I. Paying for Memory Care in Nevada

The Cost of Memory Care in Nevada

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.

At an average monthly cost of $3,400, seniors in Nevada pay $651 less for assisted living services than the national monthly average of $4,051, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2019. Prices are somewhat higher in nearby states. For example, the monthly costs in California and Oregon are on par with each other, with monthly costs of $4,500 and $4,499, respectively. At $3,400 per month, Utah exactly matches Nevada’s average cost, whereas the average cost in Arizona is $3,750 per month. The cost of memory care in any area is generally 20% to 30% higher than the local cost of assisted living, so seniors in Nevada can expect to pay about $4,250 per month for memory care services.

Not all cities in Nevada fall into line with the state average, and some urban areas are significantly less expensive than the state at large. Assisted living in Las Vegas, for example, costs an average of $3,300 per month, while Reno averages $3,250. Costs run higher in Carson City, the state capital, where seniors pay an average of $3,645 per month, which is $245 more per month than the state average. Seniors should keep in mind that these rates are based on the cost of assisted living, and the monthly cost of memory care services may be up to $1,000 higher, depending on the area and the facility.

   

Nevada Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Home and Community Based Waiver for the Frail Elderly (HCBW-FE)

The Home and Community Based Waiver for the Frail Elderly (HCBW-FE) provides nonmedical support for seniors who live in an approved residential care facility. The HCBW-FE may help cover the costs of adult day care, short-term respite and attendant care. Homemaker service and chore assistance are also covered by the program, as are shopping and meal preparation assistance.

Who is Eligible: To qualify for the HCBW-FE, applicants must be Nevada residents aged 65 or over and have a medical need that would normally justify admission to a residential care facility. Income and asset limits apply that are somewhat more lenient than most state Medicaid programs. Single, divorced and widowed seniors may earn up to $2,349 in monthly income or $28,188 a year. Total countable assets are limited to $2,000, which excludes a house, car and most personal possessions. Married applicants can request that their income and assets be considered separately from a spouse if they are applying by themselves as individuals.

How to Apply: Seniors interested in the HCBW-FE can apply to join the program’s wait-list by contacting their local Aging and Disability office. Phone inquiries may be made by calling 888-729-0571.

Non-Medicaid Financial Assistance Programs for Memory Care in Nevada

Community Options Program for the Elderly (COPE)

Seniors who have a health condition that makes them a candidate for admission to a skilled nursing care home may be eligible to participate in the Community Options Program for the Elderly (COPE). COPE provides in-home and residential care assistance with nonmedical needs, attendant services, adult day care and some housekeeping and laundry. Payments to caregivers are beneficiary directed, and select family members are allowed to apply.

Who is Eligible: Eligible COPE applicants must be Nevada residents aged 65 or over and be ineligible for a standard Medicaid waiver. Seniors applying for COPE may earn a maximum of $3,195 a month and have up to $10,000 in countable assets. Applicants must also have a demonstrated need for assistance with activities of daily living.

How to Apply: Seniors in Nevada can apply for COPE by contacting their local Nevada Aging and Disability Services Regional Office. Phone applications can be made by calling 775-687-4210. New additions to the wait-list are prioritized according to perceived need, rather than on a first come, first served basis.

Senior RX Program

The Nevada Senior RX Program helps cover many of the costs of prescription drugs for seniors in medical and financial need. The program pays up to $27.08 per month to support beneficiaries’ monthly premiums and up to $3,820 a year in costs to cover the Medicare donut hole.

Who is Eligible: Seniors aged 65 and over who apply for the Senior RX Program must have resided in the state for at least one year prior to application. In addition, they must not be eligible for regular Nevada Medicaid, though they may be enrolled in the Medicaid Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program. Single applicants must earn less than $2,442.66 a month, while married couples and two-person households are limited to $3,256.08. Applicants must also be eligible for Medicare and enrolled in a Part D plan.

How to Apply: Eligible seniors can download a program application online, or call 866-303-6323 to request an application packet by mail.

Personal Assistance Services (PAS)

The Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division provides for up to 35 hours a week of personal assistance in seniors’ homes, family homes or residential adult care homes under the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) program. PAS benefits include homemaker help and personal care, attendant services and some nonmedical care.

Who is Eligible: Nevada residents aged 18 and over who have a diagnosed disability may apply for PAS. Applicants must not be eligible for Medicaid, and they are restricted to income less than $99,920 a year for singles and $135,280 for married couples.

How to Apply: Applications may be requested and submitted through the Aging and Disability Services website, or by calling 888-729-0571.

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 Nevada

Memory Care Regulation

Facility-based memory care providers fall under the regulatory umbrella of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Licensure and Certification. Known as residential facilities for groups, these facilities are inspected and monitored by the bureau for compliance, as well as to investigate complaints. The bureau publishes guidelines for care and standards for facility operation to ensure a high degree of compliance with state laws for memory care. All residential facilities for groups must provide written statements of basic costs, optional services and refund policies.

Facility Scope of Care

Residential facilities for groups are limited to providing nonmedical care for residents, apart from emergency care that staff members have been trained to administer as needed. Residents with an illness or an injury that is expected to last less than 14 days may be cared for in the facility. Longer expected terms of illness or injury may require admission to a hospital or transfer to a nursing care facility.

Staff may assist residents with activities of daily living and other non-skilled tasks, such as lift assistance and companionship. Memory care facilities must provide a regular program of activities that address the residents’ gross motor skills, social relationships and interactions, sensory enhancement activities and outdoor access.

Admission Requirements

Memory care facilities in Nevada can admit a diverse range of residents, but not everyone is eligible for this type of care. The table below gives an overview of admission requirements for facility-based memory care in Nevada.

Residents Who May Be AdmittedOlder adults and people with:

  • Dementia or other cognitive conditions
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Physical mobility limitations who can move unassisted from an unsafe area to safety in under four minutes
Residents Who May NOT Be AdmittedThose Who:

  • Are bed-bound
  • Are unable to move even with one-person assistance
  • Require 24-hour nursing care
  • Have contractures
  • Have pressure ulcers
  • Have diabetes
  • Have unmanageable incontinence

Care Plan Requirements

Facility administrators must develop a care plan on admission of the resident to the facility. Continuing assessments must be made to determine whether the resident’s needs are changing. Care plans must be kept up to date with input from licensed health practitioners, whose advice must be followed.

Medication Management Requirements

Residents who are able to self-administer medications may do so. Non-licensed staff may assist with administration after completing a 16-hour course. Facility staff are prohibited from administering injections, though they may prepare prefilled syringes for residents’ self-administration. Injections and other invasive treatments may only be administered by licensed RNs, LVNs or other nursing staff acting within their scope of practice.

Facility Requirements

Facilities may provide private or shared rooms with a maximum of three occupants. Units may be shared only by mutual consent. At least one toilet and sink is required for every four residents, and a shower or bathtub is required for every six residents.

Staffing Requirements

Residential facilities for groups must have at least one staff member who is awake and able to respond to residents’ needs at all times. Staff members must be at least 18 years old and have completed at least two hours of training in dementia care before starting. Within three months, staff members must complete an annual eight-hour certification course. Administrators must meet the standards of staff caregivers and have a minimum of three years’ experience working in licensed facilities.

Medicaid Policy

Nevada Medicaid does not specifically cover the cost of memory care. Two waiver programs, Personal Care Services (PCS) and Home and Community Based Waiver for the Frail Elderly (HCBW-FE), may help seniors manage the cost of memory care.

Reporting Abuse

Suspected cases of elder abuse may be reported to law enforcement, or by contacting the Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) via its online abuse reporting form. The division may be reached by phone at 888-729-0571, or by mailing the administration office at:

Aging and Disability Services Division Administrative Office
3416 Goni Road, Suite D-132
Carson City, NV 89706

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

ResourceContactDescription
Alzheimer’s Association of Northern and Southern Nevada

 

800-272-3900Alzheimer’s Association offices provide screening and training services for seniors and caregivers. The association also provides health care referrals for medication trials, residential care and other resources.
Access to Healthcare Network

 

877-861-1893The Access to Healthcare Network provides training and referral services for families and caregivers, as well as nutritional support, home modifications and financial planning services.
Dementia Friendly Nevada

 

Contact via the online request form.Dementia Friendly Nevada organizes free screening events for seniors who may have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
Taxi Assistance Program (TAP)

 

702-486-3581Nevada’s Taxi Assistance Program provides discounted transportation assistance for seniors aged 60 and over and adults with limited mobility. Benefits include coupons for personal taxi service.