I. Paying for Memory Care in Louisiana

The Cost of Memory Care in Louisiana

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 Louisiana, the average monthly cost of assisted living is $3,650. This is several hundred dollars under the national monthly average of $4,051. Assuming that memory care will cost, on average, 25% more than assisted living, one can expect to pay approximately $4,563 per month for residential memory care in Louisiana.

Within the state, the cost can vary significantly. In Baton Rouge, for example, assisted living costs an average of $3,313 per month. In New Orleans, costs soar over $1,000 above the state average to $4,700 per month. Costs in the Lake Charles area are typically closer to the state average at $3,508 per month, and assisted living expenses in the Lafayette area run approximately $3,645 monthly. Finally, one could expect to spend $3,723 per month in Shreveport. Keep in mind that these prices are for standard assisted living, and memory care may cost $1,000-$2,000 more per month, depending on the area and specific facility.

   

Louisiana Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Long-Term Personal Care Services Program

Louisiana’s Long Term-Personal Care Services Program (LT-PCS) helps eligible seniors with activities of daily living (ADLs), including grooming, bathing and mobility, in addition to instrumental ADLs (IADLs), such as medication reminders, food preparation and transportation. This program is an entitlement of the state Medicaid plan, so there is no waiting list. It’s set up to enable seniors to remain living in their own homes or to “age in place” instead of living in a nursing home facility. However, LT-PCS covers neither 24-hour care nor medical services.

  • Who is Eligible: To qualify for LT-PCS, one must be at least 21 years of age and financially eligible for Louisiana Medicaid. In 2019, the income limit is $16,612 for a single person and $22,491 for a two-person household. One must also require nursing facility level of care and be competent to direct care independently or through a trustworthy representative.
  • How to Apply: Those desiring more information on Long Term-Personal Care Services can call Louisiana Options in Long Term Care toll-free at 1-877-456-1146 (TTY: 1-855-296-0226).

Louisiana Community Choices Waiver

Louisiana’s Community Choices Waiver (CCW) is a program that serves older and/or disabled residents. It helps prevent institutionalization in nursing homes by providing support at home, in assisted living communities and in adult foster care homes. This waiver also offers Monitored In-Home Caregiving (MIHC), a benefit similar to adult foster care. MIHC pays a qualifying family member or friend to provide care. However, the CCW has an extensive waiting list with a complicated process, a Request for Services Registry, which prioritizes certain conditions.

  • Who Is Eligible: The CCW is for Louisiana residents aged 65 and older as well as physically disabled residents aged 21 to 64. They must require nursing home level care and be eligible for long-term care Medicaid. As of 2020, monthly income cannot exceed $2,349 for individuals or $4,698 for two-person households. Countable assets cannot exceed $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for two-person families.
  • How to Apply: For more information on the CCW program, contact the Louisiana Options in Long Term Care Help Line at 1-877-456-1146. The Louisiana Department of Health’s website contains limited information as well.

Louisiana Adult Day Health Care Waiver

The Louisiana Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) waiver also helps seniors stay at home so they don’t have to be placed in a nursing home. This program provides adult day health care services in some areas, including evenings and weekends. Adult day care entails a wide range of personal care, social and recreational activities and meals in a group setting. Transportation may also be provided for individuals living within a reasonable distance.

  • Who Is Eligible: To qualify for the ADHC waiver, an individual must be aged 65 years or older or between the ages of 22 and 64 if physically disabled. They must also need nursing facility level care and qualify for Medicaid.
  • How to Apply: Call 1-877-456-1146 for more details or to apply, or contact a local area agency on aging.

Permanent Supportive Housing

Louisiana’s Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) program offers rental support, medication administration and emergency services. While this benefit isn’t exclusively for seniors, the state considers people with age-related disabilities as eligible. PSH defines “elderly” persons as at least aged 55 years.

  • Who Is Eligible: Applicants must be in need of housing assistance and they, or someone in their household, must have a chronic disability. Individuals must also be receiving Medicaid services, such as Long Term-Personal Care Services, the Community Choices Waiver or living in a nursing home facility. Household income must not exceed 50% of the median income for their geographic area.
  • How to Apply: The Department of Health and Hospitals has more information about the program and the Permanent Supportive Housing Office can be reached at 1-844-698-9075. Applications are available online for downloading. Bear in mind that there might be an extensive waiting list.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) coordinates preventive, primary and long-term care services to help seniors continue living in their communities. When an individual enrolls in PACE, both Medicare and Medicaid reimburse the care provider based on what would have been paid under the fee-for-service system.

  • Who Is Eligible: To qualify for the PACE program, one has to be at least 55 years of age, meet Medicaid eligibility requirements and need nursing home level of care.
  • How to Apply: For information, call PACE Greater New Orleans at 504-945-1531, PACE Baton Rouge at 225-490-0604 or PACE Lafayette at 337-470-4500.

Non-Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs for Memory Care in Louisiana

Louisiana Agency on Aging

Area Agency on Aging offices exist throughout the state to coordinate a broad array of assistance initiatives for senior citizens. Programs can include help with legal issues, access to free or low-cost prescription drugs, meals and adult day services. Local Agency on Aging centers are helpful resources for information and referrals regarding Medicaid applications, health insurance counseling and other critical services for older people in Louisiana.

Who Is Eligible: Most of the services provided by Agency on Aging offices give priority to low-income individuals aged 60 years and older.

How to Apply: For more information about local Agency on Aging services, contact the nearest location listed in this directory.

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 Louisiana

Memory Care Regulation

In Louisiana, the Department of Health and Hospitals oversees and regulates assisted living facilities. Under state regulations, Alzheimer’s Special Care Units (ASCUs) are adult residential care providers that segregate or offer special programs or units for residents with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

Louisiana mandates that any ASCU must complete an “Alzheimer’s Special Care Disclosure Form” that outlines the overall philosophy and mission of the provider’s program and describes the criteria and process for admitting, transferring and discharging from the program. The ASCU must also furnish details regarding the process used in performing assessments and training staff. The Department of Health also expects to see a description of the physical environment and types of resident activities as well as a list of fees for care and extra programs.

Facility Scope of Care

Adult residential care providers (ARCPs) must provide or arrange for services, including assistance with ADLs and IADLs, laundry, meals, social activities, housekeeping, transportation and a recreational program. Each facility must ensure that needed services are available, whether through a third-party provider or the resident’s family. Residents can provide or arrange for care not available through the facility at their own expense, as long as the residency conditions are honored.

Admissions Requirements

ARCPs may admit residents with a wide range of conditions, but there are certain restrictions as well. The table below gives an overview of who may or may not be admitted.

Residents Who May Be AdmittedOlder adults and people with:

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

  • Requiring full-time nursing care
  • With level 3 or level 4 pressure ulcers
  • Who need the total assistance of a breathing apparatus
  • Who are permanently bedridden
  • Who are comatose
  • Who are a danger to themselves or others

Care Plan Requirements

According to the Louisiana Administrative Code, ARCPs must perform and document an initial assessment of the resident’s needs. The screening must include information on the resident’s physical and mental status as well as the need for assistance with ADLs and IADLs. The ARCP must use this assessment in devising the resident’s care plan within 21 days of admission. The care plan has to be reviewed at least annually and revised, as necessary, by the staff involved in the resident’s care.

Medication Management Requirements

Staff with documented training can supervise the self-administration of medications and assist with reminders, opening containers, pouring medication and bringing it to residents. Staff administration of medications is allowed in all ARCPs in accordance with residents’ care plans. Medications can only be administered by a person currently licensed by the appropriate state agency. Intravenous therapy may be administered by staff under the supervision of a licensed practitioner in level 4 facilities only. The resident, the resident’s representative or the ARCP may contract with another individual or agency to administer medications

Facility Requirements

ARCPs may house up to two residents per resident unit. Level 1 and 2 facilities must have one bathroom for every four residents; level 3 and 4 facilities must have a separate, complete bathroom in each apartment. Facilities that accept residents with dementia or exit-seeking behaviors must provide an enclosed area adjacent to the facility so the residents may go outside safely.

Staffing Requirements

Louisiana doesn’t impose staffing ratios. Each ARCP must have at least a director, a designated activities coordinator and a direct care staff person. Employees who work directly with residents who have dementia must obtain at least eight hours of evidenced-based dementia training within 90 days of employment in addition to eight hours of such training annually. Staff who have regular contact with residents must obtain a minimum of four hours of dementia training within 90 days of employment as well as two hours of dementia training annually.

Medicaid Policy

Medicaid reimburses assisted living facilities for services rendered to seniors covered by Medicaid waivers or enrolled and receiving personal care coverage. These individuals must be eligible for institutional level of care. The reimbursement includes coverage of assistance with ADLs.

Reporting Abuse

The Elderly Protective Services in the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs investigates and intervenes appropriately in cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation involving Louisiana residents aged 60 years and older. The office can be reached at 1-833-577-6532 or by mail at: Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, P.O. Box 61, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0661.

Louisiana’s Health Standards Section provides a complaint form for filing grievances against any health care facility licensed by the Department of Health. Once completed, the form should be mailed to: Health Standards Section, P.O. Box 3767, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. The HHS can be reached at 225-342-0138.

III. Free Memory Care Resources in Louisiana

ResourceContactDescription
Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital AreaHelpLine: 800-548-1211

Phone: 225-334-7494

Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area is a nonprofit organization that provides education and support programs to people affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter800-272-3800The Louisiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association provides support groups and educational resources while promoting public policy initiatives and research.
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America866-232-8484The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides services, education and support for individuals and families affected by memory impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease. This organization offers memory screening.
2112-1-1211 is a hotline for local social services. Seniors can call this number to learn about financial support, free transportation, education and counseling.