I. Paying for Memory Care 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.

In Kansas, seniors pay $4,473 per month for assisted living services, which is about 10% higher than the national average of $4,051. Based on the state’s average monthly rate, families can expect to pay between $5,368 and $5,815 per month for residential memory care.

While Kansas is relatively expensive overall for assisted living, the cost of care varies significantly from one region to another. In the state’s capital city of Topeka, assisted living costs $3,738 per month. This is 8% lower than the national cost of care and corresponds to an average monthly memory care fee of $4,673. However, just 30 miles away in the city of Lawrence, assisted living costs an average of $5,450 per month, meaning that memory care costs approximately $6,813. Wichita’s assisted living fees are $4,698 and Manhattan’s are $4,975, which corresponds to monthly residential memory care fees of $5,873 and $6,219, respectively.


Kansas Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Frail Elderly Waiver

The FE waiver program allows participants to receive nursing home-level care in a residential facility. While this waiver doesn’t cover room and board in a residential memory care facility, it does cover a range of services like adult day health care, attendant care, financial management, nursing evaluation visits, sleep cycle support, medication reminders, wellness monitoring and personal emergency response systems. In some cases, services may be self-directed, and some family members may be eligible for hire as caregivers.

  • Who Is Eligible: To be eligible for the FE waiver program, applicants must be residents of Kansas and at least 65 years of age. They must be assessed by a medical team to determine whether they require long-term care services. These needed services generally include assistance with at least two activities of daily living, such as dressing and maintaining continence, or at least three instrumental activities of daily living, like grocery shopping or housework. Applicants must also meet the state’s Medicaid income and asset requirements. As of 2020, single applicants are permitted a monthly income of up to $2,349 and up to $2,000 in countable assets.
  • How to Apply: To apply for services, seniors should contact their local Aging and Disability Resource Center or call 855-200-2372.

Non-Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs for Memory Care in Kansas

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

Kansas has three PACE programs that provide services in 23 Kansas counties. PACE promotes a full range of quality health care services for seniors, including those with conditions like Alzheimer’s. It features an interdisciplinary clinical team, which comprises a primary care physician, a nurse, a social worker, therapists, personal care attendants, a dietician and transportation providers. This team assesses an individual’s needs and coordinates services for them. Some services that are provided include meals, activities and exercise programs, therapy, dental care and specialist services. PACE also extends caregiver training, support groups and respite care, as well as medical transportation to medical appointments within the community.

  • Who Is Eligible: To be eligible for PACE, applicants must be at least 55 years old, meet Medicaid’s long-term care threshold and be able to live safely in a non-institutionalized setting with the help of PACE services. Additionally, they must reside in the service area of a PACE organization.
  • How to Apply: Applicants must contact their local Aging and Disability Resource Center. The ADRC will conduct an assessment to determine an applicant’s eligibility for the program. Contact information for local ADRC is available by calling 855-200-2372.

Kansas Senior Care Act

The SCA program helps seniors who are unable to live independently but are able to reside in a community-based residence if certain services are provided, with the aim of helping to avoid or delay nursing home placement. The services covered by this program are those that don’t require medical training to perform, and participants self-direct their care, meaning that they choose who they receive services from. In some cases, family members can be hired to perform some tasks. While spouses are generally ineligible to be hired by the program participant, in rural areas where there are limited options, this may be permitted. Services vary by region and include things like personal care, respite services, homemaker and chore services and adult day health care. Participants contribute to the cost of the services provided based on their ability to pay.

  • Who Is Eligible: To be eligible, applicants must be at least 60 years old, and they must be legal residents of Kansas. The duration of their residence is irrelevant. Applicants must also be professionally assessed and found to need assistance with at least two activities of daily living or at least three instrumental activities of daily living.
  • How to Apply: Seniors and families should contact their local Area Agency on Aging to learn more about the SCA program or begin the application process.

Kansas Family Caregiver Support Program

Kansas FCSP provides support for informal caregivers, typically family members, of seniors with conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The goal of the program is to ensure that participants have access to information and resources that they need to support their roles as caregivers. This program funds a wide variety of services, including individual and group counseling, caregiver training, respite, and supplemental services like personal care, chore and homemaker services and transportation.

  • Who Is Eligible: Kansas FCSP is extended to those who provide informal care for individuals over age 60 or under age 60 who have Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. The care recipient must be unable to perform at least two daily living activities and require substantial supervision.
  • How to Apply: Caregivers should contact their local Area Agency on Aging to learn more about Kansas FCSP and to begin the application process.

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 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.

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

Resource Contact Description
Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center 855-200-2372 The state’s ADRC operates 11 Area Agencies on Aging and provides guidance and informational resources for caregivers, families and seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Kansas Advocates for Better Care 785-842-3088 KABC is a non-profit organization that advocates for quality long-term care on behalf of residents in assisted living facilities.
Alzheimer’s Association Central and Western Kansas Chapter 800-272-3900 The Central and Western Kansas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association serves as a premier source of support and information for seniors and families who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It operates a 24-hour helpline and virtual support groups and education programs.