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What Is the Monthly Cost of Caring for a Patient With Dementia?

August 4, 2023

Cost is one of the most popular questions our patients and their families have when considering memory care for dementia support and management. 

With ⅔ of Americans 65 or older saying healthcare costs are a burden, researching the average cost of Alzheimer’s care facilities and in-home dementia care costs makes sense. Unfortunately, Googling “cost of memory care facilities near me” and finding a straight answer can be challenging.

To simplify your search, we’re breaking down the average cost of memory care in Indiana and across the U.S. We’ll also explore how caregivers can know it’s time to consider memory care, why dementia care costs can be so high, and more. So read on!

What Is the Average Cost of Memory Care in the U.S.?

While costs vary depending on location, company, and level of care needed, recent studies have revealed the average cost of memory care in 44/50 states. 

Average per-hour costs range from $24.97 per hour in Georgia to $71.81 per hour in D.C. Indiana’s average hourly cost of caring for a patient with dementia falls in the middle of the national pack at $33.13 per hour, $3.65 cheaper than the national average of $36.78.

What Is the Monthly Cost of Caring for a Patient with Dementia?

The monthly cost of caring for a patient can also vary widely and depends on many of the same criteria mentioned above:

  • Location
  • Local Companies
  • Required Level of Care

With that caveat in mind, the average cost of memory care in the US is $5,705.50 monthly. Indiana’s average monthly cost of caring for a patient with dementia is about 7% cheaper than the national average, at $5,300 per month. 

The cheapest memory care, on average, can be found in Georgia at $3,995 per month. Washington, D.C. falls on the other end of the scale, leading the US with an average monthly cost of $11,490 per month. 

When Should a Person with Dementia Go Into a Care Home?

While this is a question best answered by a trusted physician, there are several signs that a person with dementia should go into a care home. Let’s explore three. 

  1. Safety Concerns: The strongest sign that it’s time for a person with dementia to go into a care home is when safety concerns begin to arise. Dementia can lead to wandering behaviors, a higher risk of falls and other accidents, medication mismanagement, and other dangerous circumstances. 
  2. Growing Health and Wellness Challenges: Another important sign it’s time for a care home is when individuals experiencing dementia begin to develop additional mental and physical health challenges. Mobility issues, chronic health conditions, depression, loneliness, and isolation can all be better managed in a care home.
  3. Caregiver Burnout: If caregivers find themselves overwhelmed, exhausted, or unable to meet the increasing demands of dementia care, it may be a sign that transitioning to a care home is necessary. 

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Facility

  • All-Inclusive Insights: What’s bundled into your facility’s primary memory care cost? Does it cover all essentials, amenities, and services?
  • Hidden Extras: Might there be some sneaky added charges? Think medication oversight, assistance with daily routines, or even rides to appointments.
  • Helpful Handouts: Are there any financial relief programs or aids to lighten the monetary load?
  • Tiered Treatment: Can residents pick from various care levels? More importantly, how does each level tweak the overall cost?
  • Future Forecast: How does the facility handle price hikes? And how much of a heads-up will we get before any changes hit our bills?
  • Stay Specifications: Do you have a set period for a stay? And if we need an early exit, are there any financial pitfalls we should know?
  • Surprise Scenarios: Life’s unpredictable! Are there any unforeseen charges that might creep in, say during medical urgencies or if care requirements pivot?

Why Is Dementia Care So Expensive?

Dementia care is a niche form of healthcare that requires specialized training, skills, equipment, facilities, and more to meet patient challenges, leading to increased costs for both patients and care providers. 

Other common expenses contributing to dementia care costs include: 

  • Continuous Training and Education for Staff
  • Maintaining Regulatory Compliance and Licensing
  • Treating Additional Health Challenges for Patients 
  • Providing Professional Emotional Support and Care
  • Training, Recruiting, and Retaining Specialized Staff
  • Providing Safe, Structured Socialization Opportunities 
  • Specialized Facility Infrastructure and Safety Measures

What Is the Average Time in a Care Home with Dementia Patients?

The amount of time an individual spends in memory care will depend on the severity of their symptoms and the speed of their condition’s progression. 

While some patients may only spend a few months in memory care, the average time individuals with dementia spend in a memory care facility ranges from two to three years. 

Story Cottage – Compassionate Memory Care

When it comes to memory care, most individuals want to feel the comforts of home while also receiving the care they need. At Story Cottage, that’s exactly what we offer at our two beautiful locations in Indianapolis and Carmel. Our first-of-its-kind, residential-style care approach provides an impressive amount of staff and attention, all while replicating the feel of being at-home. To learn more, reach out to us today.