Memory Care in Mississippi |

Memory Care in Mississippi

Like many states, Mississippi expects a 14% increase in individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia from 2020 to 2025. More than 65,000 seniors will be living with the disease by 2025. According to the Alzheimer's Association, Mississippi has the second-highest death rate for Alzheimer’s in the United States, and in 2019, there were close to 1,700 Alzheimer’s-related deaths. This represents a 275% increase since 2000.

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

The Cost of Memory Care in Mississippi

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, we added 25% to the cost of assisted living as reported by the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. The actual cost can vary depending on where the facility is located within the state, the number of amenities and the types of care.

In Mississippi, memory care is around $4,375 per month, which is less than the national cost of $5,625. In Alabama, seniors pay around $4,379. Arkansas and Louisiana residents pay $4,700 and $4,685, respectively, while those in Tennessee pay $5,131 per month.

Prices within Mississippi range from $4,750 in Gulfport to $5,438 in Jackson. Hattiesburg seniors pay around $5,155. Comparing the cost in additional surrounding cities, memory care in Mobile, Alabama is less than the Mississippi average at $4,404, and the cost in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is $4,161. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, seniors pay around $5,156 per month.

Mississippi Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Medicaid is a national health insurance program that helps low-income seniors pay for long-term care and health care in Mississippi. There are two state waiver programs that help seniors cover the cost of memory care, the Assisted Living Wavier (ALW) and the Elderly and Disabled Waiver (EDW).

Assisted Living Waiver (ALW)

The ALW helps seniors pay for personal care received in an assisted living community. Services covered under the waiver program include case management, attendant care, personal care, homemaker services, medication oversight, transportation, social activities and skilled nursing.

  • Who Is Eligible: Individuals must be at least 65 and older or 21 and older if disabled. All applicants must need assistance with activities of daily living and meet the Medicaid income requirements or receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • How To Apply: Applicants may apply through the Mississippi Medicaid website or by calling the Office of Eligibility at (800) 421-2408.

Elderly and Disabled Waiver

The Elderly and Disabled Waiver pays for various medical and personal services provided at home and within the community. The waiver covers many of the same services covered by the ALW, including meals, transportation, case management, housekeeping and personal care. It also covers physical and speech therapy and care for the early stages of hearing loss.

  • Who Is Eligible: The Elderly and Disabled Waiver is limited to individuals aged 21 and older who are permanent residents in the state. They must meet the same requirements as all Medicaid applicants and must be assessed to receive a nursing home level of care.
  • How To Apply: To apply for the waiver, individuals should contact the Mississippi Access to Care Network at (844) 822-4622.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in Mississippi

Income eligibility limits for seniors in Mississippi are $30,276 for a single applicant and $60,552 for a two-person household with both seniors applying. If one applicant remains in the home, they may receive an additional needs allowance and have higher asset limits to prevent poverty. The asset limit for a single applicant is $4,000; for a two-person household, the asset limit is $8,000 or $4,000 for each spouse.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Mississippi

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,276$4,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,276$4,000 for applicant $137,400 for non-applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$60,552 ($30,276 per applicant)$8,000 ($4,000 per applicant)

Seniors must meet additional eligibility requirements to receive benefits. They must:

  • Be 65 years of age or older
  • Require nursing home level of care
  • Be a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident or a legal alien

How To Get Help Applying for Medicaid in Mississippi

Seniors applying for Medicaid in Mississippi can contact one of the following agencies for answers to the most popular questions involving the program. They may also provide assistance in applying for coverage and help with making changes to Medicaid accounts.

resourcecontactdescription provides seniors with an overview of the state's Medicaid program and a list of eligibility requirements. Seniors can also fill out the online form to see if they're eligible for the benefit before they apply.
Mississippi Bar Association601-948-4471The Mississippi Bar Association provides an overview of Medicaid and Medicare and describes eligibility and the application process. The site also explains the rights to an appeal if seniors lose their coverage or are denied.
Mississippi Division of Medicaid800-421-2408The state’s official Medicaid site explains the Medicaid program in detail and helps seniors determine whether they're eligible for coverage. Through the site and on the phone with trained counselors, seniors can learn about copay information, find out which providers accept Medicaid and request Medicaid identification cards.

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

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 Mississippi

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
  • 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 Mississippi

Memory Care Regulation

Assisted living facilities that provide memory care are categorized as personal care homes, which are licensed and regulated by the Mississippi State Department of Health. The state sets minimum standards of operation and ensures that facilities are certified for Medicaid and Medicare programs, and in compliance with federal standards. Licensed facilities receive regular inspections and evaluations from the state.

Personal care homes that are exclusive to memory care, or have a separate wing for this purpose, must follow additional rules and regulations. These facilities are designated as having an Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia Care Unit (A/D Unit), and this term will be included in its certificate of licensure.

Facility Scope of Care

Personal care homes must provide food, shelter, basic housekeeping and laundry services. These facilities must also assist residents in performing their activities of daily living (ADLs), such as assistance with walking, transferring to and from a wheelchair and other mobility issues, as well as eating, grooming and hygiene. Residents must be provided with daily therapeutic activities, such as those focused on memory, exercise and other research-based methods of improving the quality of life for people with cognitive issues.

Personal care homes must also provide:

  • Varied leisure activities appropriate for different ages, cultures and lifestyles
  • Creative and spiritual pursuits
  • Small and large group activities
  • Transport for medical purposes

Admissions Requirements

Licensed facilities that are permitted to serve residents with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia can set their own requirements for admission, but there are some minimum standards in place. If a person has already been admitted and then becomes ineligible, they may be permitted to stay if consent is given and it's approved by a physician.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people who:

  • Require domiciliary care (e.g., assistance with ADLs)
  • Have Alzheimer's or other dementia
  • Need nonmedical services and/or temporary skilled nursing

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who need:

  • Long-term or permanent medical care
  • To be restrained and/or are a threat to self, others or facility
  • Assistance evacuating and/or descending stairs in an emergency if the facility doesn't meet ANSI standards

Care Plan Requirements

Individuals who are being admitted to a personal care home in Mississippi must be medically assessed by a licensed physician. In the case of memory care, the individual must also be assessed by a licensed practitioner who is qualified to make determinations based on the individual's cognitive and other abilities.

Care plans must be thorough, individualized and specific as to the desired treatment goals and outcomes. This plan should contain an itemized list of services and charges, including any additional costs that are expected, and must be reviewed quarterly for its effectiveness. Family members must be given a chance to be involved in the creation and updating of the care plan.

Medication Management Requirements

Staff must follow strict guidelines and controls to ensure the safekeeping and proper use of medication. All medication, prescription or otherwise, must be ordered by a physician and can only be administered by licensed personnel. Residents can self-administer with prompting and basic assistance from staff, unless otherwise indicated by a physician. Personal care homes that are licensed to serve residents with Alzheimer's and dementia must have a secure area for the storage of medication for residents unable to self-administer.

Facility Requirements

Resident bedrooms can house a maximum of four people and must be at or above ground level and have an operable exterior window. An appropriate bed, clean linens and basic furniture must be provided, as well as storage space. Bedrooms must have at least 80 square feet of usable space per bed. Facilities must have a minimum ratio of 1:12 bathtubs or showers per resident and 1:6 toilets per resident for each floor. If laundry services aren't provided for residents, they must have access to laundry facilities. Personal care homes with over 15 residents must have a Food Service Permit from the state.

Staffing Requirements

Personnel must be verified against the state abuse registry and receive a satisfactory criminal background check and health screening. There is a minimum ratio of 1:15 direct care employees per resident during the day and 1:25 at night, and all staff included in the count must be awake and on duty. In addition, a licensed nurse must be present for at least eight hours per day.

Facilities that offer memory care services must be able to provide a minimum of three hours per day of nursing care for each resident, and there must be a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse on duty at all times. Personal care homes with a small Alzheimer's unit must have at least two staff members on duty at all times, regardless of the number of residents.

Medicaid Policy

Mississippi Medicaid covers personal care and various other services received in assisted living facilities, but it doesn't cover room and board. Medicaid members who are eligible for the waivers outlined in this guide can benefit from additional coverage. Personal care homes are regularly evaluated by the state to ensure that suitable care is provided to residents, in compliance with federal Medicaid regulations.

Reporting Abuse

The Mississippi State Department of Health is responsible for managing complaints about personal care homes and certain other facilities. Anyone can submit a report, and do so anonymously if they wish, by using the online complaint form or by calling 800-227-7308 during regular business hours.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Mississippi

Mississippi seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia can receive assistance from a variety of organizations to help improve their overall quality of life. These resources address everything from transportation to Alzheimer's personal support.

Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter800-272-3900This association provides educational programs and support groups, both online and in-person, and is an advocate for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
MIND Center601-984-1000The MIND Center is operated by the University of Mississippi Medical Center. It is a leader in research on early detection, Alzheimer's risk factors and treatment for patients with memory loss and cognitive impairments.
Mississippi Access to Care800 210-8513The Mississippi Access to Care Network helps seniors with Alzheimer’s get the care and support they need. The center offers free advice and information on long-term care and state benefits.
Mississippi State Health Insurance Program (SHIP)601-359-4500SHIP is a free counseling program that helps answer questions concerning Medicaid, Medicare and other state benefits. Seniors can get advice on supplemental insurance, compare policies, organize their paperwork and get help filing claims.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Support Group601-496-6463The Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiver support group helps the caregivers of individuals with memory loss get support and advice on dealing with the disease. Meetings are held the third Monday of the month.

Mississippi 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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