Memory Care in Idaho | MemoryCare.com

Memory Care in Idaho

According to data released by the Alzheimer's Association, 650 seniors in Idaho died from Alzheimer's-related complications in 2019. This shows a 148.1% increase in Alzheimer's deaths since 2000. In 2020, an estimated 27,000 seniors in the state were living with dementia, and this number is projected to increase by 22.2% to 33,000 in 2025. Information from the CDC shows that Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in Idaho. 

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 Idaho, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Idaho.

The Cost of Memory Care in Idaho

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.

To calculate the cost of memory care, we added 25% to the cost of assisted living as reported in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey

Seniors can expect to pay around $4,798 for memory care in Idaho, which is $827 less than the national median of $5,625. In the neighboring Pacific Northwest states of Oregon and Washington, fees are much higher than in Idaho, with the two states charging around $6,306 and $7,500, respectively. The average costs in Utah are lower at $4,375 per month, while communities in Montana ($5,563) and Wyoming ($5,211) charge slightly more than they do in Idaho. 

The average cost of memory care in Idaho varies across the state, with the most affordable option being Idaho Falls at $4,375 and the most expensive city being Coeur d'Alene at $5,844. Rates are lower than the state average in Twin Falls ($4,775) and Boise City ($4,483). 

Idaho Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

In Idaho, Medicaid covers some of the services provided in a memory care or assisted living facility. These benefits are available to seniors over the age of 65 who require assistance with daily living tasks due to dementia, Alzheimer's, chronic illness, or disability. Services covered by Medicaid in a home- or community-based setting include limited skilled nursing, behavioral management, nonmedical transportation and specialized medical equipment.

  • Who Is Eligible: Applicants must be over the age of 65 or have a diagnosed disability that requires long-term care. They must live in Idaho and be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. In addition, they are required to meet specific income and medical guidelines.
  • How to Apply: Seniors can apply online, in person or by phone or mail submission through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Idaho Aged & Disabled Waiver

The Idaho Aged & Disabled Waiver program gives seniors an alternative to nursing home placement and assists in covering some of the home or community-based living costs. Seniors must require a nursing home level of care to qualify for the waiver. However, the program does not cover room and board. Some of the services it does cover include personal care attendants, case management, chore assistance, homemaker services, medication reminders and medical equipment. 

  • Who Is Eligible: Seniors must be 65 years or older and require nursing home level care to qualify for the waiver. Additionally, they must reside in Idaho and qualify for Medicaid coverage.
  • How to Apply: To apply, seniors need to contact the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare by calling (800) 926-2588.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Idaho

To qualify for Medicaid long-term care coverage, seniors must meet certain medical and financial requirements. The 2022 income limit for individual applicants is $30,516 per year, and couples are limited to an annual income of $60,792. Assets are limited to $2,000 for single applicants and $4,000 for married couples if both spouses are applying.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Idaho

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,516$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,516 for applicant$2,000 for applicant and $137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$60,792$4,000

Additional requirements for eligibility include:

  • Being a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Must reside in Idaho
  • Being 65 years and older or having a disability 

Information that must be provided at the time of application includes:

  • Proof of citizenship or legal resident status
  • Social security number
  • Birth certificate
  • Copies of burial arrangements
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of current address
  • A comprehensive list of assets
  • Title deeds for any property owned
  • Power of attorney

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Idaho

The following organizations can assist seniors and their family members in applying for Medicaid.

resourcecontactdescription
Idalink(877) 456-1233Idalink is the official online application portal for Medicaid and other state benefits in Idaho. Seniors can call the helpline for additional assistance in the application process.
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare(877) 456-1233Seniors and their caregivers can contact the helpline to find out if they are eligible for Medicaid, to apply for Medicaid and to find out about their application status.
Department of Health and Welfare Offices (DHW)Various locationsThere are 28 DHW offices located throughout the state. Seniors can apply for Medicaid in person at one of these offices, and they will be assisted through the whole application process.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Memory Care in Idaho?

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 Idaho

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.
Back to top

Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Idaho

Memory Care Regulation

Memory care facilities in Idaho are regulated as residential care facilities for the elderly by the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare. The department has the authority to license, inspect and regulate all facilities in the state that provide memory care services in a residential care setting. The department conducts both scheduled and surprise inspections to enforce health and safety guidelines for licensed facilities.

Facility Scope of Care

Residential care facilities in Idaho are allowed by the state to provide non-medical care consistent with the needs of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other adults with disabilities. Beyond that, licensed staff at memory care facilities can administer medications within their scope of practice, such as registered nurses administering insulin injections. Trained staff members may assist residents with managing catheters, colostomies, incontinence issues and other daily needs.

Facility caregivers may also assist residents with activities of daily living and other needs unrelated to medical issues. Permitted activities include providing transportation off-site, meal preparation and physically and mentally stimulating group activities.

Admission Requirements

All licensed memory care facilities in Idaho must develop a written admissions policy that goes over the specific purpose, quantity and characteristics of the services provided by the facility. Included in the written statement must be an explanation of:

  • Any restrictions imposed by the facility management’s philosophical or religious reasons
  • Limitations on staff services imposed by gender
  • Disclosure of any residents who are registered as sex offenders

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Residents may be admitted when all of their vital needs can be met by the facility’s staff and equipment. Common conditions among new admissions to memory care facilities include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
  • Physical limitations, including limitations on mobility
  • Developmental disabilities
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Age-related conditions that require assistance with activities of daily living

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Residents who require care beyond the scope of the facility, including those who:

  • Need continuous IV or TPN therapy
  • Require nursing services for longer than 30 days
  • Have had a gastrostomy tube, arterial-venous (AV) shunts, or supra-pubic catheter inserted within the previous 21 days
  • Must be confined by restraints, not including locking wheelchairs
  • Are in a comatose state, other than hospice care admissions where a doctor has assessed a likely end of life within 14 to 30 days
  • Have a stage III or IV pressure ulcer or other open wound that is not visibly improving
  • Have a tracheotomy or other complex medical device necessary for life
  • Are currently in the active phase of a MRSA infection
  • Have behavioral issues not compatible with other residents of the facility
  • Are not capable of self-evacuation in the event of an emergency

Care Plan Requirements

Facilities providing memory care must develop and maintain a written care plan for all new admissions. The care plan must include the identity of any outside agency that helped develop it, as well as the identities of any authorized parties who have decision-making authority for the resident. Care notes must be included in the plan that go over needed treatments, medical office visit schedule and physical or mental therapy needs.

Medication Management Requirements

Facilities may keep and dispense medications in accordance with Idaho standards for pharmacy medication management. All prescription medications stored onsite must be dispensed by a licensed pharmacist and kept in a secure and locked container. Nurses on staff may prepare blister packs of medication for residents and assist with taking them within the scope of nursing care. Residents who are capable of self-management may do so, but in all cases facilities are required to log and report missed doses of prescribed medications.

Facility Requirements

All facilities providing memory care in the state of Idaho must obtain and display a current license issued by the state. Rooms may be private or contain a maximum of two residents. Facilities must have at least one toilet for every six residents and one shower with an ADA-accessible bathtub for every eight residents. Bathrooms must be accessible without having to pass through a private room. All common areas of a facility must be accessible to wheelchair traffic, and fixtures in bathrooms must be equipped with grab bars and other safety devices. Shared closet spaces must have internal dividers and a door that closes. Every resident must have access to an emergency call system that is in proper working order.

Staffing Requirements

Facilities licensed for 15 or fewer residents must have at least one staff member present at all times who can assist residents as needed, including those identified as needing night care. Larger facilities must have a staff member who is awake and able to respond immediately 24 hours a day.

Medicaid Policy

Idaho Medicaid can pay for some of the costs related to residential care in a nursing care home or adult day care. Medicaid does not directly pay for the costs of memory care in Idaho, though several waivers are available for seniors who need help managing their activities. One waiver, the HCBS Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver, pays for services and other support for seniors in an adult foster home. Another waiver, the Medicare Medicaid Coordinated Plan (MMCP), is open to seniors who are “dual-eligible” for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Reporting Abuse

Suspected cases of senior abuse or neglect can be reported to law enforcement or online via the Idaho Adult Protective Services online reporting tool. APS is a division of the Idaho Commission on Aging, which may be reached by phone at 877-471-2777, or by mail at:

6305 W. Overland Rd. Ste. 110 Boise, Idaho 83709

Back to top

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Idaho

There are a variety of free resources available in Idaho for seniors and family members. These organizations provide support, guidance and information.

resourcecontactdescription
Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter assists with funding long-term care and caregiver support for families of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. The association operates a 24/7 helpline for referrals and crisis intervention. Seniors with dementia can get referrals to participate in medical trials through the association’s Idaho branch office.
Alzheimer’s Idaho208-914-4719Alzheimer’s Idaho provides multiple free services for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Volunteers accompany seniors with dementia on scheduled outings and nature walks, no-cost meal services and assistance with residential care placement. Alzheimer’s Idaho also supports caregivers with training and subsidized respite care services.
Memory CafesVarious locationsThere are several memory cafes located across the state. These cafes are regular social events for seniors and their caregivers. The events are Alzheimer's friendly and provide activity time and social time at each session. The activities may include arts and crafts, reading time or card games.
Idaho Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Program(208) 810-0048The Idaho government founded this program in 2021 to increase awareness about Alzheimer's and other dementia-related conditions across the state. The program offers free three-minute cognitive screenings for seniors on Medicaid.
Area Agencies on AgingVarious locationsThere are six Area Agencies on Aging located in Idaho. These agencies provide information and support services for seniors and their caregivers. Agents can assist with long-term care planning and finding memory care facilities that suit the specific needs of each senior. Additionally, they can link seniors with useful services in their local area.

Idaho COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/7/2022. 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?Yes
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave required to quarantine when they get back?No (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors checked for elevated temperatures?Yes
Are staff members and contractors tested for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)
Do staff members have to regularly screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly check residents for elevated temperatures?Yes
Do staff members have to regularly test residents for COVID-19?Yes (Conditions Apply)

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

Back to top