Pennsylvania Memory Care: Communities caring for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia care
The number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is increasing every year. It’s estimated that over 250,000 aging adults in Pennsylvania live with Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. Cognitive decline requires specialized care and attention. Memory care communities provide care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Memory care in Pennsylvania is a specific form of care designed to keep residents safe while receiving the appropriate care in a comfortable setting. Not all senior care involves your loved one moving into a nursing home. There are are several different options aside from nursing homes to fit your loved ones needs.
Aside from memory care in Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania
Memory care in Pennsylvania is often offered in an assisted living facility or community. Memory care services and care are designed for residents with Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) and other types of dementia. These specialized care communities create programs designed to meet the needs of people who require specific care, with specially trained staff and a secure environment to ensure the safety of residents.
Memory care in Pennsylvania
- Assistance with activities of daily living. This includes bathing, dressing and toileting.
- Assistance with medications, from storage to administration for residents.
- 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.
- Evacuation plans.
Memory care typically offers exclusive features designed for the safety of residents with dementia:
- 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.
The focus of activities in a memory care community is to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged and active as possible. Typically, activities may be like those offered in other residential communities. The positive difference is the modification to keep residents with cognitive impairment engaged.
Memory care may offer activities and amenities to promote joy in the lives of residents
Possible amenities and activities could include:
- Arts and crafts
- Secure outdoor open-air courtyards
- Swimming pools
- Lounges for residents
- Game rooms
- Dining rooms
- Fitness centers
How much does memory care in Pennsylvania cost?
Memory care in Pennsylvania, like most states, costs about 20-30% more than assisted living. this is due to the specialized care for residents and the additional needs and safety requirements. Still, the good news for residents is that memory care does cost less in Pennsylvania than the national average.
Pennsylvania memory care is one of the most affordable states for such care in the region. The national average for memory care per month is $5,650, whereas Pennsylvania memory care is $5,100. This adds up to quality savings for such specialized services and care.
How to pay for memory care in Pennsylvania
Paying for Senior Living and Care will vary depending on a few factors. For instance, the level of care needed; the income and savings of the resident; the state and location of the community; or if the resident is a veteran. In the United States there are over 400 programs that may offer some monetary relief for senior care, but often the majority of costs are covered by private funds and family assistance. These funds come from our Federal, State, and Local Governments.
It is important to take your time when exploring payment and coverage options.
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 when Looking for Senior Living
Finding an assisted living community, can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on things to be observant of:
Resources and links related to Senior Living and Care
Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service 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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