Memory Care in Kansas |

Memory Care in Kansas

In 2018, Alzheimer's disease was the 6th leading cause of death in Kansas, claiming nearly 900 lives that year. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 55,000 people aged 65 and over are living with this disease in 2020, and by 2025, that number is projected to increase by nearly 13% to 62,000. This disease has had a profound impact not only on Kansas but on the entire nation. Currently, roughly 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and that number is expected to nearly triple by 2050.

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

The Cost of Memory Care in Kansas

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.

We added 25% to the cost of assisted living as reported in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey to calculate the average cost of memory care.

Memory care in Kansas has a median cost of $5,725, which is $100 more than the national average of $5,625. Seniors in Kansas pay far more for memory care than those in neighboring Missouri ($3,750), Oklahoma ($4,819) and Nebraska ($5,095). However, costs are slightly lower than in Colorado, where seniors pay an average of $5,938 per month. 

The cost of memory care varies across Kansas, with its capital city, Topeka, the most affordable city in the state at $5,619. Seniors in Lawrence pay a similar amount at $5,673 per month. Manhattan and Wichita are considerably more expensive at $6,748 and $6,781, respectively.

Kansas Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Medicaid in Kansas (KanCare) does not specifically cover the costs of memory care. However, its Frail Elderly Waiver Program can be used to cover some costs. 

  • Who Is Eligible: Seniors must be 65 years or older, be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, reside in Kansas and meet certain financial requirements.
  • How To Apply: Seniors can apply online on the KanCare website.

Frail Elderly Waiver Program

The Frail Elderly Waiver Program will cover some costs of services provided in a memory care community. The program doesn't cover meal or room expenses. It does cover wellness monitoring, nurse evaluation visits, enhanced care services, personal care and assistive technology.

  • Who Is Eligible: Applicants must be 65 years or older, reside in Kansas, meet the KanCare income and asset requirements and undergo a full evaluation by a medical team to ensure they require long-term care services.
  • How To Apply: Seniors can contact their local Aging and Disability Resource Center to start the application process. They can call (855) 200-2372 to find the nearest Aging and Disability Resource Center.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Kansas

Seniors must meet certain income and asset requirements to be eligible for Medicaid in Kansas. There's no set income limit in Kansas, but any monthly income above $62 must go to nursing home care costs, or alternatively, any income over $2,523 must go to home-based care or assisted living costs. The asset limit is $2,000 for single applicants and $3,000 for married applicants if both spouses are applying.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Kansas

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single PersonNo Set Income Limit$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)No Set Income Limit$2,000 for applicant and $137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)No Set Income Limit$3,000

Seniors must meet certain additional requirements to apply for Medicaid in Kansas. Applicants must provide documentation verifying their citizenship or residential status and proof of income. 

Required information includes:

  • Proof of citizenship or legal resident status
  • Bank statements for the past 60 months
  • Title deeds of any property owned plus a recent professional evaluation of that property
  • Copies of burial plans
  • Power of attorney documents
  • Any other documents the senior feels may support their application

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Kansas

Seniors in Kansas can contact KanCare for assistance in applying for Medicaid or phone the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services785-296-4986Operators are available during the work week to guide seniors through the application process. Seniors can receive in-person assistance at their local office.
KanCareOnline informationSeniors and their caregivers can find all the information they need and a step-by-step guide to applying for Medicaid on the KanCare website.

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

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 Kansas

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
  • 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.
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Memory Care Laws and Regulations in Kansas

Memory Care Regulation

In Kansas, dementia care units are not licensed separately from assisted living facilities. Instead, assisted living facilities are permitted to serve residents with special needs if they meet certain criteria. These facilities are licensed by the Secretary of Aging and Disability Services.

Facility Scope of Care

Memory care facilities are required to accommodate the care needs and services that are outlined in the resident's service plan, which was created at the time of admission. Services generally include daily meals, health care services, group and individual activities, housekeeping and personalized health and safety support.

Admissions Requirements

Memory care facilities in Kansas can house seniors with a wide range of abilities and care needs, but not everyone is a candidate for this level of care. The following table outlines residents who may and may not be admitted.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people who:

  • Have dementia
  • Have mental, physical or developmental disabilities and conditions
  • Have traumatic brain injuries
  • Require assistance from third-party providers

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Have chronic conditions that require the assistance of two or more people
  • Are unwilling or unable to participate in managing continence
  • Need around-the-clock skilled nursing care
  • Are immobile or need full assistance in evacuating the facility
  • Have behavioral symptoms that the facility cannot accommodate
  • Have a clinical condition that requires the use of physical restraints

Care Plan Requirements

Prior to admission, a licensed nurse of the memory care facility's administrator must conduct a screening and assessment of the prospective resident to evaluate the individual's health care needs and functional capacity. Based on this assessment, the facility works with the individual and their family members or a legal representative, such as a case manager, to develop a service plan. If the resident needs health care services, their service plan must be developed by a licensed nurse.

Service plans must describe the services provided, the individual or organization that is to provide the services and who is responsible for ensuring payment when the services are provided by a third party. They must be reviewed on an annual basis or when requested by any of the participating parties. If a nutritionist is needed to assist the resident with eating, the care plan must be reviewed quarterly.

Medication Management Requirements

A resident may self-administer their medications if a licensed nurse has evaluated and confirmed that they are able to do so. If the resident is unable to self-administer their medications, a licensed nurse or medication aide must administer them. Medication aides are not permitted to administer subcutaneous or intravenous medications.

A licensed pharmacist must review each resident's medication regimen on a quarterly basis or when the resident's condition changes significantly. This service is required for residents whose medication regimen is managed by the facility, and it must be offered to residents who self-administer all of their medications.

Facility Requirements

In memory care units that are in assisted living facilities, individual units must be apartment-style and have a living area, a storage area, a full and accessible bathroom, a kitchen with appliances, a lockable door and an operable window. Memory care units in residential health care facilities are not required to have kitchens, but they must have a private bathroom with a tub or a shower. Additionally, the facility's exits must be controlled in the least restrictive manner possible.

Staffing Requirements

All memory care facilities in Kansas must have an administrator, a full-time operator and a 24-hour awake staff. There must also be a registered nurse available to supervise the facility's licensed practical nurses. There are no minimum staffing ratios, but facilities are required to have enough direct care staff members available at all times to provide each resident with the services and care outlined in their service plan.

Memory care facilities must also provide their staff members with in-service education on how to treat the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Medicaid Policy

Services provided in memory care facilities are covered under 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waivers, including the FE Waiver.

Reporting Abuse

If resident abuse, neglect or exploitation is suspected, the concerned party should inform the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services elder abuse hotline by calling 1-800-842-0078. If a facility's practices are suspected to violate the Secretary of Aging and Disability Services' statutes and regulations, a report should be made to the state's Adult Protective Services office by calling 785-296-4653 or to the Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman office by calling 1-877-662-8362.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Kansas

Seniors and their caregivers in Kansas have access to information and support resources to help them understand and deal with the challenges of memory loss.

Alzheimer's Association Central and Western Kansas Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer's Association Central and Western Kansas Chapter operates a 24/7 helpline to assist seniors and their caregivers. It hosts events to fundraise for research and clinical trials. The chapter provides information on the stages of memory loss and links seniors to services they may need. In addition, it runs support groups and educational workshops.
Kansas Advocates for Better Care785-842-3088Kansas Advocates for Better Care is a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of seniors in long-term care facilities. The organization can assist family members in making sure their loved ones are getting the care they deserve in a memory care facility.
University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Research Center913-588-0555The University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Research Center is involved in a number of clinical trials that eligible seniors may be able to take part in. In addition, the center runs a memory care clinic that treats seniors with Alzheimer's and hosts support groups. The center provides information on its website about the different stages of memory loss.
Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services855-200-2372The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services runs 11 resource centers across the state. Seniors and their caregivers can visit these centers to find out about services in the community and long-term care options.
Institutional Transition Support785-296-7744The Institutional Transition Support program assists seniors who are currently in a nursing home or hospital setting and would like to make the move back into the community. The program can help seniors who'd like to move to an assisted living community or memory care facility. It provides care and assistance in the least restrictive setting possible for the senior.

Kansas COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/8/2022. 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.

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?No
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)
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