Memory Care in Connecticut | MemoryCare.com

Memory Care in Connecticut

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently over 80,000 Connecticut residents living with Alzheimer’s, a degenerative disease of the brain that’s diagnosed in about one in nine people aged 65 and over. By 2025, it’s projected that about 91,000 Connecticut seniors will have this disease. Alzheimer's accounted for 967 deaths in 2019, making it among the most common causes of death in the state. 

Memory care facilities provide those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia with care that is tailored to their unique needs. Memory care can take place in its own facility, or as part of a designated wing of another residential care community. Staff members of memory care units or facilities undergo specialized training in caring for those with memory impairment, and the facilities often coordinate social activities and schedules specifically for the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

This guide will cover the cost of memory care in Connecticut, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Connecticut.

The Cost of Memory Care in Connecticut

Because of the specialized staff training and resources required to provide high-quality memory care, memory care typically costs more than other types of residential care. On average, memory care will cost 20-30% more than assisted living.

Because there are no nationwide long-term care cost surveys that include memory care rates, we calculate care costs by adding 25% to assisted living rates in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey.  

Memory care costs in Connecticut are high compared to the national average of $5,625, with rates coming in at an estimated $6,411 per month. In Rhode Island, care costs are over $2,000 higher at $8,533. In Massachusetts and New Jersey, rates average $8,125 and $8,119, respectively. New York is a more economical option for obtaining care, with memory care fees coming in near the national median at $5,725. 

Throughout the state, memory care fees range considerably based on factors such as availability and local costs of living. In Norwich, care costs are over $1,000 lower than the state median and several hundred dollars lower than the national average at $5,375. In Hartford, rates are higher at $6,531, and in Bridgeport, seniors pay $7,841. 

Connecticut Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Connecticut’s Medicaid program, called HUSKY Health, provides health insurance coverage for qualifying individuals. HUSKY Health comprises several programs, including HUSKY C for seniors. This program doesn’t cover memory care services directly, but it operates the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders, which pays for services in long-term care communities. 

  • Who Is Eligible: To be eligible for HUSKY C, applicants must be at least 65 years old and must meet residency and financial guidelines.  
  • How To Apply: To apply for Medicaid, seniors can submit an application online through the ConneCT website. Alternately, they can print out a paper application or request one by calling the Department of Social Services Client Information Line and Benefits Center at (855) 626-6632. They can deliver or mail the completed application to their nearest Department of Social Services field office.   

Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders   

Connecticut’s Medicaid program makes provision for long-term residential care under its Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders. This program covers a range of services, such as care management, adult day health care, companion services and homemaker services. It also includes the Assisted Living Services program, which accommodates the needs of those in memory care facilities. This comprises four packages seniors are placed into depending on their needs. All packages cover residential care services such as assistive technology, personal attendant care, a daily meal and housekeeping. Some seniors may have to contribute up to 9% of their own money toward care costs. 

  • Who Is Eligible: To be eligible for this program, applicants must be at least 65 years old and must meet income and asset limits. They must also need help with daily living activities and be at risk of nursing home placement. 
  • How To Apply: To apply for the Assisted Living Services program, seniors or the people responsible for them can enroll online through the ConneCT website. They can also print out a paper application or request one in the mail by calling the Department of Social Services Client Information Line and Benefits Center at (855) 626-6632. Seniors can deliver the completed application by submitting it in person, faxing it to (860) 424-4963 or mailing it to their nearest Department of Social Services field office.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Connecticut 

Connecticut’s Medicaid program is open to those who meet asset and income limits. Single applicants may have up to $1,600 in countable assets, and married applicants are allotted up to $2,400. The program’s income limits vary depending on which part of the state the applicant lives in. In the Southwest region, single applicants have an annual income limit of $12,624, and married applicants may have up to $19,620 in income. In the rest of the state, the income limit for single applicants is $11,292, and for married applicants, it’s $18,312.  

In addition to this income, applicants may have unearned income that doesn’t count toward these limits. Unearned income includes pensions, veterans’ benefits, stock dividends and Social Security benefits. Single applicants can have up to $409 in unearned income per month, and married applicants have a combined limit of $818. 

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Connecticut   

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$12,624 (Southwest) $11,292 (North, East and West)$1,600
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$19,620 (Southwest) $18,312 (North, East and West)$2,400
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$19,620 (Southwest) $18,312 (North, East and West)$2,400

Applicants must meet eligibility requirements outside of financial limits. To qualify, they must also be: 

  • At least 65 years old or have a qualifying disability 
  • Legal U.S. citizens or residents  
  • Residents of Connecticut  
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How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Connecticut 

Seniors in Connecticut can connect with several resources that help them determine their eligibility for Medicaid, understand the available coverage and appeal denied applications. This table outlines resources that can help them get the most from their health insurance coverage. 

resourcecontactdescription
DSS Client Information Line and Benefits Center855-626-6632The DSS Client Information Line and Benefits Center provides 24/7 access to information on Medicaid’s benefits and the application process through an easy-to-use interactive voice-response system. It also provides assistance from live agents who answer questions and process change requests.
Connecticut Medical Assistance ProgramOnline OnlyThe Connecticut Medical Assistance Program is an informational website that provides comprehensive information on Connecticut's Medicaid program, including what the program covers, patients’ rights and a list of Medicaid-registered health care providers.
Connecticut State Department of Aging and Disability Services860-424-5055The Connecticut State Department of Aging and Disability Services has information and referral specialists who help older adults determine whether they qualify for Medicaid and the Assisted Living Services Program, as well as other public benefits that may help cover care costs.

Can You Use Medicare To Pay for Memory Care in Connecticut?

Unfortunately, Medicare does not generally cover the cost of Memory Care. Most Memory Care Facilities are considered to be "social settings," so Medicare does not cover the cost incurred in these facilities. The only exception to that is if you are receiving memory care services in a Nursing Home. While this situation is much less common, Medicare would sometimes cover the cost, depending on a number of circumstances.

That being said, Medicare does still cover qualified doctor visits, medications, etc., as it would if you were still at home, but it will not cover the cost of care received at the Memory Care Facility.

More Ways To Pay for Memory Care in Connecticut

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Depending on the policy details, long-term care insurance may be used to pay for memory care services. It's best to sign up for a policy early, as coverage will likely be denied if one already has long-term care needs. More information about the intricacies of long-term care insurance can be found at longtermcare.acl.gov.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Reverse mortgages allow some homeowners to take out a loan as an advance from the eventual sale of their primary residence. This can be a good way to fund memory care in the short-term, but the loans will need to be paid back after the sale of the home. The most commonly used type of reverse mortgages for seniors is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, which is the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government.
  • Veterans Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers several programs that veterans and their spouses may use to cover health care needs such as memory care. More information about these programs can be found on the VA website.

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Connecticut

Memory Care Regulation

Memory care in Connecticut is regulated by the Department of Public Health, which oversees licensing and registration of assisted living services agencies, residential care homes and Alzheimer’s special care units. SCUs have specific licensing requirements and are designed to serve individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

At the time of a resident’s admission, assisted living service agencies must provide residents with a bill of rights and responsibilities that describe the agency’s services.

Facility Scope of Care

Assisted living services agencies may provide individuals with assistance with activities of daily living and nursing care within managed residential communities. MRCs should provide services designed primarily to help residents ages 55 and older live as independently as possible.

They must offer residents the following supports and services:

  • Living units with full bathrooms
  • Recreational programs
  • Three daily meals
  • Regularly scheduled housekeeping, laundry and transportation services

Assisted living services agencies may contract with third parties to provide additional services.

Admissions Requirements

Unless a resident is able to arrange for their own nursing care, assisted living facilities in Connecticut may not admit individuals requiring full-time nursing care. There are no other set rules that dictate who agencies may or may not admit, but agencies must create a plan of resident admission and discharge.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people with:

  • Dementia
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • AIDS

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Require full-time skilled nursing care
  • Have conditions that become unstable
  • Have unpaid charges
  • Pose a threat of harm to themselves or others

Care Plan Requirements

Assisted living services agencies are required to develop a resident service program through a consultation between the resident, family members and a registered nurse. This program must be developed within seven days of the resident’s admission and include specific information regarding the person’s care, service and medication requirements.

Alzheimer’s SCUs must provide residents and invested parties with an annual written disclosure including information about the program philosophy, admission procedures, program costs, service implementation and staff training.

Medication Management Requirements

Assisted living services agencies may allow residents to self-administer medications or provide medication administration by registered nurses. Care recipients may also request the supervision of an assisted living aide to oversee medication self-administration.

Facility Requirements

SCUs may exist in a variety of settings including assisted living facilities, RCHs, nursing homes, adult day care centers and adult foster homes. In all settings, SCUs must provide separate physical areas for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and restrict residents’ access to areas outside the unit.

Managed residential care facilities must include private residential units with full bathrooms and an area for preparing and storing food. Facilities may not require residents to share rooms, but allow residents to do so if they wish. Common areas should comfortably hold at least 50% of the facility’s residents at any one time.

Staffing Requirements

Staff members providing dementia care must meet the licensure requirements of the specific facility and program where they are employed. They must receive initial training that includes a minimum of eight hours of dementia training within their first six months of employment, and two hours of training in recognizing pain and pain management techniques. Each staff member must complete at least eight hours of ongoing training each year. All non-direct care staff members must complete at least one hour of training within the first six months of employment.

Medicaid Policy

In Connecticut, Medicaid covers the cost of assisted living services through the Community First Choice waiver program, as well as the Medicaid-funded portion of the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders.

Reporting Abuse

Anyone suspecting abuse of an elderly Connecticut resident may call the Elder Abuse hotline at 888-385-4225. The Facility Licensing and Investigation Section investigates complaints about treatment received or care or services provided in a licensed care facility. Failure to report suspected abuse is considered a crime in Connecticut, and is punishable by a $500 fine for the first offense.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Connecticut

There are several free resources to help Connecticut families make informed decisions regarding their loved one's long-term care options. Through the following agencies and programs, state residents can find information on the next steps to take after an Alzheimer's diagnosis, as well as support groups, helplines and early-stage engagement activities. 

resourcecontactdescription
Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter800-272-3900The Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has trained staff and volunteers who help seniors and families navigate dementia treatment options. The chapter facilitates in-person and virtual support groups, an active online community and early-stage engagement activities throughout the state.
LiveWell Dementia Specialists860-628-9000LiveWell Dementia Specialists is a nonprofit organization that’s served state residents in all stages of dementia for over three decades. It hosts events and webinars that address dementia-related issues, such as strategies for managing symptoms and knowing when it’s time to transition to residential care. It also facilitates Memory Cafes and in-person Meet-Ups, and it has licensed clinical social workers who provide specialized counseling services for those with dementia and their families.
Area Agencies on Aging860-424-5055Connecticut has five Area Agencies on Aging. These independent nonprofit agencies serve those aged 60 and over in their designated regions through information and referrals, options counseling and legal and financial advice.
Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program860-424-5200Connecticut’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates on behalf of memory care residents and investigates concerns regarding inadequate or substandard care. The ombudsman can also help families identify ways to pay for residential memory care services.
CHOICES800-994-9422CHOICES, Connecticut’s Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program, provides Medicare beneficiaries with free, unbiased information and advice. CHOICES advisors can answer questions about Medicare benefits, coverage limits and cost-sharing responsibilities and help with finding options to pay for long-term care.
Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut800-453-3320Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut helps qualifying individuals navigate legal issues related to dementia, including resolving consumer debt problems, managing assets and accessing public benefits.
Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program800-994-9422The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program subsidizes up to $7,500 per year of respite services and helps families determine the best level of care for their loved one with dementia.

Connecticut COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was complied and most recently updated on 2/2/2022. Since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving crisis, be sure to contact your Memory Care Facility or local Area Agency on Aging for the most up-to-date information.

questionanswer
Am I allowed to visit my loved one in person?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Is my loved one required to quarantine after I visit him or her?Not Available*
Am I required to wear a mask if I visit my loved one in person?Yes
Are visitors screened for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are residents allowed to leave the facility at-will?Not Available*
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave required to quarantine when they get back?Not Available*
Are staff members and contractors checked for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors tested for COVID-19?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?Not Available*
Do staff members have to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?Not Available*
Do staff members have to regularly test residents for COVID-19?Yes

*Note: This information was not available for this state, contact your local area agency on aging or senior living facility for more information.

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