be reviewed as often as necessary, or every four months and details:

– Medical issues and needs
– Services and equipment required
– Medications
– Treatments

Because it’s part of moving-in, the cost of being assessed might be part of the residence’s basic rate, though there may be an assessment or community fee that covers the assessment and other up-front costs like getting the living unit ready for move-in. If there is an community fee, it generally costs between $1,500 and $2,500.

You do not need an official diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease to move into a Connecticut memory care facility. Dementia is difficult to diagnose and the symptoms themselves are more important than the disease. The ultimate goal is to make sure your loved one is supported and as comfortable as possible.

 

Facility / Residence

Connecticut does not have square footage requirements for bedrooms. Regulations say that residents have access to a full bathroom and a place for food preparation and storage. There must also be a common living area big enough to accommodate half of all the residents at any given time. There is no maximum number of people per room, though residents must agree to be roommates before they’re put together.

Memory care facilities differ from assisted living by their buildings having “physical environment and design features appropriate to support the functioning of cognitively impaired adult residents.” Building layouts must be dementia-friendly, meaning the hallways are easy to navigate and don’t run into dead ends and the outdoor areas are offered for exercise but also monitored to prevent wandering.

 

Staff & Training

A ten-hour orientation is required for new employees in all assisted living homes in Connecticut. It covers topics like regulations, policies on handling emergencies, and organizational structure. Anyone working directly with residents must have completed adequate training and passed a competency exam.

Alzheimer’s special care units are also required to provide annual training that addresses how to serve people with dementia. Six hours of dementia-specific training is required within six months of beginning employment, and then eight additional hours annually. Additionally, two hours of training is required every year for pain recognition and pain management techniques. A registered nurse must be on call 24 hours per day.

There are no staff-to-resident ratios, but a supervisor must be present at all residences to oversee staff and make sure services are adequate to meet the needs of every resident. The supervisor must be a registered nurse with adequate experience.

 

Financial Assistance for Residential Alzheimer’s Memory Care

Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders

The goal of this Connecticut Medicaid program is to keep seniors in their homes or assisted living communities rather than moving into a more expensive nursing home. For some, it may cover the complete cost of assisted living. Recipients must show they need help with multiple activities of daily living. There are two sets of eligibility criteria: state-funded or Medicaid waiver. State-funded applicants must demonstrate assets under around $38,500 for an individual or $51,500 for a married couple. To receive assistance through the Medicaid waiver, a person must apply for Medicaid and have monthly income under $2,742 in 2023. Click here for more information on Connecticut’s Medicaid eligibility criteria and information on the program. Take an online Medicaid eligibility test and if eligible, you can apply online or in person at your local Department of Social Services field office.

 

Congregate Housing Services Program

This program offers subsidized housing with medical services for older adults in more than a dozen locations throughout the state. These homes are mostly located in rural areas of eastern and western Connecticut. Funding is provided through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Participants must be at least 62 and in need of help with at least three activities of daily living. Monthly income and assets are not a factor in eligibility, and priority is given to people with the greatest medical need. Participants are expected to pay between 10 and 25 percent of room, board, and care costs. Memory care communities typically provide a higher level of care, so this program may be best for people in the early stages of dementia. For more information, click here. To apply, contact your local office for the Department of Aging and Disability Services.

 

Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veterans are statistically more likely to develop dementia. Among the reasons for this is that traumatic brain injuries and posttraumatic stress disorder lead to a higher probability of developing the condition. The VA offers many benefits for Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as different pension types.

 

VA Pensions

There are three types of VA Pensions available. The benefits change annually and are valid from December 2022 to December 2023. The benefits (and their maximum allowance) are as follows:

1) Basic Pension – This benefit is also known as a death pension. It is for veterans and surviving spouses who are aged or disabled. The qualifying disability does not need to be related to their military service. On an annual basis, the Basic Pension pays:

– Veterans without spouses or children up to $16,073

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children up to $21,001

– Surviving spouses without dependent children up to $10,756

2) Aid & Attendance – Abbreviated as A&A, this is an important program for veterans and their surviving spouses who require assistance with activities of daily living. This means they need assistance with activities like bathing, dressing, and eating. A&A is particularly helpful for people with dementia, especially in the middle and later stages of the disease, when the need for more assistance becomes necessary. A&A is intended to help with the long-term care costs of adult day care, in-home care, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. Based on an individual’s need and the progression of the disease, most of these additional services that support your loved one will become necessary. Annually, the A&A pays:

– Veterans without spouses or children a maximum of $26,751

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children a maximum of $31,713

– Surviving spouses without dependent children a maximum of $17,191

3) Housebound – For veterans and surviving spouses who are permanently disabled and unable to leave their homes, making them require additional assistance. The definition of “home” can include assisted living, memory care, and nursing home. The Housebound pension, like the A&A pension, is meant to help cover long-term care costs. Annually, the Housebound pays:

– Veterans without spouses or children a maximum of $19,598

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children a maximum of $24,562

– Surviving spouses without dependent children a maximum of $13,145

 More information on VA Pensions’ eligibility criteria, payment rates and the application process is available here.

Veterans Homes

There is one veterans’ home in Connecticut that is a residential care facility which provides long-term care for veterans. It is located in Rocky Hill in Hartford County. The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs-Rocky Hill offers long-term care for elderly veterans with medical conditions including dementia. In addition to nursing home care, assisted living and memory care are available. There is a memory care unit that has 125 beds. Neighboring states also have veterans’ homes, so your loved one might consider looking there for more options as there are no requirements that one must live in the state. For example, New York has five veterans’ homes statewide with one facility relatively close to its shared border. Additionally, Massachusetts has 2 facilities statewide. More info.

 

Other Options

1) Elder care loans exist for families to cover the costs of moving into memory care while waiting for other financial resources to become available. For example, if one is waiting for a VA pension to be approved or waiting to sell a home. More on bridge loans for memory care.

2) Tax credits and deductions like the Credit for the Elderly and the Disabled, or the Child and Dependent Care Credit (if you can claim your elderly loved one as a dependent). Remember also that medical and dental expenses can be deducted, and that can include assisted living costs.

3) A reverse mortgage can be an option for a married person moving into memory care, if their spouse continues to live in the home. However, if the spouse moves from their home, the reverse mortgage becomes due.