I. Paying for Memory Care 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.

Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2019 shows that the monthly price of assisted living in Connecticut averages $4,880, costing the state’s seniors nearly $830 more per month than the national average. If one assumes the cost of memory care in the state averages 25% more than assisted living, Connecticut residents can anticipate paying residential memory care rates of $6,100 per month.

The cost of assisted living varies considerably throughout Connecticut. Residents of the Bridgeport area pay an average of $6,350 per month, a significantly higher cost than the state median. Hartford residents pay the next highest rate at $4,650, followed by those in Norwich, who pay just under $4,250. The average monthly cost in the New Haven area is by far the lowest in the state at $3,750. Depending on the specific area and facility, Connecticut residents can expect to pay anywhere from $750-$1905 more per month for memory care.

  • United States: $4,051
  • Connecticut: $4,880
  • Bridgeport Area: $6,350
  • New Haven Area: $3,750
  • Hartford Area: $4,650
  • Norwich Area: $4,247
   

Connecticut Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Community First Choice

Community First Choice is a Connecticut Medicaid program authorized through the Affordable Care Act that enables eligible seniors to receive long-term care services in their home rather than a nursing facility. Through this program, participants can choose their caregivers, and they can hire family members. Services may include personal care, educational programs, assistance preparing meals and with housekeeping.

  • Who is Eligible: To enroll, individuals must be eligible to receive Connecticut Medicaid, require an institutional level of care and be able to self-direct care or appoint someone else to make their care decisions. In Connecticut, Medicaid’s financial requirements are complex and may vary according to the individual’s area of residence and whether they are married.
  • How to Apply: To apply, interested individuals may complete an online application or call 2-1-1, and then press 3, during weekday business hours to complete an application over the phone.

Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders

The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is a unique program that receives funding from Medicaid and the state. These separate funding sources allow Medicaid-eligible Connecticut residents and those who can’t qualify for Medicaid coverage to participate based on different financial criteria. The program’s intent is to help residents who may otherwise require nursing facility placement stay in their own homes, or receive care in an assisted living residence or adult foster care home. Services may include care management, assisted living services, homemaker services and adult day health care.

  • Who is Eligible: To qualify, all applicants must be at least 65 years old, in need of nursing home-level care and a Connecticut resident. They must also meet either Medicaid’s or the state’s financial criteria. To qualify through Medicaid, participants may earn no more than $2,349 per month and have assets totaling no more than $1,600 if single. If married and both partners apply, they may have combined countable assets of $3,200. If only one partner applies, a couple may have $27,328 in combined, countable assets. To qualify through the state-funded program, applicants do not have to meet specific income limits. However, individuals may have no more than $38,592 in countable assets and married couples no more than $51,456 in combined assets.
  • How to Apply: Residents who would like to apply may print out the application available online and mail it to the Department of Social Services, Community Options, 9th Floor, 55 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105-3725, or fax it to 860-424-4963.

Non-Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs for Memory Care in Connecticut

Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program

Developed specifically to serve caregivers of Connecticut residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program provides families with up to $7,500 to put toward respite care services per year. Funds may be used to assist with daytime or overnight care provided by home health aides, adult day cares, homemaker services, skilled nurses and assisted living facilities.

  • Who is Eligible: The care recipient must have Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia-related disorder as declared in a physician’s statement. They must also be ineligible for Medicaid, and earn no more than $46,897 per year and have no more than $124,679 in liquid assets.
  • How to Apply: Interested individuals should contact their local Area Agency on Aging to apply.

More Ways to Pay for Memory Care

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.
  • Life Insurance: Some life insurance policies allow policyholders to cash out their policy before a qualifying death. There may be some downsides to accessing a life insurance benefit early, so be sure to read more about the process.

II. 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 AdmittedOlder adults and people with:

  • Dementia
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • AIDS
Residents Who May NOT Be AdmittedThose 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.

III. Free Memory Care and Alzheimer's Resources in Connecticut

ResourceContactDescription
LiveWell Dementia Specialists860-628-9000LiveWell Dementia Specialists is a non-profit resource center that provides information, free workshops, advocacy and specialized dementia care services in residents’ homes and in their own assisted living and nursing facilities.
Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association’s Connecticut Chapter provides free educational programs, support groups and a 24/7 helpline for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Connecticut Community Care866-845-2224The CCC is staffed by professional care managers, and provides assessments and care coordination for individuals who may qualify through private insurance or the Community First Choice and Connecticut Home Care programs.