Oregon Memory Care


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

Oregon is known for its beautiful parks and lakes, mountains and forests. The majestic Crater lake and Mount Hood bring visitors from all over the country. Portland is the largest city, a hub of culture, food and art; Eugene is home to the University of Oregon; Corvallis is home to Oregon State University. Oregon is a sought after destination for aging adults. Many people 65 years and older may require care at some point, and when the time comes it is common people think of a nursing home as the only option for senior care. However, nursing homes are not the only option. Memory care in Oregon provides care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in a home like setting. A growing number of people living in long-term care communities live with cognitive impairment and memory care in Oregon is ideal for those who require assistance and care.

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

Common terms that differentiate levels and types of senior living: 

  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)- typically include independent living, assisted living, residential care and skilled nursing services all on one campus.  
  • Independent Living Communities – provide residents a setting without the burden of home ownership. Residents commonly live in fully equipped private apartments or cottages from a studio to large two-bedroom units.  
  • Care Home or Adult Family Care Home- are private residences in a home-like setting that provide care services to a smaller more limited number of residents (typically 5-12 residents, depending on each state’s regulations). 
  • Assisted Living- provides housing and supportive care in a community setting, but the residents do not require 24-hour nursing care. 
  • Memory Care- a care setting for residents with memory loss or confusion. The community typically has a “secured” entry for residents that may wander. This care can be provided in different care settings depending on the state licensing requirements. 
  • Skilled Nursing is state licensed to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for people who require rehabilitative care 24 hours a day.

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

Memory Care is designed for residents with Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) and 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.

But memory care and nursing homes are two specific types of care for seniors in need. There are different levels and types of care available to fit all senior care needs.

Services in Memory Care in Oregon

  • 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 communities may offer additional activities and amenities 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 

Memory care in Oregon may offer exclusive safety features for residents

Amenities in these communities may include security cameras to supervise entry and exit points; personal medical alert devices for each resident and keypad (or other security measures) locks on doors to prevent residents from wandering; and safety protocols in place which may include locked doors.

Laws and regulations in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Human Services licenses memory care in Oregon. These usually include assisted living communities and residential care facilities but can also include nursing homes and facilities. All facilities providing memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia must obtain an official endorsement on its license.Each licensed facility must meet the requirements of the state and serve individuals displaying behavioral symptoms and ensure each staff member is trained in dementia care.

There are no overarching restrictions to the levels of care memory care and assisted living communities may offer in Oregon. There are services these communities must make deliver to residents:

Assistance with activities of daily living and three nutritious meals a day served from preprepared menus that allow input from residents and offer modified special diets and meal substitutions. Housekeeping and laundry services and medication administration and daily recreational programming and activities. There should be transportation and ancillary services, whether provided directly or arranged, for medical and other supportive services. And finally, all residents must receive a printed information packet provided by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

How much does memory care in Oregon cost?

The average cost of memory care in Oregon is about $6,000 per month, which is higher than the national average. The national average cost of memory care is about $6,550. Take into consideration, the costs may vary dramatically depending on your location and what the community offers. The most populated city in Oregon is Portland where the average monthly cost for memory care in Portland is $6,300. 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 cost of care is.

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.

How to pay for Memory Care in Oregon

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.

Other considerations about memory care in Oregon

Everyone wants to find a safe and reliable community. Are there specific activities your loved one wants to participate in or services they require? Your family has priorities regarding care and the goal is to find the best possible community. Ask as many questions as you deem appropriate.

Inquiries regarding the safety of residents:

  • Are all the doors secure all day and night? 
  • Are all windows secure? 
  • What plans are place to ensure all residents safety in an emergency? 
  • Are there features and protocols in place for residents to call for help if needed in their private living quarters? 

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.

Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman – The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is a free service available to residents, families, facility staff, and the general public.

Oregon Abuse Reporting Line for Children and Adults – To report elder abuse, please contact 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). State law protects the confidentiality of all people reporting abuse and anyone who reports suspected abuse in good faith. The department also accepts anonymous complaints of abuse or neglect.

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon-Elders Program – Caregiver Programs, Case Management, Home Health Services, Emergency Response System, Employment Services, Legal Assistance, Home Repair, Home Modification, Information and Referral/Assistance, Home Delivered Meals, Congregate Meals, Personal Care, Respite Care, Government-Assisted Housing, Sr. Center Programs

Nursing Facility Complaint Unit– If you suspect a nursing facility resident was neglected or abused, please contact the Nursing Facility Complaint Unit

Eldercare Locator This is a great resource to search for specific care in specific counties and cities. This database is a nationwide resource that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings

Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available.

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

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