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

Last Updated: November 13, 2022

 

Assisted living residences in Kansas are called Assisted Living Facilities, Residential Health Care Facilities, or Home Plus residences. These are all long-term care homes that provide room and board, meals, and support for patients who need full-time supervision, access to nursing care, and assistance with activities of daily living like eating and dressing. Medical care is always available in these facilities, but someone who requires 24-hour nursing care may not be admitted into assisted living.

Home Plus is different from other assisted living options because it offers smaller, more home-like residences that house up to 12 people. Home Plus residences are also called board and care homes.

All of these communities may house people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but they have additional requirements. This main requirement focuses on dementia-specific training for staff. Dementia units are often called memory care and may be a wing of a larger assisted living home or an entire residence.

All assisted living homes are inspected and regulated by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. There are approximately 90 memory care residences in Kansas. For free help finding one to fit your family’s needs and budget, click here.

 Did You Know? Roughly 55,000 people in Kansas have Alzheimer’s disease, representing about 12.5% of the population over 65. That number is expected to increase to more than 62,000 by 2025.

 

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Kansas?

The average cost of memory care per month in Kansas is $5,558. The state’s most expensive city for memory care is Wichita. The average cost per month there is $6,552 per month. The lowest average price is in the state capital Topeka, costing $5,448 per month.

 In Kansas, free assistance is available to help families locate a memory care home to meet their needs and budgets. Get help here.

Kansas’s memory care costs are about the same as the national average, but its bordering states are less expensive. Missouri, for instance, is one of the least expensive states for memory care averaging $3,644 per month. Kansas City, on the Missouri side of the border but very close to Lawrence and Overland Park costs $5,558 monthly. Kansas residents might want to look in nearby states for more options and to possibly find savings on memory care costs.

Kansas Memory Care / Assisted Living Costs (updated Sept. 2022)
Region / City Daily Cost Monthly Cost
Statewide $183 $5,558
Wichita $215 $6,552
Manhattan $214 $6,515
Topeka $179 $5,448
Lawrence $180 $5,484
Kansas City, MO $183 $5,558

 

Kansas 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

Every new resident is screened for functional capacity which assesses their abilities and healthcare needs. These assessments must be updated annually. Based on the screening’s results, an individualized service plan is created with the specific personal and healthcare needs of the resident and how they will be met by staff.

The assessments are usually performed by someone who works for the residence, and the cost can be included with the regular price of living there. If not, a residence will charge a community fee that covers costs like the assessment, deep cleaning and painting the living unit. Usually this fee ranges from $1,500 to $2,500.

An official diagnosis of dementia is not required to move into memory care in Kansas. Dementia is difficult to diagnose and homes accept new residents based on symptoms and needs, rather than a specific disease.

Anyone considering moving into assisted living in Kansas should receive a statement from the residence with the following information:

– General services provided
– Daily or monthly charges for services
– List of state laws affecting care
– Residents’ rights
– Policies and procedures for medical care
– Policy for filing a grievance

People with the following conditions may not be admitted into Kansas assisted living:

– Unmanageable incontinence
– Inability to exit the building in an emergency
– Need for ongoing skilled nursing care 24 hours per day
– Dangerous to self or others
– Need for physical restraints

It is possible to move into assisted living in Kansas on short notice, but this is not a good idea. The process of finding a good fit for your loved one takes time. By beginning the process early, they can contribute and be more involved in checking out different living options before a decision is made.

 

Facility / Residence

Assisted living apartments must be at least 200 square feet, not including bathroom and closets. Residential health care facility rooms can be smaller, but still must be at least 100 square feet. There is no rule saying how many people can live in one apartment. Every apartment must have a bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower or bath accessible for people with disabilities.

Kansas regulations also do not include requirements for dementia-friendly design features. Some states require buildings to have circular hallways that don’t run into a dead end or secure outdoor spaces for activities. Because of this, make sure to inspect any residence you are considering for your loved one, with an eye on whether they can be safe and comfortable within the spaces.

 

Staff & Training

There is no employee-to-resident staffing ratio requirement in Kansas. There must always be sufficient staff on-hand to fulfill the medical needs of every resident. Administrators must be at least 21 years old and have completed a training course approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. All new employees must participate in an orientation. Regular in-service training on best practices in assisted living is also required. Training must also cover abuse, neglect, exploitation, and disaster and emergency preparedness. Staff members who provide direct care to residents must complete a 90-hour nurse aid course and pass a test. Staff members working with people who have dementia must be trained in behavioral symptoms and how to support residents’ needs best.

 

Evictions

Kansas regulations require assisted living homes, including those with memory care, to give a resident at least 30 days notice before a transfer or eviction. The reasons for eviction can are:

– Symptoms have gotten so bad that they cannot be managed at the residence
– Dangerous behavior to themselves or others
– Restraints have become necessary

Each facility has their own rules. Be sure to understand these and get them in writing because unfair evictions can be a problem nationwide. Unlike other states, there is not a rule in Kansas that says the residence must assist in finding a new home for your loved one if an eviction becomes necessary. Fortunately, there are resources to help. For information on what to do if you receive a discharge or eviction notice, click here.

 

Financial Assistance for Residential Alzheimer’s Memory Care

KanCare HCBS Frail Elderly Waiver

The Kansas Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Frail Elderly waiver is a program designed to help cover the costs to enable staying at home or in assisted living rather than moving into a more expensive nursing home. Applicants must be Medicaid-eligible, including monthly income under $2,742 in 2023, and are periodically reassessed to ensure the waiver is covering needed benefits. Room and board in assisted living cannot be paid for by Medicaid, but care services like help with activities of daily living, medical equipment, and wellness monitoring are some of the covered options. For more information, visit the state’s website. Program participants must be eligible for Medicaid. Click here for more on Kansas Medicaid guidelines for the aged or take an eligibility test.

 

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 also two veterans’ homes in Kansas, which are residential care facilities that provide long-term care for veterans. The Kansas Veterans’ Home is located in Winfield, about an hour from Wichita, and has 24 beds for veterans with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. The Kansas Soldiers’ Home  is in Fort Dodge, outside Dodge City in the Southwestern part of the state, and has 26 beds for veterans with dementia. Nursing home care and regular assisted living are also provided in these veterans’ homes. 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, Oklahoma and Missouri both have seven veterans’ homes statewide. Additionally, Colorado has five facilities and Nebraska 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.