Memory Care in South Dakota |

Memory Care in South Dakota

South Dakota has an estimated 18,000 seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer's as of 2020 and an expected increase of 11.1% coming in the next 5 years. The Alzheimer's Association facts and figures for 2022 show South Dakota as having the highest death rate in the nation for this disease with almost 500 fatalities per year. This represents a staggering increase of 176.5% in Alzheimer's deaths 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 South Dakota, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in South Dakota.

The Cost of Memory Care in South 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 South Dakota and 1 other city in South Dakota.

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

While inflation has heavily impacted memory care costs across the country, it's had the opposite effect in South Dakota. Costs fell 1% between 2022 and 2023, while the national average increased 10.5%. While it's only projected, South Dakota's 2024 memory care rates may rise from $5,350 to $5,635. 

In neighboring states, inflation's impact is substantial. North Dakota had the most drastic increase, with rates rising 62% from 2022 and 2023 and projected to rise 10.5% in 2024. Nebraska's rates rose 7%, while Wyoming's rose 28%. Minnesota seniors saw the least impact, with costs increasing just 3.5% from $5,742 to $5,934.

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

The Cost of Other Types of Senior Living

Since the cost of senior living varies widely by care type, seniors in South Dakota should keep their daily needs in mind when considering which long-term care option is best for them. Assisted living includes 24/7 help with tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming and medication for an average monthly rate of $4,443, while memory care for seniors with Alzheimer's and related dementias averages $5,350. Independent living is the most affordable choice, averaging $2,652 monthly. 

South Dakota Medicaid Programs for Memory Care

Medicaid in South Dakota doesn't directly cover memory care services, as is the case in the majority of states. The state program covers a wide range of services and items that are typically more useful for seniors in nursing homes or independent living environments, as opposed to people in community-based memory care programs. The HOPE Waiver provides somewhat of a workaround for this, however, by granting coverage for services received in memory care and other previously uncovered environments.

  • Who is Eligible: Low-income seniors aged 65+ and people with disabilities who need help paying for medically necessary services.
  • How to Apply: South Dakota's Department of Social Services is responsible for processing Medicaid applications. The DSS website provides printable forms, mailing addresses and an online application portal. Residents can also visit a nearby DSS office or call 800-305-3064 to begin the application process for Medicaid.

HOPE Waiver Program

This program gives eligible residents coverage for various services collectively referred to as Long-Term Care Medicaid or Home and Community-Based Services. Individuals who are eligible for the HOPE Waiver can receive Medicaid-funded services in a wider range of living arrangements. Most importantly for those seeking memory care, the HOPE Waiver allows Medicaid coverage of these services when provided in community-based environments, such as a typical assisted facility or standalone memory care unit.

  • Who is Eligible: Low-income seniors aged 65+ and adults with disabilities who need a nursing facility level of care that can be provided in a less restrictive environment, such as memory care.
  • How to Apply: Applications for long-term care programs and services, such as those covered via the HOPE Waiver, can be submitted in much the same way as the state Medicaid program. Application forms, information and assistance can be found on the DSS website. Alternatively, a call to the statewide helpline at 800-305-3064 puts residents in touch with regional offices.

Medicaid Eligibility for Seniors in South Dakota

The maximum allowable income for senior Medicaid recipients in South Dakota is 300% of the SSI Standard Benefit Amount — sometimes referred to as the Federal Benefit Rate and Federal Poverty Level — which calculates to $30,276 per year as of 2022. The asset limit is $2,000 for a single applicant and $3,000 for a couple if both people are applying for services. The rules become much more complicated in the case of a couple with one person applying for long-term care while their spouse remains in the family home or elsewhere in the community. As such, applicants with this particular living arrangement should contact staff at the resources outlined below in order to determine eligibility.

2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in South Dakota

family sizeannual income limitsasset limits
Single Person$30,276$2,000
Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)$30,276$2,000 (limit for non-applicant spouse may be raised up to $137,400)
Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)$60,552$3,000

Throughout the application process, applicants may be asked to prove certain facts, such as their identity, financial status, medical diagnosis or other relevant points. Requests for specific documents and information are sent to the applicant as the process moves along, and in many cases the state may be able to verify many of the details automatically for applicants who have applied for various other government programs.

  • Must be a resident of South Dakota (generally this can be established by showing utility bills or other mail sent to the applicant at an address in the state)
  • Must meet U.S. citizenship requirements
  • Must have medical needs assessed (which determines the level and type of care that Medicaid will cover)

How to Get Help Applying for Medicaid in South Dakota

South Dakota residents without Medicaid coverage via the state plan should first start there, and the DSS may be the more useful contact in this case. Medicaid recipients who wish to apply for waiver services, including coverage of memory care, should instead contact the LTSS division. Medicare beneficiaries and people who expect to enroll soon can also contact the SHIINE program.

DSS Medicaid Eligibility Helpline605-773-4678The South Dakota Department of Social Services operates this helpline specifically for queries about Medicaid eligibility.
Division of Long Term Services and Supports605-773-3656LTSS is a division of the South Dakota Department of Human Services. Its primary role is managing Medicaid services provided in home and community-based settings, including the HOPE Waiver.
Senior Health Information and Insurance Education605-494-0219SHIINE is a free service for Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota who have questions or need advice, which may extend to Medicaid itself as it can be used to offset some Medicare costs. This is the telephone number for the Central district. Eastern and Western district contacts are available on the website.

Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Memory Care in South 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 South 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 South Dakota

Memory Care Regulation

In South Dakota, personal care and memory care services are provided in assisted living facilities, also known as assisted living centers. ALCs are licensed by the South Dakota Department of Health’s Office of Health Facilities. To serve individuals with dementia or other specific conditions, facilities must obtain further certifications. Facilities may have secured units designed to enhance the safety and functionality of residents with dementia, with staff specifically trained to meet their needs. The department inspects each facility annually, with the first inspection taking place prior to licensing.

Each facility must assess and document the needs of new residents when they’re admitted into the facility, after 30 days of residency and on an annual basis going forward. Assessment measurements must be approved by the department, and the facility must also inform residents of the services the department permits it to provide.

Facility Scope of Care

Assisted living facilities must provide residents with individualized care that includes access to facilitated activities, outlets for their spiritual needs and physician services. Skilled nursing and rehabilitation services may be provided for no more than eight hours per day or 28 hours per week.

Residents may also receive services delivered on-site by third party providers, such as hospice agencies certified by Medicare. All third party providers must also adhere to the facility’s policies.

Admission Requirements

While South Dakota’s assisted living centers may admit the majority of individuals in need of memory care, state regulations also require facilities to deny admission to certain individuals. The table below lists the types of individuals centers may accept or deny.

Residents Who May Be Admitted

Older adults and people who:

  • Can perform activities of daily living with the help of one staff member
  • Have dementia
  • Have mental or physical conditions
  • Do not need restraints unless accepted into a secured unit
  • Have stable and controlled conditions
  • Can turn in and rise from bed with the help of no more than one staff member
  • Can feed themselves with supervision and assistance
  • Receive skilled nursing care from a Medicare-contracted provider for a limited duration of time

Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted

Those who:

  • Require a mechanical lift
  • Exhibit behaviors that endanger themselves or others
  • Have communicable disease that pose a risk to others
  • Require frequent or ongoing skilled nursing care or rehabilitative services
  • Have needs that cannot be met by the facility

Care Plan Requirements

Care plans must include therapeutic programming for residents with dementia.

Medication Management Requirements

ALCs that accept individuals who require medication administration must employ a licensed nurse to oversee and record the condition of these residents on a weekly or more frequent basis. Staff who are not licensed must undergo medication administration training on an ongoing and annual basis.

Facility Requirements

Secured memory care units must be on the ground level and provide residents with access to a secure outdoor area. Throughout the assisted living center, private units must provide at least 120 square feet of living space, apart from the bathroom and closets. Two-bed rooms must provide at least 200 square feet of living space, and sleeping rooms in suites must offer a minimum of 100 square feet. In older facilities, up to four residents may share a bathroom, but in new facilities, each room must have direct access to its own bathroom.

Staffing Requirements

All facilities must employ a licensed administrator who has at least a high school diploma to manage and oversee the facility. To become an administrator, an employee must complete specialized certification training and a subsequent evaluation within one year.

ALCs must provide a minimum of 0.8 hours of direct care per resident during a 24-hour period, and there must be at least one awake staff member on duty at all times. Facilities that accept residents who require therapeutic diets must employ a registered dietitian.

Secured dementia care units in assisted living facilities must have at least one caregiving staff member present at all times. All staff in the unit must have received specialized dementia care training. Additionally, all AFC staff must receive ongoing training on residents’ rights and safety, nutritional and hydration needs, confidentiality, infection control and other relevant topics.

Medicaid Policy

Assisted living facilities may accept funding from the state through the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Options and Person Centered Excellence (HOPE) Waiver to help residents cover the cost of care services.

Reporting Abuse

Individuals who would like to file a complaint against an assisted living center or memory care provider should contact the South Dakota Department of Health by sending an email to, or calling 605-367-7499 or 605-367-4640. Anyone who files a complaint will remain anonymous.

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Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in South Dakota

In South 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 South Dakota 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.

South Dakota Area Agencies on AgingSouth Dakota's Area Agencies on Aging offer vital programs to help seniors maintain a high quality of life at home. These services include adult day care, meal options, and homemaker assistance for daily tasks. AAA in South Dakota also provides coordinated transportation for medical and nonmedical needs

Cash Assistance Programs

Financial assistance initiatives exist in South 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.

South 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 South 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.

South Dakota Home & Community-Based Options and Person Centered Excellence (HOPE) Waiver605-773-3656The Home & Community-Based Options and Person Centered Excellence Waiver enables seniors to access a variety of services and supports in their homes or communities. Its goal is to help seniors delay or prevent nursing home placement by providing personal care, nutritional supplements, and specialized medical equipment. Eligible seniors can utilize these services to maintain their independence and enhance their quality of life.

Food Assistance Programs

In South 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.

South Dakota Adult Nutrition ServicesThe South Dakota Adult Nutrition Program guarantees food security for seniors, promoting their health and well-being. It offers hot meals on weekdays at various adult nutrition locations across the state, as well as home-delivered meals. This program fosters socialization and provides a daily fellowship opportunity for residents aged 60 years and older.
South Dakota Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)605-773-3413The South Dakota Commodity Supplemental Food Program assists low-income seniors aged 60 and above in accessing nutritious foods. State agencies distribute USDA foods to local public and nonprofit private agencies, where eligible seniors can receive them. Although this program does not provide a full diet, local agencies can offer referrals to other nutrition and welfare programs to address any additional needs.
South Dakota Meals on WheelsSouth Dakota Meals on Wheels offers food assistance and support services to seniors throughout the state. Seniors aged 60 and above can access free or affordable programs based on their income. These services include home-delivered meals for those who are unable to leave their homes, as well as nutritious meals in a social setting. Additional services, such as pet meal delivery, transportation assistance, and emergency meal delivery during bad weather, may be available depending on the location.
South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)South Dakota's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income residents and seniors buy nutritious food. Participants receive debit cards to purchase SNAP-eligible items at grocery and convenience stores. It's important to remember that SNAP funds are not intended to cover the entire food budget. To qualify, seniors must show a net monthly income at or below the state's poverty line, currently $1,133 for single-member households in 2023.

Free Used Medical Equipment

In South 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.

South Dakota AT4ALL - Sioux Falls866-274-2594Our program provides pre-owned durable medical equipment to South Dakotans in need, such as wheelchairs, scooters, and patient lifts. The available equipment may vary, but rest assured, all items are meticulously sanitized and refurbished before being given to seniors.
South Dakota iCanConnect Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program800-825-4595Relay South Dakota provides seniors with free communication equipment and software via the National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program. Eligible individuals can receive assistive devices like braille devices, screen readers, and specialized keyboards. These tools enable seniors to stay connected with their loved ones and maintain their independence.

Social Security Offices

In South 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.

South 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 South 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.

South Dakota Sales & Property Tax Refund for Senior & Disabled Citizens800-829-9188The Department of Revenue in South Dakota offers potential sales and property tax refunds to eligible residents based on their income.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

In South 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.

South Dakota Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)605-773-3165The South Dakota Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial aid for winter energy bills. Eligible seniors must have income below the maximum limit and be responsible for heating costs. In 2023, single-person households with a maximum income of $6,795 qualify for LIHEAP. Payments are directly made to the heating company. The Energy Crisis Intervention Program offers immediate assistance to seniors at risk of disconnection.

Veteran's Services

In South 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.

South Dakota VA Benefits and Health CareSouth Dakota VA Benefits and Health Care provides assistance with VA claims and benefits for senior veterans. The state has multiple medical facilities that offer health care services, along with vet centers in various cities for counseling and referrals. In times of crisis, veterans can dial 988 and press 1 for immediate help. South Dakota also has three national cemeteries.

South 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.

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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