In Louisiana, assisted living for people with dementia is called Alzheimer’s Special Care Units within an Adult Residential Care Provider. This is generally referred to as memory care or Alzheimer’s care, though these communities can also help people with related dementias. These services include lodging, housekeeping, meals, and help with activities of daily living. The residences must also provide activities that encourage socialization, including taking residents out into the community when appropriate. Enclosed outside areas are required, so residents can safely go out into the open air. There also may be special locks on doors, to prevent wandering. Special training is also required for all staff.
There are about 70 memory care communities in the state and Louisiana residents can receive free assistance finding and reviewing residences that meet their needs and budget. Get help here. The Louisiana Department of Health, Health Standards Division, oversees assisted living in the state.
The average cost of memory care per month in Louisiana is $4,527. The state’s most expensive place for memory care is in Houma costing $5,816 monthly. In New Orleans, special care units for people with dementia are $4,822 per month. The least expensive city for memory care is Monroe, for $3,202 monthly. In Baton Rouge, memory care monthly costs are $5,006.
Even though Louisiana is less expensive than the national average for memory care of $5,448 it is possible to find more affordable options in nearby states. If you live in the northern Sportsman’s Paradise, consider looking in Arkansas, where the average cost of memory care is $4,564. Mississippi, one state east, is also less expensive than Louisiana on average, at $4,233.
Other Louisiana cities with costs:
|Louisiana Memory Care / Assisted Living Costs (updated Aug. 2022)|
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A pre-residency screening is required before someone can move into Adult Residential Care in Louisiana, including memory care. The screening is conducted by a medical professional working for the residence and determines mental and physical health status. It looks for:
– Need for personal assistance
– Need for assistance with activities of daily living, like eating and dressing, and instrumental activities of daily living, like managing money and cooking
– Ability to evacuate in the event of an emergency
The assessment might be free, but more often an assisted living community will charge a community fee that includes the assessment and other up-front costs like deep cleaning and painting your loved one’s room. The community fee is usually between $1,500 and $2,500.
The assessment is the most important step in the process of getting a personal care plan. Staff at the residence will use what they learn to make an individualized plan that is a document detailing the specific personal and medical needs, as well as interests and appropriate social activities. Unlike many other states, a diagnosis of dementia or probable dementia is required to move into memory care in Louisiana.
Assisted living homes must provide the following information to anyone considering living there:
– How to apply and reasons an application might be rejected
– Types of residents the home can serve (what level of care)
– Services offered and allowed
– Responsibilities of residents
– Smoking policy
– Pet policy
– All fees, including additional costs
– Criteria for eviction
Someone with the following issues may not be admitted into assisted living in Louisiana:
– Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers
– Nasogastric tubes
– Ventilator dependency
– Continuous IV therapy
– Vacuum-assisted wound closure
– Requiring physical or chemical restraints
– Anyone who is dangerous to themselves or others
Basically, no assisted care residence in Louisiana may admit someone whose needs cannot be met there. A resident may, however, coordinate with the residence to receive appropriate third-party care from an outside care provider.
While it is possible to move into memory care on short notice in Louisiana, this is not a good idea. You want to spend as much time as possible investigating options. The process should involve asking questions of staff and residents at different communities. Even eating a meal at a potential new home is a good idea. Ideally, you would begin your search before a move becomes necessary, when the person with dementia can provide more input.
Assisted living bedrooms in Louisiana must be at least 100 square feet for a single occupant, and 170 square feet for two occupants. Louisiana has a Level 3 qualification for residences that offer independent apartments equipped with kitchenettes, and these must have a living area that’s at least 190 square feet. Level 3 homes may not be good for someone with dementia, except in the earliest stages. There must be at least one bathroom for every four residents. Grab bars and non-stick flooring must be installed in every shower and bath area.
A secure outdoor area is also required, so residents can safely go outside. Unlike some states, there is not a requirement that building designs be dementia-friendly. This usually means hallways that run circular, so residents won’t encounter dead ends, and easily navigated layouts that reduce confusion. Be sure to inspect any home you are considering, with an eye on whether your loved one will be comfortable within the space.
There is no staff-to-resident ratio in Louisiana, but assisted living homes are required to have the following: a director, a designated recreational/activity staff person, and a direct-care staff person. A director must meet qualifications including a college degree and at least three years of experience. Directors are also required to have 12 hours of training annually. Memory care staff dealing directly with residents must have eight hours of dementia-specific training within 90 days of hiring, and eight more hours annually. This is in addition to the requirements for all assisted-living staff in the state, including 12 hours of annual training on:
– Resident policies and procedures
– Emergency response and evacuation
– Residents’ rights
– Reporting abuse and critical incidents
– Infection control
While some states require 30 or 60 days notice before an eviction, as well as help from the evicting community with placement in a new residence, Louisiana does not have eviction rules in its assisted living regulations. Any potential resident, however, is entitled to a written policy from the home about how their eviction process works. This means every assisted living residence must have its own specific rules about discharges, and those rules must be explained to every resident. It is important to ask for these rules, because unfair evictions can be a problem for families with a loved one in memory care. Be sure to ask for this document, and file it in case of an unexpected eviction or discharge. For information on what to do if your loved one receives an eviction notice, click here.
This Medicaid waiver is designed to keep people who need nursing-home-level care in their home of choice (which can include memory care). Community Choices provides financial assistance to cover healthcare needs including case management, healthcare equipment, therapies, and assistance with activities of daily living. A person must be eligible for Medicaid to apply. Keep in mind that there is a waiting list, and highest priority is given to applicants who have experienced abuse or neglect. For more information, click here. Read Louisiana Medicaid eligibility requirements or take a Medicaid eligibility pre-screen.
Another Medicaid program for people who need nursing-home-level care but want to avoid the high cost of actually living in a nursing home, this program provides financial help to cover activities of daily living for adults with disabilities. Eating, bathing, dressing, and helping get to medical appointments are among the help they offer. Applicants must already be enrolled in Louisiana Medicaid. Unlike the Community Choices Waiver (detailed above), long-term personal care service does not have a waiting list. To apply, contact your local Area Agency on Aging, or call Louisiana Options in Long Term Care at 1-877-456-1146. Read Louisiana Medicaid eligibility requirements or take a Medicaid eligibility pre-screen.
Permanent Supportive Housing in Louisiana is designed to offer low-rent living units providing limited healthcare services to low-income elderly people with mental disabilities, including disabilities developed due to aging. Applicants traditionally have had difficulty living successfully in a community. There may be a significant waiting list for services, and people who are homeless get priority. Download the application here. Contrary to its name, this program is probably not a permanent solution for people with dementia.
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.
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
Currently, there are five veterans’ homes in Louisiana. They are residential care facilities that provide long-term care for veterans. They are:
1) South East War Veterans’ Home in Reserve (a 40 minute drive up the river from New Orleans). They have 20 memory care beds.
2) Louisiana War Veterans’ Home in Jackson (in Plantation Country). They have 42 memory care beds.
3) North East War Veterans’ Home in Monroe (Northern Louisiana).
4) North West War Veterans’ Home in Bossier City (Shreveport).
5) South West Louisiana War Veterans’ Home in Jennings (45 minutes west from Lafayette). They have 55 memory care beds.
In addition to nursing home care, assisted living and memory care are provided at each of these. Neighboring states have 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, North Carolina has four veterans homes statewide and some are located relatively close to their shared border. Additionally, Georgia has two facilities statewide. More info.
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.