Assisted living residences in Kansas may be called Assisted Living Facilities, Residential Health Care Facilities, or Home Plus residences. These are long-term homes for people with needs including full-time supervision, access to nursing care, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like eating and dressing. Regular wellness and health monitoring is required. Nursing care may be available at all times, but only accessible in intermittent, limited terms. In other words, someone who requires 24-hour nursing care may not be admitted into Kansas assisted living.
Any of these residences may house people with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, but additional requirements must be checked, including dementia-specific training for staff (see below).
All types of assisted living homes are inspected and regulated by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
The average cost of memory care per month in Kansas is $5,863, which breaks down to about $147 per day and $70,356 annually. Kansas regulations say assisted living homes must provide a written statement to all potential residents that includes charges and fees for services. File this information as defense against unexpected costs. Assisted living, without the additional services required for memory care, costs Kansas residents about $4,481 per month and $53,772 annually.
The state’s most expensive city for memory care is Lawrence, where the average cost is $7,139 monthly and $85,668 annually. The cheapest is Topeka, for about $4,906 monthly and $58,872 per year. The largest city in the state is Wichita, where memory care costs $6,142 per month and $73,704 annually.
Every new resident must be screened to determine functional capacity (abilities and healthcare needs) upon admittance. These screenings must recur at least annually. Before admission, anyone considering moving into assisted living in Kansas should receive a statement from the specific 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 any of 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
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 governing 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.
There is no staffing ratio in Kansas, except to say 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 on behavioral symptoms and how to fulfill those residents’ distinct needs.
The Kansas Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Frail Elderly (FE) waiver is a program designed to help cover the costs of remaining at home or in assisted living rather than moving into a more expensive nursing home. Applicants must be Medicaid-eligible, including monthly income under $2,349, 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 ADLs, medical equipment, and wellness monitoring are among the covered options. For more information, visit the state’s website. Program participants must be eligible for Medicaid, more on Kansas Medicaid guidelines for the aged or take an eligibility test.
Veterans are statistically more likely to develop dementia. Relevant in all states including Kansas is the VA’s Aid & Attendance pension program for veterans and surviving spouses, which is an amount of money added to veterans’ and survivors’ basic pensions. Applicants must be at least 65 years old (or disabled) and require assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like eating, bathing, and mobility. The cash assistance from these pensions can be used as the recipient wishes, meaning it can go toward the cost of memory care. In addition, the cost of residential care can be deducted from one’s income, effectively reducing the amount of calculable income used to determine the benefit amount. The latest (2020) maximum amount a veteran can receive through A&A is $27,194 per year, and surviving spouses can receive as much as $14,761. Learn more here.
There are also veterans homes in Kansas, which are residential care facilities that provide long-term care for veterans. In addition to nursing home care, assisted living and memory care may be provided. Payment is made directly from the VA to the facility. State veterans homes are typically reserved for veterans whose need for care stems at least 70 percent from their military service. Because there is often a waiting list, contact a home before visiting to see if your loved one is eligible to live there.
Other ways to help pay for memory care include 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 may include some assisted living costs.
A reverse mortgage may be a good option for a married person moving into memory care, if their spouse continues to live in the home. Should the spouse move from their home, the reverse mortgage would become due.
Elder care loans are for families to cover initial costs of moving into memory care, if you need a little help at first but can afford costs after the initial payments. For example, if one is waiting for a VA pension to be approved or waiting to sell a home.