Ohio Residential Alzheimer’s Care (Memory Care): Rules, Costs & Financial Help

Last Updated: November 13, 2022


Residential care facilities in Ohio assist residents with self-administration of medication, monitoring special diets and help with other activities of daily living. Memory care homes go steps further by providing dementia-friendly programs and environments with extra training for staff.

Residential care can only provide a resident with part-time, skilled nursing care for up to 120 days. Special units of residential care, or even entire residences, may be specifically for people with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. These are called memory care or Alzheimer’s care.

Residential care facilities in Ohio are regulated by the Department of Health’s Division of Quality Assurance. There are 370 memory care homes in Ohio. There are also 30 board and care homes, which offer the same services as assisted living (sometimes including memory care) for 12 or fewer residents in a more house-like environment. For free help finding memory care of any size to fit your family’s needs and budget, click here.

 Did You Know? The number of people in Ohio with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to grow from 220,000 in 2020 to more than 250,000 in 2025, an increase of 13.6%.

How Much Does Memory Care Cost in Ohio?

The average cost of memory care per month in Ohio is $5,595. This is about equal to the national average. Assisted living, without the additional services required for memory care is about $1,200 less per month.

Ohio is one of the country’s most populated states, resulting in pricing variation depending where you live. The most expensive place for memory care is to the northeast in Akron, where it will cost $6,037 per month. The least expensive city in Springfield where memory care is $4,417 monthly. In Columbus, Ohio’s most populated city and state capital, memory care is below the state average costing $4,932 a month.

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

Eastern Ohio residents might be able to find more affordable memory care in Pennsylvania, where the monthly average for memory care costs is $4,969. Pittsburgh (only about an hour from Youngstown) costs much less than cities in Ohio, running $3,938 monthly. Indiana averages higher memory care costs than Ohio, about $5,190 per month, but people who live in west central and northwest Ohio might find more affordable memory care in Fort Wayne, within 30 minutes of the state border, for $4,233 monthly. These are just a few examples to show that Ohioans might save money on memory care by searching for homes outside the state. Other notable Ohio cities and memory care costs:

Ohio Memory Care / Assisted Living Costs (updated July 2022)
Region / City Daily Cost Monthly Cost
Statewide $184 $5,595
Columbus $162 $4,932
Cleveland $196 $5,963
Cincinnati $185 $5,632
Akron $198 $6,037
Canton $195 $5,926
Youngstown $189 $5,742


Ohio Assisted Living Laws & Regulations

 COVID-19 Related Measures (updated July 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

A residential assessment by a healthcare professional working for the residence must be completed within 48 hours of moving in. The assessment will cover medical and personal needs, and is used to create a service plan that guides staff in providing personalized care to your loved one. Residents must be reassessed annually, and after any significant health change. It’s very important to ask the home what their policy is for admissions, including the assessment. The cost of assessment might be included in the base rate or there may be a community fee that covers up-front move-in costs like the first assessment and deep cleaning of a new resident’s room. Community fees usually run between $1,500 and $2,500.

Prior to moving in, the new resident must get an up-to-date medical history from their own doctor, updated within a week of admission. For this reason, be sure to keep your loved one’s personal physician up-to-date on the process of finding memory care. There are no standard forms for the history or any of these assessments.

A doctor’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, or related disease including vascular, frontotemporal, or Lewy body dementia, is not required to move into memory care in Ohio. Diagnosing dementia is difficult as symptoms change and vary, requiring expensive tests including PET brain scans. The residence will be able to tell if someone is a good fit or not based on its own assessment.

Residential care homes can not admit someone who needs skilled nursing care continuously for more than 120 days. Someone also should not be admitted who needs services beyond the scope of care the residence can provide. Because dementias are progressive diseases, meaning symptoms get worse over time, you want to be certain a home can handle your loved one’s condition as it advances from early into the middle and later stages. Residences in Ohio must search for new residents in the Ohio sex offender registry before admission.

Additionally, no one should be admitted who:

– Requires skilled nursing care for at least eight hours a day or 40 hours per week

– Requires chemical or physical restraints

– Is bedridden with limited movement ability

– Has stage III or IV pressure ulcers

– Has a medical condition that changes so constantly that it requires monitoring and frequent adjustments to the person’s treatment regime

Ohio regulations say that residents must receive the following in writing:

– An explanation of all charges, fines, and penalties

– A list and explanation of services provided

– A promise to discharge or transfer any resident who becomes dependent on skilled nursing care beyond what the residence can provide

– Residents’ rights policies and procedures (including a definition of skilled nursing care)

And while it is possible to move into memory care on short notice in Ohio, it is not a good idea. You should take as much time as possible to investigate options before making a decision. Ideally, you would begin looking at memory care homes before a move is necessary. The sooner you begin searching, the more input your loved one can provide.


Facility / Residence

Bedrooms must be at least 100 square feet. For multiple occupants, there must be at least 80 square feet per person. This is not including closets or bathrooms. Four residents maximum are allowed per bedroom. There must be one toilet, sink, and tub or shower for every eight residents.

Special design features for memory care residences are required by Ohio regulations. Examples that have been shown to benefit people with dementia include clear sightlines and easily navigated layouts, circular hallways so strolling residents won’t encounter a dead end, and soft paint colors. When considering a memory care community, be sure to inspect the spaces with a regard to whether your loved one will be comfortable there.

Every residence must have an updated disaster preparedness plan, and conduct at least 12 fire drills annually. There must be fire alarms and an automatic fire extinguishing system.


Staff & Training

Staff who work with residents who have dementia must have two hours of training specific to dementia care within 14 days of beginning the job. There is no staffing ratio requirement in Ohio, but regulations say at least one employee must be on duty at all times and staffing must always be sufficient to meet the needs of all residents. Homes whose residents require special diets must have a dietician or consultant as a member of the staff.

Managers must:

– Be at least 21 years old and

– Licensed as a nursing home administrator,

– Have 3,000 hours of work with direct operational responsibility,

– Have 100 credit hours of post-high school education in a relevant field, be a licensed health-care professional or hold a baccalaureate degree

– Administrators must train nine hours in a relevant field every year

– Be trained on residents’ rights

– For memory-care staffers, their training must be adequate to assist with activities of daily living and activities that strengthen thinking ability

-Eight hours of continuing education in a field relevant to caring for residents is required annually

Staff members must:

– Be at least 16 and anyone under 18 must be supervised

– Trained in first aid

– Be trained on residents’ rights

– For memory-care staffers, their training must be adequate to assist with activities of daily living and activities that strengthen thinking ability

– Eight hours of continuing education in a field relevant to caring for residents is required annually


Evictions & Discharges

Unlike most other states, there are not clear rules in Ohio about how assisted living homes must handle evictions. Generally, a resident cannot continue living in a home that isn’t equipped to handle their medical condition. For example, if staff isn’t trained to help someone who is nonambulatory then a resident who loses the ability to walk could not stay there and would need to be evicted.

Anyone who develops these issues cannot live in assisted living in Ohio:

– Needs skilled nursing care for eight or more hours daily or 40 hours per week

– Needs chemical or physical restraints

– Becomes bedridden

– Develops stage III or IV pressure ulcers

– Has a constantly changing medical condition that requires monitoring and adjustments

The process of eviction might vary depending on the residence. Very often, 30 days notice and assistance finding a new place to live is required. This is not specified in Ohio regulations, however, so you’ll want to be clear on how evictions work at the home before agreeing to a move-in contract. What are a home’s specific rules for evictions? Can a resident be evicted for nonpayment or late payment of bills? Get the answers in writing, because unfair evictions are a big problem in assisted living nationwide. If you receive an eviction notice and need to know what to do next, click here.


Financial Assistance for Residential Alzheimer’s Memory Care

Ohio’s Medicaid Assisted Living Waiver

The Assisted Living Waiver Program is an Ohio Medicaid program that helps supplement the costs of assisted living for eligible Ohioans. The program will not cover the price of room and board, but will help with these services:

– Health assessments and monitoring
– Personal care
– Medication reminders and assistance
– Skilled nursing as needed
– Housekeeping and laundry
– Recreational activities
– Non-medical transportation
– On-site response around the clock
– Transitioning from a nursing home into assisted living

Applicants who meet the eligibility guidelines should begin the process as soon as possible because there can be long waiting lists to get Ohio’s Assisted Living Waiver. More information is available at this link. You can take a Medicaid-eligibility test here.


Residential State Supplement Program

The Residential State Supplement Program provides financial assistance to Medicaid-qualified patients. This program helps Ohio residents pay for the cost of rent in assisted living, adult foster care, or adult family care homes in residences approved by the Ohio Department of Health. Acceptance into the program also entitles the individual to Ohio Medicaid’s medical and prescription drug coverage benefits. The Residential State Supplement program adds to the assistance already received from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or Disability Benefits. Although the Residential State Supplement benefit is provided as cash, it can only be used toward the cost of residential care. Recipients of the program must be eligible for Ohio Medicaid. Click here for a Medicaid eligibility test or here to apply.


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 Ohio. These are residential care facilities that provide long-term care for veterans. They are located in Georgetown, outside Cincinnati and Sandusky, in northern Ohio on the shore of Lake Erie. Sandusky has two facilities: a more home-like environment of assisted living and a nursing home. In addition to nursing home care and assisted living, memory care is also provided. 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, Pennsylvania has twice as many VA homes coming in at six statewide and several are located relatively close to their shared border. 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.