Texas Memory Care

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

“The Lone Star State.” Texas is known for barbecue and live music. Across the state you’ll find regularly warm temperatures and big cities full of vibrant culture. The warm weather draws seniors to Texas to enjoy their retirement and senior years. Over time, our aging adult population may require care at some point. Typically, when people think of senior care they envision a nursing home. Nursing homes are not the only option when it comes to caring for our seniors in need of care. A growing number of people living in long-term care communities live with cognitive impairment. Memory care in Texas provides care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in a home like setting.

Aside from memory care in Texas, 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 Texas

These specialized care communities or facilities design programs to meet the needs of seniors who require specific care. The employ specially trained staff to ensure the safety of residents in a secure environment.

Unlike a nursing home or retirement home, memory care is a level of care specific to residents with Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) and other types of dementia care. These specialized care communities create programs designed to meet the needs of people who require specific care.

Services offered in memory care in Texas

  • 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. 

Some communities may offer activities and amenities to promote joy in the lives of residents. 

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.

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

Memory care communities typically offer specific features designed for the safety of residents

These may include: 

  • Security cameras, alarms or egress to manage entry and exit points in the community. 
  • Keypad (or other security measures) locks on doors to prevent residents from wandering. 
  • Safety protocols in place which may include locked doors. 
  • Additional training for staff specifically related to Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias.
  • Staff training to assist residents with redirection, wandering or some behaviors.
  • Activities and meal service may be modified for residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and other related dementias.

Laws and regulations in Texas

Texas licenses memory care communities under the umbrella of assisted living facilities. Memory care in Texas is licensed by the Health and Human Services Commission. In Texas, assisted living facilities which provide memory care are classified as Type B facilities.

How much does memory care in Texas cost?

One month of memory care in Texas averages $5,000 on average. This is less expensive than the national average, which is $5,650 per month. The states surrounding Texas are typically a little more expensive for memory care communities, though still lower than the national average.

  • National average for memory care communities per month: $5,650
  • Texas: $5,000
  • Louisiana: $4,700
  • New Mexico: $5,655
  • Oklahoma: $4,800

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.

Costs of memory care may fluctuate depending on the region of Texas in which you are looking for care. For example, Houston costs $5,300 per month (on average), and Dallas is $4,800 per month.

How to pay for memory care in Texas

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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