Alzheimer’s disease affected 13,000 Vermonters in 2020 and is the sixth leading cause of death in this state and the nation. More than 300 Vermont residents died because of the condition in 2019, and the number of seniors living with Alzheimer’s in the state is projected to grow by 30.8% by 2025. Nationwide, incidences of Alzheimer’s and related dementias are expected to nearly double by 2060, according to the CDC.
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 Vermont, financial assistance options for paying for memory care, free memory care resources in the state, and a directory of memory care facilities in Vermont.
Table of Contents
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.
We added a 25% premium to assisted living costs as given in the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey to calculate the cost of memory care.
Vermont’s statewide average memory care cost exceeds the national median by $938 per month. Rates here are on the lower end compared to neighboring states, though. New Hampshire to the east is more expensive by $1,003, and prices in Massachusetts run $1,562 over average costs in Vermont. However, in western neighbor New York, prices fall $838 lower than rates in this state.
The Genworth survey only provides senior care cost data for one Vermont city, Burlington, where seniors pay an average of $7,964. In nearby towns in other states, the prices vary widely but mostly fall below prices here. Seniors in Pittsfield, MA, pay $3,958 less than Vermont’s state average, while those in Springfield, MA, pay only $253 less. Memory care rates in Glen Falls, NY, are $1,250 below Vermont’s average price, but costs in Albany Area, NY, are about equal to Vermont’s median. In Manchester, NH, costs soar above Vermont’s average fees by $3,513.
Green Mountain Care is Vermont’s Medicaid program, administered by the Department of Vermont Health Access (DHVA). Medicaid for the Aged, Blind & Disabled (MABD) provides income-eligible older Vermonters with no- or low-cost coverage for health care services.
Choices for Care (CFC)
Choices for Care (CFC) is the primary long-term care program offered through Vermont Medicaid’s Global Commitment to Health 1115 waiver. It enables eligible seniors and adults with disabilities to receive supportive services in their chosen long-term care setting, including assisted living and residential care facilities.
Assistive Community Care Services (ACCS)
Assistive Community Care (ACCS) in Vermont’s Medicaid plan helps cover the costs of long-term care services rendered in select assisted living facilities and residential care homes. Medicaid reimburses such facilities for the costs of supportive services, including personal care, on-site assistive therapy and medication assistance.
Vermonters can apply for Medicaid at any time. Regular Medicaid and MABD count the incomes of both the applicant spouse and non-applicant spouse when determining eligibility.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Vermont
|family size||annual income limits||asset limits|
|Single Person||$13,992 (outside Chittenden County) $15,192 (in Chittenden County)||$2,000|
|Two-Person Household (Single Applicant)||$13,992 (outside Chittenden County) $15,192 (in Chittenden County)||$3,000|
|Two-Person Household (Dual Applicants)||$13,992 (outside Chittenden County) $15,192 (in Chittenden County)||$3,000|
To qualify for MABD, an applicant must:
Vermont provides many avenues for getting help with Medicaid. Seniors and caregivers can reach out to trained counselors for unbiased guidance with options and completing applications.
|Vermont Health Connect||855-899-9600||Vermont Health Connect has an Assister Program with Navigators, Certified Application Counselors and Brokers who offer advice with health care coverage.|
|Office of the Health Care Advocate||800-917-7787||The Office of the Health Care Advocate offers free long-term care information and assistance for Vermonters. Seniors can access an online form or agent for a physical application.|
|State Health Insurance Program (SHIP)||800-642-5119||Through local Area Agencies on Aging, SHIP counselors provide information and support to individuals needing help with choosing or managing public or private health insurance benefits.|
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:
For older Vermonters, assisted living residences and residential care homes offer residential options for memory care. Several of these facilities are licensed to provide memory care services through special care units. They are regulated by the Division of Licensing and Protection of the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging Independent Living.
Through Survey and Certification operation, the DLP ensures that these long-term care facilities are in compliance with state and federal regulations. In addition to unannounced surveys for initial licensing and on a recurring basis, the S&C also conducts surprise investigations based on facility-related complaints.
Generally, ALRs and RCHs in Vermont should be able to provide room and board and personal care services in supportive homelike settings. While ALR residents may receive appropriate nursing services for them to age in place, nursing care arrangements in RCHs are limited to:
ALRs should also be able to provide social services such as referrals and coordination of home health, hospice, transportation and other necessary services for aging in place. In addition, a daily program of activities should be offered to ALR residents.
ALRs and RCHs may admit a wide range of residents, but there are certain restrictions. The below table gives an overview of who may or may not be admitted.
Residents Who May Be Admitted
Older adults and people with:
Residents Who May NOT Be Admitted
A written care plan should be developed by an ALR or RCH in cooperation with the resident or the client’s legal representative. It should describe the care and services necessary to support a resident’s needs, choices, independence and well-being. Care plans must be reviewed at least annually and whenever warranted due to changes in a resident’s condition or circumstances.
Using an assessment instrument provided by the DLP, an ALR or RCH should complete resident assessments within 14 days of a client’s admission. Residents requiring nursing care must be assessed by a registered nurse. Assessments must be consistent with a physician’s diagnosis and orders, and they should be done annually or as necessary due to changes in a resident’s physical or mental condition.
Medication administration by ALR and RCH staff must be under the delegation and supervision of a licensed nurse. Registered nurses are responsible for providing appropriate training to unlicensed staff and for designating specific staff members to specific residents. Sufficient monitoring and documentation are required for every resident’s prescription and over-the-counter medications, whether self-administered or with a caregiver’s assistance.
PRN medications may be administered by non-RN staff who are educated about the desired and side effects of such medications. Residents may receive insulin injections from staff members who have received additional training and are designated by a registered nurse.
All ALR residential units must have floor spaces of at least 225 square feet, excluding bathroom and closet areas. Each unit should be ADA-compliant and for private occupancy unless a resident voluntarily prefers unit sharing. Other required installations include individual temperature controls, an emergency response system and at least one telephone jack for every unit. An ALR should have at least two common areas, including one that’s available for residents’ use at any time.
RCHs can have private and double-occupancy rooms with standard-size full and twin beds that should be at least 6 inches thick. There should be at least one bathroom for every eight residents per floor, not counting those who have rooms with private bathrooms.
There are no minimum staff-to-resident ratios for ALRs and RCHs, but a sufficient number of qualified personnel must be available at all times to provide appropriate care services and emergency response. Each facility should have at least one on-duty staff in charge at all times, wherein a manager may delegate authority to a competent staff member. Facilities with more than 15 residents should have at least one awake staff at all times.
Every staff member providing direct care must have at least 12 hours of training each year. Training should be documented and must cover specific matters such as residents’ rights, fire safety and evacuation, emergency response procedures and general supervision and care. Additional qualification screenings, orientation and specialized training on Alzheimer’s and dementia should be conducted in facilities with memory care units.
Vermont’s Medicaid programs don’t cover room-and-board fees in ALRs and RCHs. However, seniors who qualify for ERC or ACCS may benefit from financial coverage on a certain bundle of supportive services, including memory care. Many of these licensed long-term care facilities participate in one or both of these Medicaid programs and can receive both ERC and ACCS reimbursements for the same resident.
An ALR or RCH staff, resident, loved one or any concerted citizen can report any case of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation to the Adult Protective Services, a program within the Division of Licensing and Protection of the DAIL. An online report may be submitted directly, and APS may also be contacted by toll-free phone at 1-800-564-1612.
Reports should be made to APS within 48 hours of learning of the suspected or alleged incident. Depending on the nature of the abuse, investigations may be performed by representatives of APS, the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman or Vermont Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
Vermont seniors living with dementia and their caregivers are not alone in their journey. State and local agencies have set up programs to support these individuals and families with educational tools, counseling and financial help.
|Aging and Disability Resource Connections – No Wrong Door||802-241-0294||The No Wrong Door system of Vermont's Aging Disabilities Resource Connections program is a portal for information and services for long-term care, including dementia and caregiver support.|
|Alzheimer's Association Vermont Chapter||800-272-3900||The Alzheimer's Association's Vermont Chapter provides and coordinates free in-person and virtual education and support for individuals and families interested in or living with Alzheimer's and other dementias.|
|Age Well||800-642-5119||Age Well provides aging-related information and assistance through its statewide Senior Helpline, online educational opportunities and caregiver support.|
|Central Vermont Medical Center Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group||802-371-4783||The Central Vermont Medical Center Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Group hosts informal meetings for people living with dementia, their friends and family.|
|Dementia Respite Grant||802-241-0294||The Dementia Respite Grant is managed by Vermont's Area Agencies on Aging. It provides funds to help unpaid caregivers manage the responsibilities and stress of caregiving. The grant can pay for out-of-home adult day services and short-term stays in a residential care facility.|
Note: The following information was compiled and most recently updated on 2/15/2022. 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)|