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

Last Updated: January 31, 2024


In Indiana, assisted living homes are called residential care facilities. They provide rooms, meals, and healthcare based on your loved ones needs. Residential care facilities assist residents with activities of daily living like bathing and eating and may also offer nursing care.

Some assisted living homes in Indiana have special programs or units for people with Alzheimer’s. Special care units have additional requirements. A doctor’s diagnosis of dementia is not required to move into memory care in Indiana.

All homes give disclosure forms to prospective residents that lists:

– The philosophy on treating residents with dementia
– How the home determines that a resident is suitable for memory care
– The assessment process and formation of a personalized special care plan
– Staff information including the number of employees and their training
– Description of frequency and types of activities
– Rules for use of physical or chemical restraints
– Itemized list of all charges and fees
– Anything else specific to memory care

Assisted living homes in Indiana are regulated by the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. There are about 160 memory care residences in Indiana. For free help finding a residence that meets your family’s needs and budget, click here.

 Did You Know? Only about 11% of people over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease in Indiana, one of the lowest rates in the country. The number of people there with Alzheimer’s is expected to be about 135,000 by 2025.


How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Indiana?

The average cost of memory care per month in Indiana is $5,605 in 2024. The state’s most expensive memory care is in Lafayette, running $6,877 per month. The least expensive is located in Kokomo, about an hour north of Indianapolis, for $4,253 monthly. Indianapolis is Indiana’s biggest city, and memory care costs are $5,844 per month. Fort Wayne, the state’s second-biggest city, costs $4,572 monthly.

 In Indiana, patients with dementia and their family members are entitled to free assistance finding memory care homes that meet their budget.  Start here.

People who live near a bordering state may be able to find more affordable memory care outside Indiana. Kentucky averages $4,492 per month, Illinois costs $5,884, Michigan is $5,565 and Ohio will run $6,043 monthly. Other cities and costs:

Indiana Memory Care / Assisted Living Costs (updated Jan. 2024)
Region / City Daily Cost Monthly Cost
Statewide $185 $5,605
Indianapolis $192 $5,844
Fort Wayne $150 $4,572
Evansville $188 $5,724
South Bend $143 $4,333
Bloomington $185 $5,605
Lafayette $226 $6,877


Indiana Assisted Living Laws & Regulations

 Covid 19-Related Measures (updated Aug. 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

An evaluation of the patient’s needs is required before admission into an assisted living residence, and it must be updated semi-annually. The evaluation must include:

– Physical, cognitive, and mental status
– Ability to perform activities of daily living
– The resident’s weight
– Ability to self-administer medications

This evaluation is usually done by a healthcare professional working for the residence. Some assisted living homes will charge a community fee that includes up-front costs like the assessment, deep cleaning and painting the room to prepare for a new occupant. Other homes require the assessment to be conducted by an outside doctor, meaning your loved one will need to pay for it.

The contract between a resident and the facility in Indiana must include the home’s licensure status, services provided and information on costs and charges. Residential care facilities must file a disclosure agreement annually with the state’s Division of Aging, and this agreement must also be provided to residents or people who are considering moving in. In memory care, residents receive standardized forms with information including how an assessment is made, how special care plans are implemented, a description of activities provided, and the number of staff and staff training requirements.

Nursing care can be provided in assisted living. The care must be intermittent, meaning not required 24 hours per day. Someone who needs nursing supervision beyond what a residence can provide is allowed to contract with outside doctors’ offices to receive that care. Rehabilitation therapies are also only allowed if a resident has an agreement with an outside provider.

A resident cannot be admitted into assisted living if:

– Is dangerous to themselves or others
– Requires 24-hour nursing care
– Is not medically stable
– If two of these three issues apply: the patient needs total assistance with eating, using the bathroom, or moving from room to room.

It is possible to move into assisted living on short notice, but this is not a good idea because of the steps involved and because the sooner you begin looking for a home the more likely you are to find a perfect match. Beginning your search early also allows your loved one to contribute more to the decision, which gets difficult with the thinking problems that come in the middle and later stages of dementia.


Facility / Residence

Bedrooms must be at least 100 square feet for one person or 80 square feet per person if there are multiple occupants. The maximum number of beds allowed in a resident unit is four. Every unit must have a toilet, sink, and bathtub or shower.

Memory care residences are not required by regulations to have dementia-friendly design features like easily navigated hallways that run circular, so residents won’t encounter dead ends. When considering an assisted living home, inspect it with an eye on whether your loved one will be comfortable in the space. Outside areas have also been shown to be beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.


Staff & Training

There are no specific staff-to-resident ratios in assisted living in Indiana. Staffing must be adequate to address the health needs of every resident, and someone certified to perform CPR must be on-site and awake at all times. Training depends on the types of residents. Staff who work directly with people who have dementia must have at least six hours of dementia-specific training within six months of hiring, and then three more hours of training annually. Administrators must have work experience that specifically relates to dementia-friendly memory care.
Administrators must be licensed, a process which includes a training program that is at least 860 hours. Administrators must also have 40 more hours of semi-annual continuing education in a relevant field.


Evictions & Discharges

Indiana regulations say a person can be discharged for:

– Being dangerous to themselves or others
– Needing nursing care 24 hours per day
– Having a medical condition that cannot be managed by the residence
– Being medically unstable
– Not being able to do two of the following three things without total assistance: eat, go to the bathroom or move from room to room

No regulations say memory care can discharge someone for nonpayment, but residences may have their own policies. It’s important to be very clear about exactly what can lead to an eviction. If you are considering assisted living or assisted living with memory care for your loved one, ask for eviction information in writing. For more on how to handle an eviction, click here.


Financial Assistance For Residential Alzheimer’s Memory Care

Indiana Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver

Financial assistance from the Indiana Medicaid program is designed to help people who need nursing home level care stay in their own houses or assisted living communities in the form of a home and community-based services waiver. It can also help someone who wants to move out of full-time nursing care into an assisted living community. Enrollees can live in their homes, that of a loved one, adult foster care, or assisted living. Applicants must meet Indiana’s Medicaid eligibility guidelines. This includes monthly income for a single person under $2,829 in 2024 with assets less than $2,000. Benefits vary and are tailored to suit an individual’s needs. This can include case management, care services in assisted living, nutritional supplements, home modifications, meal service, caregiver training, adult day care, respite care, vehicle modifications, transitional services, transportation, and structured family caregiving. Enrollment is limited, so there may be a waiting list. More information is available here via the waiver’s website where there are also instructions on applying.

 Not sure if your loved one qualifies for Medicaid? Click here for a Medicaid Eligibility Test.

Indiana Structured Family Caregiving

This unique sub-program is a component of the A&D Waiver but can be extremely helpful to families who have family members with dementia. This enables a loved one to move into the home of a family member and for them to receive compensation. This potentially allows caregiver benefits to be paid to family members for care services provided. Restrictions apply and check out the Aged and Disabled Waiver website for more information.


Residential Care Assistance Program

This program does not fall under Medicaid, though recipients must meet similar qualifications including monthly income under $2,829 in 2024. People who live in (or are moving into) residential care facilities that have been approved by the program contract may receive money to cover boarding costs, as well as food and care coordination. Not all Indiana memory care homes are eligible. The goal of this program is to bridge the gap and provide assistance and financial support to individuals who can no longer live independently in their own homes but do not need a nursing home level of care. In these settings, room and board are provided along with light house help. All the while there is light supervision of patients ensuring their independence in their community. For more information, 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 2023 to December 2024. 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 $16,551

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children up to $21,674

– Surviving spouses without dependent children up to $11,102

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 $27,609

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children a maximum of $32,729

– Surviving spouses without dependent children a maximum of $17,743

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 $20,226

– Veterans with dependent spouses or children a maximum of $25,348

– Surviving spouses without dependent children a maximum of $13,568

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

Veterans Homes

There is one veterans’ home in Indiana, located in West Lafayette. The Indiana Veterans’ Home is a residential care facility that provides long-term care for veterans, including full-time nursing, short-term rehab and memory care. They provide care for more than 400 patients. Neighboring states have more veterans’ homes, so a loved one might consider looking there for more options as there are no requirements that one must live in the state. For example, Illinois has four Veterans’ homes statewide and some are located relatively close to their shared border. Additionally, Kentucky also has four facilities. 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.