Memory Care in Maine |

Memory Care in Maine

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in Maine, according to data from the CDC. In 2019 alone, 544 elderly residents of Maine died from Alzheimer's. According to the Alzheimer's Association, 29,000 seniors in the state are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and other dementia-related disorders, and this number is predicted to increase by 20.7% to 35,000 by the year 2025. There are more than 6 million seniors with Alzheimer's in the United States.

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

The Cost of Memory Care in Maine

When figuring out how to pay for memory care, you first need to understand how much it will cost for your loved one to move to a quality community. As costs continue to rise, it's vital to have the latest details when planning for elderly care costs. In order to shed light on the impact of inflation on senior living costs, has gathered cost information from its network of over 75,000 senior living communities. These prices are based on the cost of Memory Care in Maine and 6 other cities in Maine.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in Maine

Due to inflation, the average cost of memory care has risen 10.4% across the U.S. from 2022 to 2023, but prices in Maine have jumped by a more substantial 28.3%. Vermont experienced an $839 increase in memory care costs although inflationary pressure was lower in other states. New Hampshire's average memory care rate increased 12.6%, but Massachusetts's only rose $136. Costs fell 0.7% in Connecticut.

Further price increases are expected in 2024, making it essential for families to plan care accordingly. Costs will jump by another $550 in Maine and may increase 5.2% in Connecticut, despite the drop in 2023.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
New Hampshire$6,364$7,169$7,635

Memory Care Costs in Maine's Top Cities

Memory care costs vary drastically throughout Maine, from $4,257 below the state average in Kennebunk to $5,601 above it in Yarmouth. Families may want to consider cheaper cities to stretch their budgets because prices will increase further in most locations heading into 2024. Portland is highly affordable at just $4,832 per month, and Bangor averages $7,420, offering a monthly savings of up to $1,049 when compared to the state median.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Inflation isn't the only factor that affects the cost of care in Maine. Staff-to-resident ratios, services and amenities also play a role. Independent living costs $4,954 less than memory care, likely because of the small number of caregivers needed. Assisted living is closer in price at $5,609, compared to an average of $8,469 for memory care. However, lower levels of care may be unsuitable for seniors with advanced dementia.

Maine Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Medicaid in Maine (MaineCare) does not cover the costs of memory care services in an assisted living environment. However, the Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver may be able to cover some of the costs. Seniors do have to qualify for Medicaid to apply for the waiver.

Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver

The Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver aims to prevent or delay admission to a nursing home and enable seniors to continue living in a community setting. The waiver doesn't pay for room and board, but it does cover some of the expenses associated with memory care in an assisted living facility. Some of the services covered include personal care services, assistive technologies, some skilled nursing care, case management and nonmedical transportation. Physical, occupational and speech therapy services may be covered if required.

  • Who Is Eligible: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, Maine residents and at least 65 years old. Seniors need to be assessed to ensure they meet the medical requirements of the waiver. Applicants are required to meet the financial guidelines of MaineCare.
  • How To Apply: Seniors can complete an online application or an in-person application at a Department of Health and Human Services District Office.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Maine

Seniors must meet certain income requirements to be eligible for MaineCare. Income limits are $2,523 per month for single applicants and $5,046 for married couples if both spouses are applying. Single applicants may own assets amounting to $10,000, and married couples are allowed up to $15,000 in assets.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Maine

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,276$10,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,276$10,000 for applicant, $137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$60,552$15,000

There are certain other requirements to be eligible for MaineCare. Seniors must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, and they must currently reside in Maine.

Some of the documents required to apply for MaineCare include:

  • Proof of citizenship or legal residency
  • Proof of current address
  • Copies of burial arrangements
  • Power of attorney documents
  • Proof of income
  • Bank statements for the past 60 months
  • Title deeds for any property owned and a recent property evaluation

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Maine

In Maine, caregivers and seniors have access to services that can help them apply for Medicaid.

Legal Services for the Elderly800-750-5353Legal Services for the Elderly offers free legal services to low-income seniors in the state. It provides legal advice regarding Medicaid and can assist seniors in following the application process.
Area Agencies on Aging877-353-3771There are five Area Agencies on Aging located in Maine. Agents can guide seniors through the Medicaid application process and help seniors determine if they're eligible for Medicaid.
MaineCare Healthcare Assistance855-797-4357MaineCare Healthcare Assistance has a step-by-step guide on its website to help seniors through the application process. In addition, it runs a helpline to answer questions and help those requiring additional assistance.

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

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 Maine

In addition to the state programs mentioned above, seniors looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Depending on the policy details, long-term care insurance can 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 loan will need to be paid back after the sale of the home. The most commonly used type of reverse mortgage 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 can 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 Maine

Memory Care Regulation

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Licensing and Certification, is responsible for licensing and overseeing assisted housing facilities that offer memory care. The DLC conducts periodic licensing and safety code inspections and responds to complaints. In Maine, memory care services may be offered in assisted living programs (ALPs), Level IV residential care facilities (RCFs) and private nonmedical institutions (PNI), which may contain a separate, secured memory care unit. The state has specific licensing requirements for memory care units to ensure that residents receive personalized care in an environment that promotes their quality of life, dignity and independence.

Facility Scope of Care

The services offered by ALP, RCF and PNI facilities must include assistance with activities of daily living, meals, recreational and social activities, care management and supervision, medication management and nursing services. Memory care units are also required to provide appropriate weekly therapeutic activities that may lessen residents' anxiety, restlessness and wandering, aid their eating and sleeping patterns, improve their cooperation and socialization and delay the deterioration of cognitive skills. Activities must be chosen according to the needs of each resident and incorporated into their personal care plan.

Admissions Requirements

ALPs, RCFs and PNIs in Maine may admit individuals with a wide range of care needs and conditions, including those with memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Facilities that provide memory care must have a written policy in place regarding preadmission screening and procedures for the admission and discharge of residents. State regulations place certain admission and discharge restrictions on memory care units, as shown in the following table.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Adults and seniors who:

  • Have received a physician's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia
  • Display the early signs and symptoms of dementia but have not yet been diagnosed

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted or May Be Discharged

Individuals who:

  • Have care needs that cannot be met by the facility
  • Intentionally cause physical damage to the property
  • Pose a direct threat to the safety and health of other residents

Care Plan Requirements

Memory care unit residents who exhibit symptoms of dementia but were not formally diagnosed must receive a diagnostic evaluation within 45 days of admission. Care plans must be developed for each new resident detailing specific services, therapies and treatments that will be provided to promote their self-care abilities, encourage independence and maintain their dignity and privacy while ensuring their safety and comfort and taking their preferred manner of living into consideration. ALP residents must be reassessed every six months, while residents of RCFs and PNIs must be reassessed every 12 months.

Medication Management Requirements

Residents of licensed facilities must be evaluated upon admission to determine whether they can self-administer medications or need assistance. Staff in memory care units may provide medication administration assistance to residents. They may read medication labels for residents, check dosages and remove prescribed dosages from a container, observe while residents take their medications and maintain medication records. Unlicensed staff members who have completed a DLC-approved training program may administer certain medications that require injection.

Facility Requirements

Maine regulations stipulate that memory care units should provide a safe environment that enhances the quality of life of residents and reduces agitation, tension and behavior problems. Memory care units in ALFs must feature individual apartments with a kitchen or kitchenette, a bathroom and a living area. RCFs and PNIs may offer private and shared rooms for a maximum of two occupants. In addition to meeting specific facility requirements, memory care units must also provide:

  • Multipurpose rooms for dining, individual and group activities, as well as family visits
  • Comfortable seating in common areas
  • Ample space to allow freedom of movement within the unit
  • A secured outdoor area with walkways for ambulation
  • Adequate, even lighting
  • A high-contrast color scheme and nonreflective surfaces
  • Egress control devices on exterior doors that release in an emergency
  • Identification of each resident's unit to aid in recognition
  • Encouragement and assistance in decorating residents' units with familiar furnishings and personal items

Staffing Requirements

State-licensed ALPs, level IV RCFs and PNIs must employ an administrator who holds an appropriate professional license to oversee day-to-day operations. Level IV RCFs and PNIs must also employ or contract with a registered nurse to observe resident signs and symptoms, recommend staff training and make regular reviews of resident and medication records. Level IV facilities with more than 10 beds must also contract with a pharmacist to perform quarterly consultations, at a minimum.

There are no minimum staff ratios required in assisted living programs. Level IV RCF and PNI facilities with fewer than 10 beds must have one responsible staff member awake and on duty at all times, while those with 10 beds or more must have two awake staff members on duty around the clock. Additionally, facilities with 10 or more beds must maintain minimum direct care staff-to-resident ratios of 1:12 on day shifts, 1:18 during evening shifts and 1:30 on overnight shifts.

Memory care units in licensed Maine facilities must employ staff who have received specialized dementia care training. Facilities are required to have sufficient staff on duty during the day, evening and overnight shifts to meet the needs of residents and provide the services outlined in their care plans.

New memory care unit staff members must complete 16 hours of combined classroom and clinical orientation on specific topics pertaining to dementia care. In addition to an overview of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, an orientation must cover communication basics, activity-focused care, creating a therapeutic environment and dealing with difficult behavior and family issues.

Medicaid Policy

The Maine state Medicaid plan offers the Elderly and Adults with Disabilities Waiver, which may help eligible seniors pay for a variety of services in licensed facilities that provide memory care.

Reporting Abuse

Anyone who has concerns about the neglect or abuse of a resident or the living conditions in a Maine memory care unit may file a complaint with the Division of Licensing and Certification. Complaints may be made by emailing the division at, calling 800-383-2441 or completing a complaint form.

Staff of the Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are also authorized to investigate complaints and may be reached by calling 800-499-0229.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Maine

In Maine, there is an abundance of resources designed to assist seniors throughout their retirement. has compiled information on a range of local organizations, programs, and agencies, categorizing them based on the care services they offer for easy browsing.

Area Agency on Aging

The Area Agency on Aging in is a crucial asset for retired individuals, providing advice on financial assistance, home-based care, and planning for extended care. It also connects seniors and their caregivers with local resources.

Maine Area Agencies on AgingMaine's five Area Agencies on Aging offer vital assistance to the elderly community. They provide information, referrals, and advocacy, connecting older adults to local resources such as medical transportation, in-home care services, and educational programs. Staff also offers health insurance counseling to help seniors navigate Medicare and commercial health care plans. Offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with interpreters available for non-English-speaking callers.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in Maine to help seniors with low income sustain their home living. These initiatives provide tax reductions, discounts on crucial services, and aid for home temperature regulation costs.

Maine Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers discounted telephone service, enabling participants to stay connected with their loved ones through landline or mobile phones.

Food Assistance Programs

In Maine, numerous community programs focus on enhancing the health of seniors via proper diet. These initiatives provide meal delivery, shared meals, and food bank services, guaranteeing that older citizens can obtain reasonably priced, healthy food.

Maine Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)207-287-7513The Commodity Supplemental Food Program in Maine provides monthly food packages to improve the diets of low-income adults aged 60 and above. These packages, also known as Senior Brown Bags, Commodity Boxes, or Senior Boxes, include a range of nutritious foods. Eligibility is determined by income guidelines. The program is managed by Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry in partnership with local organizations. Seniors can find more information by contacting the agency in their county.
Maine Good Shepherd Food Banks207-782-3554Food pantries in Maine provide assistance to low-income individuals and families by distributing fresh and nonperishable food, as well as personal and household items, including pet food. Additionally, they offer special holiday food baskets during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each pantry operates on different days and hours and has its own eligibility criteria.
Maine Meals on WheelsMaine Meals on Wheels provides convenient food assistance to homebound adults aged 60 and above. They receive affordable, nutritious meals delivered to their doorsteps. Volunteers play a crucial role in ensuring seniors' well-being by checking on their health and safety daily. Seniors with transportation can also enjoy group meals and socializing at community sites.
Maine Nutrition Services Program877-353-3771The Maine Nutrition Services Program assists seniors who encounter financial or logistical obstacles in accessing a nutritious diet, as well as those in search of social interaction and homebound individuals. Our committed team and volunteers provide meals at community dining venues, offering a chance for healthy dining, socializing, and access to nutritionists, disease management counselors, and healthcare professionals. We also offer convenient home delivery meals.
Maine Senior FarmShare Program207-446-5550The Maine Senior FarmShare Program offers low-income seniors in the state access to nutritious fruits and vegetables. Seniors aged 60+ (55+ for Native Americans) can select from 100+ authorized farms and receive $50 worth of produce. The program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and applicants must meet annual income guidelines.
Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)800-442-6003The Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, offers monthly benefits to eligible seniors and low-income families in the state. To qualify, applicants must meet income and resource criteria and be Maine residents. Benefits are provided through electronic benefits transfer cards, which can be used at most supermarkets and grocery stores in Maine for eligible food and beverage purchases.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In Maine, several organizations are tackling the high cost of new medical devices. They collect lightly used equipment such as wheelchairs, ramps, and walkers, distributing them to local elderly and those requiring assistance.

Maine CITE Program207-621-3195The Maine CITE Program, offered by the Maine Department of Education, offers assistive technology to seniors in Maine. Seniors can take advantage of free loaner services to test out medical devices before making a purchase, ensuring that the devices are suitable for their needs.

Home Repair and Modifications

In Maine, a variety of programs exist to support seniors and those with disabilities in funding home improvements and repairs. These initiatives, providing grants or loans, feature different eligibility criteria tailored for retired individuals.

MaineHousing's Home Accessibility and Repair Program800-452-4668The Home Accessibility and Repair Program offered by MaineHousing offers grants to low-income homeowners in need of essential home repairs and improvements. These grants are designed to help individuals with disabilities or physical challenges maintain their residences, allowing them to remain in their homes.

In Maine, there are several organizations offering cost-effective or free legal aid to senior citizens. They provide advice on issues such as estate planning, living wills, and power of attorney. Some also champion the rights of the elderly in long-term care establishments.

Maine Legal Services for the Elderly800-750-5353Maine Legal Services for the Elderly provides exceptional legal aid to individuals aged 60 and above, completely free of charge. Our team of experts is committed to safeguarding the rights and addressing the needs of seniors, offering top-notch legal services.

Social Security Offices

In Maine, Social Security offices are crucial resources for the elderly and those with disabilities. They provide advice on retirement perks, disability benefits, and additional security income.

Maine Social SecuritySocial Security offers financial support to retirees and those unable to work due to disability. It is funded through payroll taxes paid by employers, employees, and self-employed individuals. Monthly payments during retirement are based on past earnings.

Tax Assistance

In Maine, a variety of tax assistance options exist for seniors and people with disabilities. These encompass possible medical cost exemptions, property tax cuts, and other tax alleviation measures.

Maine State Property Tax Deferral Program207-624-5600The Property Tax Deferral Program allows older homeowners to postpone property tax payments until they move, sell their property, or pass away. To join, seniors must submit a Property Tax Deferral Application to their local municipal assessor. Applications are accepted annually from January 1 to April 1.

Transportation Assistance

For Maine seniors facing challenges with private transport, assistance is readily available. Community resources are on hand to support the elderly and disabled with their in-city mobility, making tasks and city appointments more manageable.

MaineCare800-977-6740MaineCare offers complimentary transportation services for eligible recipients, covering non-emergency appointments and reimbursing transportation costs. The NET program works alongside transportation brokers to coordinate rides for members.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In Maine, there are establishments ready to assist seniors with limited income facing challenges with home upkeep expenses, such as energy and utility bills. Emergency financial support might be available for individuals threatened with utility disconnection due to outstanding payments.

Maine Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)877-544-3271HEAP provides support to low-income seniors for heating expenses. Qualified individuals can also apply for assistance through the Low-Income Assistance Program, which offers an electric bill credit to help with electricity costs.

Veteran's Services

In Maine, retired military personnel can find essential support through local veteran services. These organizations help veterans access their deserved benefits and offer advice on a variety of issues.

Maine VA Benefits and Health CareMaine provides crucial support to seniors aged 65 and above through VA Benefits and Health Care services. Elderly veterans have various options, such as the VA Medical Center in Augusta and the Togus Regional Office, to access care and benefits. The Disability Housing Grant for Veterans allows seniors to make home modifications for service-connected disabilities.

Maine 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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