Memory Care in North Dakota |

Memory Care in North Dakota

The CDC's list of states with the highest Alzheimer's-related mortality rates places North Dakota at 13th in the nation. It recorded 426 fatalities in 2020 linked to this condition, making Alzheimer's North Dakota's third-leading cause of death. This is a significant increase from the 403 fatalities recorded in 2019 and the 376 reported in 2015, and it suggests that Alzheimer's is a growing threat. The issue hasn't gone unnoticed as the Alzheimer's Association projects the number of North Dakota residents with the disease to increase from 15,000 in 2020 to 16,000 in 2025, a 6.7% rise in only five years.

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

The Cost of Memory Care in North Dakota

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 North Dakota and 2 other cities in North Dakota.

How Inflation Has Impacted the Cost of Memory Care in North Dakota

From 2022 to 2023, the average cost of memory care in North Dakota has risen by 62% from $3,641 to $5,899. The average fee is forecast to rise another 10% by 2024. Costs have risen in many places across the nation, and families should prepare for more increases next year. However, inflationary impacts vary widely. The U.S. average saw a 10% increase, from $4,863 to $5,369, with a predicted monthly rate of $5,792 for 2024. Memory care fees rose by 28% in Wyoming and 3% in Minnesota from 2022 to 2023. Conversely, South Dakota and Montana experienced slight price drops.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
North Dakota$3,641$5,899$6,510
U.S. Average$4,863$5,369$5,792
South Dakota$5,394$5,350$5,635

Memory Care Costs in North Dakota's Top Cities

The average cost of memory care in North Dakota is $5,899 per month as of 2023. However, seniors should compare cities as fees can vary significantly from place to place. Rates run higher than the state average in Bismarck, where memory care communities charge around $6,150 per month. Fargo is more affordable at $5,815. The average price is even lower in Sioux Falls, SD ($4,832). Seniors in Billings, MT, typically pay some $7,270 each month.

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

When navigating long-term care options, it's crucial that seniors think about their care needs, living preferences and funds. In North Dakota, independent living costs roughly $2,873 per month. Individuals who need help with daily activities or personal care tend to pay $3,472 for residential assisted living. Memory care is the most costly choice, with a monthly price of about $5,899 for specialized programming and around-the-clock supervision.

North Dakota Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

North Dakota's Medicaid program helps low-income seniors and the disabled who would otherwise be unable to afford the cost of long-term care. However, it only pays for the entire cost of care for seniors residing in nursing home facilities. Those who need similar levels of support but don't qualify for institutional Medicaid can apply for one of two waiver programs designed to help. These include the Basic Care Assistance Program and the Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services.

Basic Care Assistance Program

The Basic Care Assistance Program provides financial help to seniors who are eligible for Medicaid and choose to reside in basic care facilities, a term that relates to assisted living and memory care. The program won't cover room and board, but it pays the shortfall if a senior's income can't meet their health and medical costs. Seniors can keep $60 per month as a personal allowance and may, in some cases, retain some income to cover necessary expenses, such as health insurance.

  • Who Is Eligible: This program is open to seniors who are aged 65 or older and qualify for regular Medicaid. Applicants must submit a functional assessment conducted by a social worker to determine the level of health care needed.
  • How to Apply: Seniors can apply in person by making  an appointment with their local Department of Human Services office. Alternatively, state residents may complete an online application or call the nearest DHS office to request a printed application.

Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services

This waiver, commonly known as HCBS, can help meet health and medical costs for seniors who require nursing home levels of care but reside in another type of residential facility, including memory care units. The waiver covers some or all health care and medical costs depending on the applicant's financial circumstances, but it won't pay for room and board.

  • Who Is Eligible: This program is available to individuals who are currently qualified for Medicaid. The applicant must be disabled and/or aged 65 years or older and be residing at home and be able to direct their own care. The state requires applicants to be screened for nursing home levels of care.
  • How To Apply: Seniors who are interested in receiving benefits through this program should contact their nearest Department of Human Services office. Be aware there's likely to be a waiting list.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in North Dakota

Applicants must satisfy the program's income and asset limits to qualify for Medicaid in North Dakota. A single applicant residing alone or with their spouse cannot have a monthly income greater than $940, or their application will be rejected. When both spouses in a two-person household apply, the monthly income limit is $1,267. Countable assets also affect eligibility. These typically include savings accounts, checking accounts, stocks, bonds and other resources specific to the applicant. For single applicants, the limit is $3,000, which doubles to $6,000 if both seniors in a two-person household apply. If one member of a two-person household applies, their spouse cannot have assets of more than $137,400.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in North Dakota

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$940$3,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$940$3,000 for applicant $137,400 for non applicant
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$1,267$6,000

In addition to having incomes and assets that fall within the program's limits, seniors must also satisfy additional criteria. These include:

  • Being a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident
  • Residing in North Dakota
  • Being aged 65 or older
  • Needing assistance with daily tasks, such as personal care

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in North Dakota

Applying for Medicaid in North Dakota can be confusing. Fortunately, there are several organizations dedicated to providing free information and assistance.


Various state and local resources are available at no cost to help Montanans get access to Medicaid and other public programs or benefits. These websites also contain useful information related to Medicaid that may clear up some questions.

North Dakota Department of Human Services800-472-2622The Department of Human Services operates centers throughout the state known as Human Service Zones. In each, there are advisers providing free support to seniors who need help understanding their options in regard to Medicaid or want assistance with their applications. The department's website is also a useful source of information.
American Council on AgingOnlineThe American Council on Aging provides free information and online support for seniors who want to know more about Medicaid in North Dakota. Its website contains detailed content about the scope of Medicaid in the state and how and where to apply for benefits. It also has some useful tools, such as an eligibility checker and a spend-down calculator, to help visitors determine whether they can apply for Medicaid or if they need to spend down their assets to meet the program's limits.
Legal Services of North Dakota866-621-9886Legal Services of North Dakota provides free legal advice and support to low-income seniors throughout the state. The nonprofit only assists with matters of civil law, which includes advocating for seniors who have been denied Medicaid. It can also help older residents who are struggling to get other government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Memory Care in North Dakota?

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 North Dakota

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 North Dakota

Memory Care Regulation

Facilities that are licensed to provide memory care in North Dakota include assisted living facilities and basic care facilities. Assisted living facilities are overseen by the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services, and basic care facilities follow rules designated by the Department of Health.

North Dakota’s assisted living facilities have fewer regulations than basic care facilities. Additionally, basic care facilities must provide residents with meals, while ALFs are not required to do so. Neither type of facility has specific regulations related to providing memory care, although certain basic care facilities are specifically permitted to provide care for those with dementia.

Facility Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities provide individualized care to five or more residents in a building with five or more living units. Residents may receive assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and independent activities of daily living (IADLs), and they are only required to pay for the services they receive based on request or need. Home health agencies may contract with residents to provide additional services.

Basic care facilities have living quarters for five or more residents who receive meals, personal care, social support and health care. Services include assistance with ADLs and IADLS, medical care arrangements, transportation, assistive devices and living unit maintenance. Third-party home health and hospice agencies may contract with the facility for nursing and end of life care.

Admission Requirements

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people with:

  • Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
  • A need for assistance with ADLs or IADLs
  • Physical impairments
  • Cognitive Impairments
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Needs that can be met by the facility’s available services

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Pose an immediate or potentially high risk of danger to other residents
  • Require frequent medical or nursing care
  • Are incapable of self-preservation (Basic Care Facility)
  • Are unable to comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code requirements (Basic Care Facility)

Care Plan Requirements

Applicants at assisted living facilities must be evaluated to ensure they qualify for admission according to the facility’s requirements. For every admitted resident, facilities must maintain ongoing records of specific services provided.

Basic care facilities must assess residents in areas of need relating to personal care, nutrition, health, socializing and more. Assessments must be completed within the first two weeks of a resident’s move-in date and then at least once per quarter. The facility should formulate a care plan resulting from resident consultations and the assessments.

Medication Management Requirements

Unlicensed staff in assisted living and basic care facilities may only administer drugs that are controlled and prescribed on an as-needed basis if they are specifically trained to do so and a registered nurse monitors the administration. Other medications may be administered by unlicensed staff.

In assisted living and in basic care facilities, unlicensed staff members may administer medication, except for controlled prescription drugs taken on an as-needed basis. Personnel acting in this capacity must have specific training and be monitored by a registered nurse.

Facility Requirements

While most basic care facilities have semiprivate units, which must provide each resident with at least 80 square feet, private units must be at least 100 square feet. The facility may have shared bathrooms. Up to 15 residents may share a bathtub or shower, and up to four residents may share a toilet.

In an assisted living facility, each unit must include a lockable entry door, a private full bathroom and a sleeping area. A maximum of two people may occupy one bedroom.

Staffing Requirements

Basic care facilities specifically licensed to provide memory care must require staff to undergo specialized training. This includes:

  • At least eight hours of related, specified training in the first three months of employment
  • At least four hours of additional training annually
  • An annual competency evaluation

There are no specific staffing ratios that assisted living or basic care facilities are required to maintain, but each must have staff available 24 hours per day. All staff in both types of facilities must complete training in residents’ rights, infection control, residents’ mental and physical health needs, fire and safety procedures and behavioral problems and prevention.

Medicaid Policy

Basic care facilities that serve residents with dementia or a brain injury can have services covered by a home and community-based Medicaid waiver. Personal care services are also covered by state-funded Medicaid in licensed basic care facilities.

Reporting Abuse

Assisted living facilities must provide a written notice to residents explaining how they can file complaints against the facility. Residents of both types of facilities may file complaints by emailing, completing an online form at the Department of Human Services’ Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program website or by calling 701-328-4617 or 855-462-5465 and selecting option 3.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in North Dakota

In North Dakota, 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 North Dakotais 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.

North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services855-462-5465The Area Agencies on Aging, overseen by the North Dakota Health and Human Services, offer personalized support to seniors based on their individual needs. Their goal is to help seniors age in place instead of moving to long-term care facilities. Services include funding for in-home services, family home care, and adult foster care. They also provide practical assistance such as homemaker services for chores, shopping, meal preparation, and money management.

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in North Dakota 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.

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

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Elderly individuals in North Dakota, living independently or in elderly care homes, can avail of numerous local financial support opportunities. These aid options help reduce in-home or long-term care costs and connect them to valuable community resources.

North Dakota Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services855-462-5465The Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services empowers older adults and individuals with disabilities to stay independent through local community services. It provides personal care, transportation, chore assistance, respite care, and minor home modifications. Services are available at home, adult daycare, adult foster care, or memory care facilities.

Food Assistance Programs

In North Dakota, 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.

North Dakota Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)The North Dakota Community Supplemental Food Program supports the health of seniors by offering USDA-approved supplementary food packages. These packages are tailored to meet the nutritional needs of older adults. Qualified low-income individuals aged 60 and above can apply for these packages through designated community action agencies. Online resources provide location information.
North Dakota Meals on WheelsNorth Dakota Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals and support services to eligible seniors across the state. The program serves individuals aged 60 and above who may face challenges in preparing or shopping for food. Meals are offered at local senior centers or delivered to the senior's home, accompanied by a safety check. Fees are determined based on income.
North Dakota The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in North Dakota is a federal initiative that helps older adults aged 60 and above who have limited financial resources. Eligible seniors can receive emergency food packages and attend communal meals at no cost. TEFAP works with local agencies like the Great Plains Food Bank to distribute food to pantries across the state. For more information, seniors can contact TEFAP or their local seniors' agency.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In North Dakota, 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.

North Dakota Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization (HERO)701-212-1921North Dakota Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization (HERO)

Home Repair and Modifications

In North Dakota, 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.

North Dakota Rehab Accessibility Project800-292-8621The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency in Bismarck, ND offers programs to assist homeowners, renters, and homeless individuals. The Rehab Accessibility Program provides financial aid to low-income individuals with physical disabilities. Grants are available for home renovations, including the installation of accessibility features like grab rails, ramps, and wheelchair-accessible showers. Doorways can also be widened and door levers installed. Eligibility requires a household income below 80% of the county's median income.

Social Security Offices

In North Dakota, 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.

North Dakota 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 North Dakota, 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.

North Dakota Homestead Property Tax CreditThe Homestead Property Tax Credit reduces a home's taxable value, with the credit amount varying depending on the homeowner's income.
North Dakota Renter's Refund701-328-7088The Renter's Refund provides a partial refund for residential rent or mobile home lot fees. It reimburses any excess payment if 20% of your rent exceeds 4% of your yearly income. The maximum refund is $400.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In North Dakota, 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.

North Dakota Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)866-614-6005LIHEAP offers financial aid for home heating expenses, including natural gas, electricity, coal, and other fuels. It also provides assistance for weatherization, furnace maintenance and repair, chimney cleaning, and emergency support.

Veteran's Services

In North Dakota, 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.

North Dakota VA Benefits and Health CareNorth Dakota VA Benefits and Health Care offers seniors in the state access to a variety of medical services and long-term care options. Eligible veterans can receive treatment and nursing home care at clinics and veteran's centers throughout North Dakota. Financial benefits, such as Aid and Attendance, are also available. Typically, individuals must have served 24 months of active duty to qualify, with exceptions for those discharged due to disability or hardship.

North Dakota COVID-19 Rules for Memory Care Facilities

Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/13/2022. 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.

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