According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there were 69,000 seniors in Oregon with Alzheimer’s in 2020. This number is expected to rise to 84,000 by 2025, an increase of nearly 22%. The organization also reported Alzheimer’s as the sixth leading cause of death within the state, and in 2019, almost 2,000 Oregon seniors died from the disease.
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 Oregon, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Oregon.
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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 Oregon, we added 25% to the assisted living costs reported in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.
Memory care in Oregon costs around $6,306 per month, which is $681 less than the national average of $5,625. Idaho and Nevada seniors pay some of the lowest costs in the region at $4,798 and $4,688 per month, respectively. In California, memory care costs an average of $6,563, and seniors in Washington state pay some of the highest fees at $7,500.
The cost of memory care also varies widely within the state. The lowest costs are found in Corvallis at $5,606, and seniors in Eugene pay the highest rates in the state at $7,029 per month. Memory care costs in Portland and Salem average $6,219 and $6,875 per month, respectively, and seniors in Bend pay $6,044 monthly.
Oregon’s Medicaid service will cover memory care indirectly through two separate waiver programs. These programs are the Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver and the Oregon K Plan.
The Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver
The Aged and Physically Disabled Waiver, also known as the 1915 waiver, helps qualified Oregon seniors pay for home and community-based services in long-term care. This wavier covers services such as personal care, housekeeping, transportation and meals.
Oregon K Plan
The Oregon K plan provides home and community-based services to seniors who require a nursing home level of care but prefer to receive services at home or in a community setting of their choice. Services covered by the Oregon K Plan include dressing, bathing, feeding, cooking, housekeeping and memory care.
In Oregon, Medicaid applicants must meet financial requirements to be eligible for benefits. The maximum annual income from all sources must not exceed $30,276 for a single applicant. In a two-person household with both individuals applying, the income requirements are no more than $60,552 or $30,276 per spouse. Asset limits are $2,000 per applicant or $4,000 per couple. In a two-person household with only one person applying, the asset limit can reach $137,400, which makes it possible to retain homeownership.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Oregon
|family size||annual income limits||asset limits|
|Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)||$30,276||$2,000 for applicant $137,400 for non-applicant|
|Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)||$60,552||$4,000|
To qualify for Medicaid, seniors must also:
Fortunately, there are several resources that can help Oregon seniors apply for benefits and answer their questions about coverage amounts, payments and billing. These programs may also provide information on additional services that can help cover memory care costs.
|Oregon Health Plan||800-699-9075||Oregon Health Plan is the state’s official site for Medicaid. Seniors can contact customer service for information on application updates, billing and claims, as well as help with finding local Medicaid partners.|
|Benefits.gov||800-359-9517||Benefits.gov is a federal website dedicated to providing information on the state’s benefits. It provides a brief description of the Medicaid program, including details on eligibility and how to apply.|
|Oregon Law Help||800-520-5292||Oregon Law Help provides free and low-cost legal aid to seniors in the state. The organization can provide assistance with applying for Medicaid and help during the appeals process.|
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.
In addition to the state programs mentioned above, those looking for resources to finance memory care may consider:
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.
In Oregon, memory care is provided in communities licensed through the Oregon Department of Human Services. These mostly include residential care facilities but can also include assisted living and nursing facilities. Each licensed facility must meet state requirements, serve individuals displaying behavioral symptoms and ensure each staff member is trained in dementia care. Licenses expire every two years, and department staff members conduct facility inspections at least once in a two year period to ensure facilities adhere to all regulations and in response to complaints. All facilities providing memory care for residents with dementia must obtain an official endorsement on its license.
In Oregon, there are no overarching restrictions to the levels of care residential care and assisted living facilities may offer. Facilities must provide residents with the following services:
Prior to admitting a new resident, a facility must perform an initial screening process to identify the potential resident’s preferences and needs and confirm their ability to meet those needs. Facilities may admit individuals with all levels of needs but may also request that residents move out for certain reasons.
Residents Who May Be Admitted
Older adults and people with:
Residents Who May Be Admitted
Facilities endorsed as a memory care community must provide residents with individualized nutritional and activity plans. Before a resident’s admission, these communities must provide residents and their family members with a state-designated uniform disclosure statement that details their policies along with their philosophy of care, information on how they provide services, staff training information, the number of direct care staff working each shift and the facility’s admission, transfer and discharge procedures.
Specially trained facility staff members over 18 years old may administer medication. All facility-administered medications must be reviewed by a registered nurse or pharmacist every 90 days. Antipsychotic medications have additional administration requirements:
Assisted living facilities must meet the following requirements:
Units in residential care facilities must:
Additionally, all facility buildings must have smoke detectors, automatic sprinkler systems and manual and automatic fire alarms. Endorsed memory care communities should meet specific occupancy and lighting requirements and have a secure, enclosed space for outdoor recreation.
Endorsed memory care communities must adhere to licensing requirements and sufficiently meet residents’ scheduled and unscheduled needs. All staff members must be trained in dementia-specific topics within 30 days of hire and before providing any resident services. Annually, staff must also obtain 12 hours of training to meet licensing requirements and four hours of dementia-specific service training. Administrators must obtain 20 hours of continuing education annually, 10 of which must be dementia-specific.
All facilities must have an employed, full-time administrator on-site 40 or more hours per week. They must also have a defined system in place to ensure the number of staff on-site and available is sufficient to meet residents’ needs at all times.
Through the Oregon K Plan, or Community First Choice, Medicaid covers assisted living and residential care services through a tiered reimbursement system.
Complaints against facilities or suspicions of abuse should be reported to Adult Protective Services via the abuse reporting hotline at 1-855-503-7233. Suspicions that a facility is violating state regulations may be reported to the Community-Based Care Licensing Complaint Unit at 1-844-503-4773.
Oregon seniors can get help from a variety of organizations throughout the state to improve their quality of life and address a variety of needs. For memory care residents, these organizations can help provide support and answer questions concerning care.
|Aging and Disability Resource Center of Oregon||855-673-2372||The ADRC of Oregon has local chapters throughout the state where individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia and caregivers can access resources, support groups and counseling for people in need of long-term care.|
|Alzheimer’s Association Oregon and Southwest Washington Chapter||800-272-3900||The Alzheimer’s Association serves Oregon residents affected by Alzheimer’s disease by providing information, support services, advocacy and research funding.|
|Oregon Care Partners||800-930-6851||Oregon Care Partners is a state-funded program offering in-person and online classes for Oregon residents who are professional caregivers or loved ones of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.|
|Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman||800-522-2602||The Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman advocates for seniors in memory care and other long-term care facilities throughout the state. The ombudsman listens to complaints and works to provide a resolution. They also inspect nursing homes and other residential care facilities to ensure they maintain state and federal standards.|
|Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs||800-692-9666||The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs supports U.S. military veterans. Trained counselors connect individuals with educational opportunities, health care, counseling and benefits. The Aid and Attendance benefit can be used to pay for home and community-based services in long-term care.|
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.
|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)|