Memory Care in Louisiana | MemoryCare.com

Memory Care in Louisiana

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the fifth leading cause of death in Louisiana. In 2019, the number of Alzheimer’s deaths was close to 2,200, and the number of individuals with dementia or a related diagnosis is expected to rise by 19.6% by 2025. Nationwide, the number of individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia is expected to double by 2060, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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

To determine the cost of memory care in Louisiana, we added 25% to the assisted living costs listed in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.

Memory care costs in Louisiana are comparable to those in neighboring states at $4,685 per month, and nationally, seniors pay an average of $5,635. Mississippi has lower rates at $4,375, and seniors in Arkansas pay slightly more than their counterparts in Louisiana at $4,700. Oklahoma facilities charge $4,819 per month, while Texas has the most expensive fees at $4,998.

Aside from regional cost differences, memory care costs can vary within a state. Houma has the highest costs in the state at $6,000 per month, while residents in Monroe pay the lowest rates at $3,313. Costs in Shreveport and Lafayette are similar at $4,838 and $4,813, respectively. Facilities in Baton Rouge charge around $5,156, and seniors who prefer the Gulf pay about $4,966 in New Orleans. 

Louisiana Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Louisiana Medicaid is an entitlement program, which means all who meet the qualifications for eligibility receive benefits. It covers the cost of memory care through three separate waiver programs: the Community Choices Waiver (CCW), the Long-Term Personal Care Services Program and the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). These programs provide a wide variety of services to help improve the quality of life for memory care residents.

Community Choices Waiver (CCW)

The Community Choices Waiver provides financial assistance to seniors and those with disabilities who require nursing home care but prefer to receive their care at home or in another type of residential facility. The CCW covers support coordination, skilled nursing, in-home monitoring, meals, personal care and caregiver respite.

  • Who Is Eligible: Seniors aged 65 and older who meet nursing home requirements
  • How To Apply: Seniors can contact the Louisiana Options in Long-Term Care at (877) 456-1146 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Louisiana

Medicaid applicants must meet the income requirements as set by the state to receive benefits. As of 2022, the maximum income for a single applicant is $30,276 per year. In a two-person household, the maximum is $30,276 per person. Asset limits are $2,000 for a single applicant and $3,000 when both individuals in a two-person household apply. For households where only one person applies, the asset limit is $137,400. Seniors may receive an additional Monthly Minimum Needs Allowance as defined by the spousal impoverishment rule. This helps reduce the chances of poverty for the spouse left at home.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Louisiana

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,276$2,000 for applicant, $137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$30,276 per applicant or $60,552 per couple$3,000

To be eligible for Medicaid, seniors must also be:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • A full-time resident of Louisiana
  • A U.S. citizen, permanent resident or legal alien

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Louisiana

Seniors applying for Medicaid can get assistance from a variety of programs. These programs provide assistance with applications and can answer general questions online, in-person or over the phone.

resourcecontactdescription
Louisiana Department of Health(888) 342-6207The Louisiana Department of Health can help seniors determine whether they qualify for Medicaid and other assistance programs. Trained caseworkers can answer common questions about coverage and the application process. They can also check status updates once an individual applies.
Benefits.gov(888) 342-6207Benefits.gov is a federal website dedicated to assisting individuals looking for state benefits. The site offers a brief overview of Medicaid, including eligibility and contact information, and provides application assistance.
Medicaid.gov(877) 267-2323Medicaid.gov is the official federal website for Medicaid coverage. The site provides direct assistance with general questions, applications and state guidelines.

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

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 Louisiana

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.
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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 Admitted

Older adults and people with:

  • Dementia
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Physical Disabilities
  • AIDS
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those:

  • 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.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Louisiana

Seniors in Louisiana have access to programs and services that can help them with Alzheimer's, dementia and their general quality of life. These resources are accessible in-person and online and address individual needs from memory care education to legal advice. 

resourcecontactdescription
Alzheimer’s Association Louisiana Chapter800-272-3900The Alzheimer’s Association serves as an advocate for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The site offers a number of tools, including caregiver educational courses, as well as a 24/7 hotline for support.
Louisiana Answers225-342-7100Louisiana Answers is an online search tool that helps seniors and their families locate the best long-term care facilities to suit personal preferences and needs. The site also provides caregiver resources.
LouisianaLawHelp.orgVaries by locationLouisiana Law provides free legal services to low-income seniors who need help with issues, including guardianship, wills, trusts and elder abuse. The site provides a free search tool to find local offices.
Senior CentersVaries by locationLocal senior centers can provide a safe environment for seniors to participate in educational, mental and physical activities. Most facilities offer transportation to and from the center for both daily activities and meals.

Louisiana 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.

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?No (Conditions Apply)
Am I required to wear a mask if I visit my loved one in person?Yes (Conditions Apply)
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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