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

Last Updated: November 13, 2022

 

In Idaho, assisted living residences are called residential care facilities. They provide room and board, meals, and assistance with activities of daily living to residents who are elderly or have special care needs. Additional support services include laundry, emergency medical care, first aid and medication management.

Assisted living for people with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, is often called memory care. For residences to be able to provide memory care, they must have additional safety measures in place. There are training requirements for staff who work with dementia patients.

There are over 150 memory care residences and over 200 board and care homes in Idaho. They are regulated by the state’s Department of Health and Welfare. Board and care homes provide the same services as assisted living (including memory care) in a smaller, more home-like setting. For free help finding memory care in Idaho to meet your family’s needs and budget, click here.

 Did You Know? Idaho has one of the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s disease in the country, with an estimated 10% of residents over 65 having been diagnosed. However, that number is expected to increase over the next five years, as the number of people with Alzheimer’s jumps from 27,000 in 2020 to 33,000 in 2025.

 

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Idaho?

The average cost of assisted living with memory care in Idaho is $4,638. In Boise, it averages $4,343 per month. Coeur d’Alene is the most expensive place for memory care costing $5,668 monthly. In Idaho Falls, memory care is less expensive than in other cities, running $4,233 per month.

 There is free assistance to Idaho residents finding memory care communities that meet their loved ones needs and budget even when located out-of-state. Get help here.

Residents of southern Idaho might consider crossing the state line into Nevada or Utah. Both have memory care that is less expensive than Idaho. Nevada averages $4,527 and Utah costs $4,233 monthly. For example, in the northern Utah town of Logan, memory care averages $3,975 monthly.

Other cities and costs:

Idaho Memory Care / Assisted Living Costs (updated Sept. 2022)
Region / City  Daily Cost Monthly Cost
Statewide $152 $4,638
Boise $143 $4,343
Idaho Falls $139 $4,233
Pocatello $167 $5,080
Coeur d’Alene $186 $5,668
Twin Falls $152 $4,638

 

Idaho 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

Perspective residents looking at an assisted living facility in Idaho are given the following information in writing:

– List of available services and their purposes
– Any restrictions based on philosophy or religion
– Limitations on delivery of care by staff who are the opposite gender
– Notice of any registered sexual offenders in the residence
– A detailed list of all costs, including basic rates and additional services, supplies, or equipment
– Contact information for the Ombudsman for the Elderly
– Staff guidelines and their qualifications

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia is not required to move into memory care in Idaho. Dementia can be difficult to diagnose as symptoms change. Treating the symptoms and needs are more important than a diagnosis and will ensure the comfort of your loved one.

Every resident must be assessed before moving into an assisted living facility to determine their unique care needs. Normally these are conducted by a medical professional who works at the residence. The assessment enables the facility to create a personalized plan for care and support. The plan includes:

– Ability to perform activities of daily living and if support is needed
– Health services needed
– Medication assistance needed
– Behavioral symptoms

Each residence is different in terms of covering the evaluation in the base rate or charging a one time fee, called a community fee. These fees cover up-front costs of becoming a resident. This includes the assessment, creation of a care plan, and details like painting and deep cleaning the living unit to get it ready for a new occupant.

In Idaho, you can not be admitted or continue living in a facility who can not meet your needs. Because dementia is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse as it advances from early to late stages, the residence must anticipate the change of your loved one’s needs.
Additionally, someone with the following health issues may not be admitted into assisted living:

– Requires 24-hour skilled nursing care
– Needs feeding tubes or a catheter
– Requires physical restraints, including bed rails
– Is comatose
– Is on a mechanical breathing system
– Tracheotomy
– Open wounds in need of continuous draining
– Stage III or IV pressure ulcers

 

Facility

Private living units must be at least 100 square feet, and rooms for two residents must be at least 160 square feet. Two is the maximum number of people allowed in a room. One toilet is required for every six residents and a tub or shower is required for every eight.

Assisted living residences with memory care, must provide communal living areas both inside and outside that are secure. This is for the safety of residents who may be prone to wandering. Look for other design features that benefit people with dementia. They might be using soft paint colors on the walls or circular hallways that do not run into dead ends. Look at the facility’s dementia friendliness to see if your loved one will be comfortable in the spaces before agreeing to move in.

 

Staff & Training

Staff in assisted living residences who treat memory care patients must complete the following training:

– Dementia symptoms and behaviors
– Communication for people with dementia
– Adjusting residents to new living situations
– Managing behavior
– Assisting with activities of daily living
– Stress reduction

Every residence must have at least one state-licensed administrator who is responsible for organization and administration. This person must be reachable at all times. Additionally, an employee with training in first aid and CPR must be awake and on-duty 24 hours per day. There is no staff-to-resident ratio. Administrators are required to have adequate education and experience to receive a license. This includes at least 200 hours of experience working in assisted living. Twelve hours of continuing education are required annually for administrators. Staff must complete 16 hours of orientation before they may work alone with residents. At least eight hours of training are required annually, and if an assisted living residence serves people with particular health needs, staff must be trained in meeting those needs.

 

Evictions Rules

In Idaho, 30 days notice is required to evict a resident from assisted living, except in an emergency situation. The reasons a person can be given notice and asked to leave are:

– Physical / mental condition has gotten so bad that care needs can no longer be met there
– Nonpayment of fees

Other possible reasons for eviction may be established in the contract at the time of admission, and it’s important to be familiar with these. Homes can make their own rules about this, but those rules must be written down and agreed upon. Be sure to ask for the specific reasons a person can be evicted before agreeing to a move-in contract. Keep it on file, because unfair evictions can be a problem in assisted living. For information on the next steps to take if your loved one receives an eviction notice, click here.

 

Financial Assistance for Residential Alzheimer’s Memory Care

 The 3 programs described below are all Medicaid programs. Eligibility for Medicaid in Idaho is complicated and depends on a variety of factors including income, home ownership and marital status. Read a full description of Medicaid eligibility requirements in Idaho here or take a Medicaid eligibility test.

 

Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver

For people over 65 who require nursing-home-level care, the A&D waiver can cover the costs of services while allowing them to remain at home or in assisted living (including assisted living with memory care). The goal of the program is to help save money by not having to move into more expensive nursing homes. Medicaid-eligible recipients work with the state to choose from a list of benefits, including costs in assisted living (other than room and board), special medical equipment, and transition services for anyone moving back into assisted living after a long stay in an institutional setting like the hospital. The application is available to download here. A limited number of people can be accepted into this program at one time, so there may be a waiting list. Check on waiting list status by contacting the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare offices.

 

Personal Care Services Program

Personal Care Services is another Idaho Medicaid program to help people cover the costs of getting help with activities of daily living like eating and bathing. The program is for people who live in their homes or in assisted living, not covering care in a nursing home. Applicants must be Medicaid-eligible, including monthly income under $894, though there may be assistance available for people who don’t quite qualify. For more information, including contact information for Medicaid offices in Idaho that can help you apply, click here.

 

Medicaid Medicare Coordinated Plan

Idaho’s Medicaid Medicare Coordinated Plan program is for people who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare and need help with costs and managing the services provided. Recipients must already be enrolled in each state plan (every kind of Medicare counts toward eligibility). People residing in assisted living with memory care may be eligible, and the benefits include behavioral health services, assistance with activities of daily living, and prescription drugs. This is not available everywhere in Idaho. For a list of eligible counties, and for more information including how to enroll, click here.

 

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 are three veterans’ homes in Idaho, which are facilities providing long-term residential care for veterans. They are in Boise, Lewiston, and Pocatello (in the southeast region of the state). In addition to nursing home care, assisted living and memory care may be provided. Neighboring states also have veterans’ homes. Your loved one might consider looking there for more options as there are no requirements that one must live in the state. For example, Utah has four veterans’ homes statewide. Additionally, Montana has three facilities and Nevada has two. 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.