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Memory Care Facilities in Colorado

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Colorado dementia care is known for providing numerous different services and amenities along with a high quality of living in one of the most scenic states in the country. Colorado memory care facilities currently rank in the Top 15 for most expensive, though are cheaper than nearby California and Washington.

Memory Care in Colorado - Cheapest & Most Expensive Places

The median monthly average for dementia care in Colorado is just above $5,000 per month. For more detailed information on the cheapest and most expensive places to live in Colorado, please consult the below information:

The Top 5 Most Affordable Cities for Memory Care in Colorado based on Monthly Average Median

  1. Montrose, CO                   $4,505
  2. Wheat Ridge, CO              $4,745         
  3. Denver, CO                       $4,880
  4. Grand Junction, CO           $4,895         
  5. Fort Lupton, CO                $4,915

The Top 5 Most Expensive Cities for Dementia Care in Colorado

  1. Highlands Ranch, CO        $6,500
  2. Parker, CO                       $6,450         
  3. Castle Rock, CO               $6,325         
  4. Louisville, CO                   $5,715         
  5. Greenwood Village, CO     $5,625

The Top 5 Most Affordable Counties in Colorado for Memory Care based on Monthly Average Cost

  1. Montrose County               $4,505
  2. Denver County                  $4,875         
  3. Mesa County                    $4,895
  4. Pueblo County                  $4,915
  5. El Paso County                 $4,990

The Top 5 Most Expensive Counties in Colorado for Alzheimer’s Care

  1. Douglas County                $6,450
  2. Boulder County                 $5,545
  3. Jefferson County               $5,440
  4. Arapahoe County              $5,350         
  5. Adams County                  $5,180

Colorado Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care - Services

One of the biggest reasons why families seek the services of a dementia or Alzheimer’s home in Colorado is the notion of keeping the family member safe. Dementia and Alzheimer’s can make it extremely tough to ensure safety at all times, as loved ones generally need near round the clock monitoring to help avoid wandering. The top memory care communities in the state is known for keeping the perimeters of the facilities safe, so residents can enjoy the freedom to move around inside the building but not get lost outside of it.

Providing as much independence as possible is crucial to decreasing agitation and un-comfortability that some residents may experience as they adjust to their new surroundings. Dementia trained caregivers work to get residents feeling comfortable as soon as possible by providing coordinated, regularly scheduled programs to focus energy and focus on meaningful activities.

Along with the daily programs, staff usually does its best to provide some routine and familiarity to daily lifestyle. It includes the same meal times each day so seniors can look forward to eating and socializing with others outside the other programs offered throughout the day.

While in the past the common form of dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment would have been to heavily medicate patients, memory care communities in Colorado have taken a more innovative approach by reducing dependence on traditional medications and increasing dependence on cognitive stimulation including alertness and assertiveness.

Ultimately, the top Alzheimer’s care facilities in the state of Colorado provide a caring and loving mentality which keeps residents (especially new members) feeling comfortable and not feeling the need to “fit in” since the centers are very non-judgement and supportive.

Colorado Memory Care Regulations

Memory care in Colorado is regulated as assisted living. While there are some regulations that apply specifically to memory care facilities, there are also a number of regulations that apply to assisted living facilities.

Here is an overview of the laws in place to regulate assisted living facilities, including regulations that are specific to memory care facilities.

Licensing 

In Colorado, memory care facilities are all licensed and regulated by the Department of Public Health and Environment. Any care facility where people will reside and receive care for daily activities, rather than specialized medical care, is considered an assisted living facility and regulated by a standard set of rules. Memory care facilities also have some additional rules applied to them.

Here’s an overview of the regulations that apply to memory care facilities in Colorado.

General Regulations

All memory care facilities must disclose specific information publicly, including:

  • Policies for refunds, charges, and deposits
  • Required vs optional services provided
  • Services that can be provided, cannot be provided, and can be obtained with help
  • Bed hold fees
  • Available transport services
  • Specialty diet availability
  • Necessary items supplied or not supplied by the facility, including bed linens and furniture

Along with these disclosures, memory care facilities also need to provide new residents with a resident agreement when they’re moving into the facility. This agreement will lay out a variety of information for residents, including all the information in the disclosures as well as any other information specific to the resident.

Some assisted living facilities will have their own policies around the use of medical marijuana. However, there are no official state regulations around medical marijuana use in these facilities at all, although it’s unlikely that residents in an alternative care facility will be permitted to use medical marijuana.

Facility Regulations

Memory care facilities can have individual apartment style rooms for residents, but it’s not a requirement. The main facility requirements are that every facility must have:

  • No more than 2 people per room
  • 1 full bathroom per 6 residents
  • Cooking facilities in individual apartments
  • Access to cooking facilities and food/drink preparation for all bedroom facilities
  • Alternative care facilities must make reasonable accommodations for roommate choice in multi-resident rooms

All memory care facilities need to have a secure outside space for residents that they can freely access. This area should be secure, with facilities being allowed to fence in the area. Facilities can use state-approved egress alert devices, such as alarmed doors, but must follow specific guidelines for their use.

Staffing Regulations

There are no staff ratios for memory care facilities in Colorado. Instead, all facilities are required to have a set method for determining how many staff are needed to maintain service levels at a given time, including determining how many staff members should be awake and on duty overnight. There must always be staff on duty to maintain the appropriate level of service for all residents.

The exception to this rule is alternative care facilities, which must maintain a ratio of 1 staff member for every 10 residents during the day and 1 staff for every 16 residents overnight. If the facility is a secure facility, there must be more staff on duty, with 1 member of staff for every 6 residents in the day and at least 1 staff member awake every night.

Any staff members who are going to be administering medications to residents must be qualified to do so. To be qualified, they must go through training that’s approved by the Department of Public Health and Environment. Even with this qualification, staff members may not administer any medications through a syringe.

Regardless of the type of assisted living facility, there must always be:

  • A full-time administrator
  • A qualified medication administration staff member
  • At least one staff member on site at all times with current first-aid and CPR training

Staff must complete specialized training programs specific to caring for residents at assisted living facilities. There must also be orientation for each specific job in the facility, as well as continuous education every year from approved sources.

Colorado Medicaid Memory Care Programs

Medicaid in Colorado is known as Health First Colorado. There are limited programs to pay for memory care through Medicaid in Colorado, with no programs paying for room and board. However, there is a waiver program that can be applied to cover costs for other services and care received at a memory care facility, such as extra care, doctor’s appointments, and personal care.

Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver

This is the main waiver that can be applied for assistance paying for memory care in Colorado. The Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver (EBD) is meant to help people receive care at home or in an assisted care facility for longer before they need to get specialized care at a nursing home.

To qualify for this waiver, recipients must meet the following criteria, as well as standard Medicaid eligibility criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Require nursing home level care
  • If aged 18-64: Must have a physical disability, be blind, or be diagnosed with HIV or AIDS
  • If aged 65 or older: Must have significant impairment to daily functions

Medicaid Eligibility in Colorado

Eligibility for Medicaid depends on a few specific criteria, including financial need. For households of 1, annual income cannot exceed $19,392 per year. For each additional member of a household, the allowed annual income increases by $6,836. Individuals cannot have countable assets exceeding $2,000, while couples applying together cannot have countable assets exceeding $3,000. If one spouse is applying for Medicaid while the other is not, the non-applicant spouse cannot have countable assets more than $137,400.

Beyond the financial need requirements, recipients must also be:

  • Legal US citizens or permanent residents
  • Residents of Colorado state

Recipients can also qualify for Medicaid if they are pregnant, responsible of a child below 18 years, 65 years or older, or if they are blind or disabled.

Admissions Requirements for Memory Care in Colorado

Memory care facilities in Colorado are not able to admit everyone. Some of the things that can cause existing residency to be terminated or exclude potential applicants are:

  • Being permanently bedridden
  • Uncontrollable incontinence (some exceptions apply)
  • Requirement for 24-hour specialized care from nurses or medical staff
  • Need for any type of restraints
  • Communicable diseases
  • Suffering from a substance abuse problem

Under some circumstances, bedridden residents can be retained by a facility. Some exceptions include residents who:

  • Are temporarily bedridden because of a treatable condition, not permanently bedridden
  • Are receiving adequate care from a qualified outside medical practitioner
  • Are in a facility with trained, qualified staff who can deal with bedridden patients

Memory care facilities are not considered to be nursing homes. Because of this, residents can only receive hospice care if they come to need it while already residing in a facility. If someone is already in need of hospice care, they cannot be admitted as a new resident in a memory care facility.

Any Colorado assisted living facility that has a Medicaid contract, called an alternative care facility, will have some additional requirements for potential residents. These facilities cannot admit or retain anyone who:

  • Cannot administer their own medication
  • Needs continuous, specialized medical care
  • Is unwilling to take necessary prescribed medications
  • Has a diagnosed substance abuse disorder and will not accept treatment
  • Suffers from an acute medical condition that can’t be managed through normal care at the facility
  • Has a seizure disorder that cannot be controlled
  • Requires food to be brought to them

In most assisted living facilities in Colorado, residents need to be able to take their own medication unassisted. There are some exceptions to this, such as when a resident cannot physically administer their own medication but they are able to understand their needs and instruct a qualified staff member on how to administer it for them. Residents who use oxygen may also receive assistance from staff members.

Tips on Choosing the Right Memory Care Facility for your Loved One

It’s a difficult choice to choose a memory care facility for a loved one. While no amount of love and care will ever seem like enough, it’s important to look closely at any facilities you’re considering to make sure they’re a good fit before you apply for your loved one to be a resident there.

Here are a few tips to help you make the best choice possible.

1. Look for varying levels of care

Memory care facilities can offer different levels of service. Check to see what services a facility is qualified to offer to your loved one, including how qualified they are to handle escalating needs for your loved one, or if they will be forced to revoke residency if your loved one’s condition progresses further. It’s important to know at what point you may need to look for care at a nursing home based on what the memory care facility of your choice is able to offer.

2. Check out accommodations

Don’t trust online pictures or the word of facility workers. Look at accommodation rooms for yourself so you can understand exactly what kind of accommodation your loved one will have at their facility. Ask if accommodations are individual apartments or not, and what the policy is for roommates.

3. Understand safety practices and plans

Every assisted living facility needs to have appropriate safety plans in place in case of emergencies. Ask any potential facilities about their emergency plans to make sure your loved one will be well cared for in case anything goes wrong at the facility.

4. Ask about regular services and activities

Your loved one may have difficulty adjusting to life in a memory care facility. It can be helpful for them to have the option to participate in activities they love on a regular basis.

5. Read through resident rights

Not all Colorado memory care facilities offer the same rights to residents. It’s important to look through resident rights to make sure there’s nothing you disagree with and that necessary rights are disclosed.

6. Consider proximity

Lastly, while proximity to your home is not the most important factor to consider, it’s still a big part of the decision you’re making. Whenever possible, choose a facility close to your home so you can visit your loved one more frequently and stay connected to them in their new home.

Common Questions About Memory Care in Colorado

1. What is memory care and how does it differ from other types of senior living?

Memory care is a specialized type of senior living designed for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other memory-related conditions. Unlike general senior living, memory care communities provide tailored support, activities, and a safe environment to meet the unique needs of residents in cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora.

2. What services are typically offered in memory care communities?

Memory care communities in Colorado offer specialized services such as personalized care plans, cognitive therapies, 24/7 supervision, and secure environments to prevent wandering. Cities like Boulder, Centennial, and Fort Collins provide memory care residents with a supportive and engaging atmosphere to enhance their quality of life.

3. How do memory care communities ensure the safety of their residents?

Memory care communities prioritize resident safety by implementing measures such as secure entrances, surveillance systems, and trained staff. These communities in cities like Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Lakewood are designed to minimize risks and provide a secure environment for individuals with memory impairments.

4. What activities are offered to residents in memory care?

Memory care communities in Colorado provide a range of activities designed to engage residents' cognitive and emotional well-being. These activities may include music therapy, art classes, reminiscence sessions, and sensory stimulation. Cities like Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs ensure memory care residents have opportunities for meaningful engagement.

5. How do memory care staff members support residents' unique needs?

Memory care staff members receive specialized training to understand the needs of individuals with memory-related conditions. They offer assistance with daily activities, medication management, and emotional support. In cities like Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Lakewood, memory care staff are dedicated to providing compassionate care tailored to each resident's requirements.

6. Can residents personalize their living spaces in memory care communities?

Yes, residents in memory care communities can often personalize their living spaces with familiar items and decorations. These personal touches help create a sense of familiarity and comfort. Communities in cities like Centennial, Fort Collins, and Lakewood encourage residents to personalize their spaces within the guidelines of safety and functionality.

7. Are memory care communities designed to accommodate individuals with wandering tendencies?

Yes, memory care communities in Colorado are designed with features to prevent and manage wandering tendencies. These features may include secure outdoor spaces, enclosed walking paths, and wayfinding cues. Cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder prioritize the safety of residents with memory impairments.

8. How do memory care communities involve families in care plans?

Memory care communities collaborate with families to develop care plans that address residents' individual needs. Families are encouraged to provide insights into residents' preferences and histories. In cities like Aurora, Centennial, and Fort Collins, memory care communities value family involvement and communication for the well-being of residents.

9. Are memory care communities pet-friendly?

Some memory care communities in Colorado are pet-friendly, recognizing the positive impact of pets on residents' emotional well-being. These communities, found in cities like Lakewood, Aurora, and Thornton, may have guidelines and policies in place to ensure the safety and comfort of both residents and pets.

10. How can families stay connected with their loved ones in memory care?

Families can stay connected with their loved ones in memory care through regular visits, phone calls, video chats, and participation in community events. Memory care communities in cities like Colorado Springs, Denver, and Lakewood often provide family support groups and communication platforms to keep families informed and engaged.

11. How do memory care communities address residents' nutrition needs?

Memory care communities prioritize residents' nutrition needs by offering well-balanced meals tailored to individual preferences and dietary restrictions. In cities like Boulder, Denver, and Aurora, memory care communities collaborate with nutritionists and dietitians to ensure residents receive nourishing meals that support their overall health and well-being.

12. What measures are taken to promote cognitive stimulation in memory care?

Memory care communities in Colorado provide cognitive stimulation through activities such as puzzles, memory games, music therapy, and reminiscence sessions. These activities are designed to engage residents' minds and help maintain cognitive function. Cities like Fort Collins, Lakewood, and Thornton offer programs that support residents' cognitive well-being.

13. Can residents in memory care communities receive medical care?

Yes, memory care communities in Colorado often coordinate with healthcare professionals to provide medical care and assistance with medication management. Cities like Centennial, Colorado Springs, and Aurora have memory care communities that prioritize residents' physical health and well-being through comprehensive medical support.

14. Are memory care communities focused on creating a familiar and comfortable environment?

Yes, memory care communities aim to create a familiar and comfortable environment that reduces anxiety and confusion. These communities often use reminiscence areas, color-coded cues, and familiar décor. In cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder, memory care residents benefit from surroundings that evoke positive memories and a sense of belonging.

15. How can I find the right memory care community in Colorado?

To find the ideal memory care community in Colorado, research options, visit communities, and inquire about staff training, safety measures, and specialized programs. Consider cities like Lakewood, Thornton, and Westminster for memory care options that prioritize the well-being and comfort of residents with memory impairments.

16. Are there memory care communities near scenic areas in Colorado?

Yes, there are memory care communities in Colorado situated near scenic areas. Cities like Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Durango offer memory care facilities with access to picturesque views and outdoor spaces, allowing residents to enjoy the beauty of Colorado's landscapes while receiving specialized care and support.

17. What social activities are offered in memory care communities?

Memory care communities in Colorado provide a range of social activities tailored to residents' cognitive abilities and interests. These activities may include music therapy, group discussions, sensory activities, and art classes. Cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins ensure memory care residents have opportunities for meaningful engagement and connections.

18. Can memory care communities accommodate individuals with changing care needs?

Yes, memory care communities in Colorado are equipped to adapt to residents' changing care needs as their conditions progress. These communities, found in cities like Aurora, Centennial, and Lakewood, offer flexible care plans and specialized services that evolve to meet the unique requirements of individuals with memory-related conditions.

19. How can I ensure a smooth transition to a memory care community for a loved one?

To ensure a smooth transition to a memory care community in Colorado for a loved one, involve them in the decision-making process, visit the community together, and gradually introduce them to their new surroundings. Communicate with staff in cities like Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder to provide insights into your loved one's preferences and routines for a seamless transition.

20. How can I find the right memory care community in Colorado?

To find the ideal memory care community in Colorado, research options, visit communities, and inquire about staff training, safety measures, and specialized programs. Consider cities like Lakewood, Thornton, and Westminster for memory care options that prioritize the well-being and comfort of residents with memory impairments.

SeniorGuidance.org provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.

Additional senior living options in Colorado:

Assisted Living in Colorado Senior Apartments in Colorado Nursing Homes in Colorado

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