Arizona Memory Care

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Assisted Living In Scottsdale Arizona

Arizona Memory Care: Communities caring for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia care

Arizona offers some of the most picturesque landscapes in all of the country. The reasonable cost of living makes it an ideal place for retirees and seniors looking to find housing or receive care. The state has 300 days of beautiful sunshine a year and a growing economy. With all these positives, Arizona is an ideal place for senior care. Many adults 65 years and older may require care at some point. A growing number of people living in long-term care communities live with cognitive impairment. Typically, when people think of senior care they imagine a nursing home. This is not the only option. There are a variety of senior care and living aside from nursing homes. Memory care communities provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Aside from memory care in Arizona, there are a variety of senior living and care options which suit the requirements and desires of seniors.

Senior Living, What are the common terms used?

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are communities that include a continuum of care from independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing services all on one campus. This allows individuals to live within the same community as their needs progress through the spectrum of care. They typically offer the full selection of amenities associated with retirement and senior living. An endowment fee in addition to a monthly maintenance fee can be expected.

Independent Living Communities provide residents an independent living setting without the burden of home ownership. Typically, residency is established on a monthly rental basis. Residents live in fully equipped private apartments or cottages from studios to large two-bedroom units that may be rental-assisted or market-rate depending on the community. Amenities and hospitality services such as housekeeping, linen service, transportation and social and recreational activities may be included, provided for an additional charge, or may not be available at all. Independent Living communities do not provide assistance with activities of daily living or personal care.

Assisted Living Communities are State-regulated rental properties where 10 or more residents may reside (however this # may vary a bit between states). Care assistance is available, including: medication management, bathing, dressing, toileting and eating. Apartments must be fully self contained private living units with a lockable door, private bathroom, and kitchenette facilities. The fee schedule is regular monthly rent along with additional fees for specific services and amenities. Assisted living communities are best suited for individuals who want to remain as independent as possible and who are able to direct their own care.

Memory Care or Dementia Communities offer or provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia in a home like environment. These senior living communities, must receive an endorsement and is governed by additional regulations that are specifically intended to support individuals with dementia, including: a secure building that alerts staff if a resident has exited, a secure outdoor area that provides outdoor freedom safely, interior finishes that are non-glare and well lit, and visual contrasts between floors, walls and doorways. Alzheimer’s units must also have programs, which include: gross motor, self care, social, craft, sensory enhancement and outdoor activities. 

Adult Care Home or Family Care Home are private residences that provides a home-like setting, and serves 5 or less residents. The caregiver may perform several functions, such as personal care, housekeeping and activities and group meals. There are three levels of Adult Foster Care Home licenses. The classification system is based on level of care the Adult Foster Home may provide to residents who live in the home as well as the experience and training of the providers and their ability to assist residents with: personal hygiene, mobility, eating, dressing, toileting, and behavior management. Residents may require very light assistance or may be dependent with several care needs; it is best to ask individual locations for their specific policies and license.

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) – these are sometimes referred to as a Nursing Home is a State-licensed facility that provides a safe, therapeutic environment for individuals who require rehabilitative care. Skilled Nursing Facilities offer 24 hour skilled nursing care and medical services by licensed nurses and support professionals. This is the highest level of care that can be provided that is not a hospitalization. Additionally, nursing facilities offer residents planned social, recreational and spiritual activities. (The term Nursing Home is considered a bit outdated.) This is a higher level of care for senior living, compared to that of assisted living or independent living.

Rehabilitation & Therapy is treatment for an injury, illness, or pain with the goal of restoring function, including nursing and therapy services. Rehab is ordered by a physician and services are provided by nurses and physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Examples include working with a physical therapist to help you walk and with an occupational therapist to help you get dressed.

Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) are nursing facilities that are most appropriate for people who need 24 hour medical oversight in a structured setting. Most residents must share their room, but residents are allowed to bring personal items to encourage a more home-like atmosphere.

Navigating memory care: care for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in Arizona

Memory Care Communities are designed for residents with Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) and other dementia care. These specialized care communities create programs designed to meet the needs of people who require specific care; specially trained staff and a secure environment to ensure the safety of residents.

  • Services are coordinated by specially trained staff to perform a range of services designed to support residents 24-hours a day. 
  • Commonly, a memory care community will have entrances and exits that require a code to get in and out. The communities are secured for the safety of residents. 
  • Standard procedures meet the needs of health, daily living activities, and the social needs of residents. 
  • Memory care communities may have organized calendars to keep residents engaged and active. These communities and relationships promote healthy and happy lives. 

Exclusive features of memory care designed for the safety of residents

  • Security cameras to supervise entry and exit points in the community. 
  • Personal medical alert devices. 
  • Keypad (or other security measures) locks on doors to prevent residents from wandering. 
  • Safety protocols in place which may include locked doors. 

Additional services in memory care communities in Arizona

  • Assistance with activities of daily living. This includes bathing, dressing and toileting. 
  • Round the clock access to trained nurses. 
  • Transportation to doctors’ appointments and additional outings.  
  • Interior and exterior maintenance duties. 
  • Meal preparation and serving. 
  • Housekeeping and laundry services. 

In a memory care community, the focus of activities is to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged and active as possible. Typically, activities may be like the kind offered in other residential communities. The positive difference is the modification to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged.

Some Arizona memory care communities may offer activities to promote joy in the lives of residents. 

  • Arts and crafts. 
  • Music 
  • Dancing
  • Secure outdoor open-air courtyards. 
  • Swimming pools. 
  • Lounges for residents. 
  • Game rooms 
  • Dining rooms 
  • Fitness centers 

How much does memory care in Arizona cost?

The average cost of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in a memory care community is about $5,000 per month. Remember, this is a specialized care, so will be more expensive. One month of care in Phoenix is the state average of $5,000.

The average national cost of assisted living and the cost of memory care communities in the United States: 

  • Assisted living community – $4,100 per month.  
  • Memory care community – $5,000 per month. 

Statistics show that memory care is usually 20-30% more expensive than assisted living, and typically costs more than other senior care. This is a result of the specially trained staff and the enhanced security measures in place for the safety of residents. The costs may vary dramatically depending on your location and what the community offers. Regionally, costs may be very high or much lower. You can speak directly to community leadership in the locale you are interested in and ask upfront what the Alzheimer’s and dementia care cost is.

How to pay for Memory Care in Arizona

You want to consider your payment options for assisted living, memory care, and care homes. For these services, Medicare is NOT an option for payment.

The most common payment for these services would be out of pocket Private Pay and assessing a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.

Medicaid can also be an option, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

Long-Term Care insurance is also a possible option in cases of chronic conditions, be sure to see if you or a loved one qualifies.

For our Veterans and spouses of veterans, be sure to assess Veteran Aid and your eligibility for these benefits.

Medicare – NO:

  • Medicare does NOT pay for Assisted Living.
  • People 65 years and older and individuals with end stage renal disease are eligible for Medicare benefits, no matter their income.
  • Coverage is meant for people in need of short-term care.

Private pay – YES:

  • Many families pay for assisted living with private funds.
  • Private pay can be a combination of retirement funds, personal savings, and pension payments.
  • Family members may contribute funds to pay for assisted living or other senior housing and care.

Medicaid – MAYBE:

  • Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans. Eligible participants include: low-income adults, elderly adults and people with disabilities.
  • Medicaid is administered by state, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by each state and the federal government.
  • Every state has their own individual Medicaid assistance program.
  • National guidelines are in place do decipher how states must spend Medicaid money, but with allowances toward the guidelines.
  • The state determines what levels of care will be covered by Medicaid, who is eligible, and how much the state will reimburse the care community.
  • If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You may be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability and other factors.

Long-term Care Insurance – MAYBE:

Long term care insurance is a great way to pay for assisted living, and planning ahead is important when considering how to pay for senior housing and care. Nearly 75% of people over the age of 65 will require long-term care and services at some point. Buying into long-term care insurance when a person is in their 50s and 60s is the most common time to do so.

  • Long-term care insurance helps cover the costs of chronic medical conditions.
  • Individuals and couples with the ability to pay into long-term care insurance have the advantage of a head start in allocating funds for senior care.

Veteran Aid and Assistance – MAYBE:

This benefit is available to some military veterans and surviving spouses who live in an assisted living community and those who have in-home care.

  • There are specific guidelines, but a veteran may qualify for as much as $2,050 each month.
  • A veteran with a sick spouse may be eligible for $1,600 per month.
  • If a veteran has passed, their surviving spouse can qualify for $1,300 per month.

Questions to Ask

Finding an assisted living community can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:

  • Make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. You can tell a lot about the operation by noting what is clean and maintained. Are doorknobs loose or damaged? Do you see any frayed carpet or trip hazards?
  • Visit during lunch hour to observe what the residents are eating. Ask questions about the nutrition program. Is there diversity in meals, healthy fruits and vegetables served at all meals, drink options?
  • Speak to residents and/or family members to learn their perspective.
  • Ask about staff and resident engagement. Get a feel for how staff interact with residents.
  • Ask about the life enrichment programs. Activities are crucial when it comes to quality of life and play a key role in care for older adults.
  • And finally (along with a plethora of more things to consider), get to know the leadership in the building. If you feel good around the Executive Director, Head Nurse, Lead Activities Director and even the Chef or Janitor, it is a good sign you can trust them with the care of your loved one.

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Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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