Senior Guidance

Memory Care Facilities in New Jersey

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New Jersey memory care is #1. Yes, number one in terms of being the most expensive state for dementia care in the United States. No other place ranks higher. With such expensive costs, you would expect extremely plush services and amenities which is exactly what New Jersey Alzheimer’s care homes have to offer.

Memory Care in New Jersey - Cheapest & Most Expensive Places

The state of 9 million residents is incredibly dense with a number of seniors that relocate to assisted living centers or nursing homes in their later years due to the highly reputable healthcare of the New England region of the United States. New Jersey dementia care facilities are costly, but the services provided are terrific.

The Top 5 Most Affordable Cities for Memory Care in New Jersey based on Monthly Fees:

  1. Passaic, NJ - $5,015
  2. Vineland, NJ - $5,070
  3. Lakewood, NJ - $5,280
  4. Pennsauken, NJ - $5,360
  5. Galloway, NJ - $5,430

The Top 5 Most Expensive Cities for Dementia Care in New Jersey:

  1. Warren, NJ - $7,175
  2. Basking Ridge, NJ - $7,170
  3. Chester, NJ - $7,165         
  4. Montville, NJ - $7,160
  5. Randolph, NJ - $7,105

The Top 5 Most Affordable Counties in New Jersey for Memory Care based on Monthly Median Fee:

  1. Cumberland County - $5,050         
  2. Atlantic County - $5,490
  3. Cape May County - $5,695
  4. Camden County - $5,820
  5. Warren County - $5,820

The Top 5 Most Expensive Counties in New Jersey for Alzheimer’s Care:

  1. Morris County - $7,035
  2. Somerset County - $7,030
  3. Bergen County - $6,880
  4. Monmouth County - $6,645         
  5. Middlesex County - $6,495

New Jersey Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care - Services

What makes dementia care in New Jersey so expensive? Its combination of beautifully furnished and exceptionally clean facilities, along with high quality healthcare and dementia trained caregivers make the state one of the most sought after in the nation. Demand is high in a state of 9 million residents that do not have too much more room to spread out, and live outside New York City, Boston or Philadelphia.

The way caregivers treat residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is rapidly shifting as researchers get a better idea of the cognitive disabilities. It is not unusual, especially in the progressive treatment facilities in New Jersey for Alzheimer’s and dementia, to provide an extremely diverse treatment plan. These treatments may target:

  • Meaningful activities that stimulate brain functions
  • Engagement in social settings to promote cognitive support
  • Light physical exercise that strengthens walking and balance
  • Other forms of non-pharmaceutical intervention

It is not that dementia care facilities in New Jersey are completely abandoning traditional medications to treat Alzheimer’s, as the two often go hand-in-hand, but they are finding more natural remedies.

High staff to resident ratios is another progressive method that is being introduced to NJ memory care communities as a beneficial form of treatment. Studies have found that when the enrollment of residents is lowered, and more staff is hired, the opportunity to provide personalized, highly friendly treatment can contribute to better critical thinking and memory for residents with dementia. Furthermore, smaller memory care communities create less of an opportunity for a new resident to get confused or overwhelmed by too many people.

New Jersey Memory Care Regulations

Memory care can be provided in many different types of assisted living facilities, which in New Jersey are referred to as assisted living residences. These are all regulated under the same general set of rules, which are summarized below.

Licensing

Assisted living residences are all licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services. Licensing is provided to 3 different types of facilities: assisted living residences, comprehensive personal care homes, and assisted living programs.

Facilities must be inspected in order to receive their licensing. After initial licensing, facilities are inspected again at least every 2 years with the possibility of random inspections at any time if it’s deemed appropriate by the licensing authorities.

You can check the status of a facility’s license in the searchable database here.

General Regulations

All assisted living facilities that offer memory care must make available a public disclosure that includes information about:

  • Program policies
  • Admission, transfer, and discharge criteria
  • Credentials of staff who are providing direct care to residents
  • Activities available specifically for residents with dementia
  • Safety policies
  • Security monitoring systems used on the premises, if any

Residents who are accepted for admission into a facility must sign a resident agreement with the facility representatives. Any potential residents must be interviewed by the facility’s administrator. If the resident wishes, a family member, guardian, or other person may attend this interview. During the interview, residents must be informed about facility policies, hours, fees, admission criteria, and services offered. They will also be informed about their rights and responsibilities as residents.

After the admission interview, an agreement is signed that reiterates this information and details the responsibilities of both parties to the agreement. Facilities must also detail the public assistance programs accepted at the facility, including waiver programs.

Once someone is admitted to a facility, they must undergo an assessment within 30 days that provides an overview of their current mental and physical health. This assessment is done by the individual’s healthcare provider. Within 14 days of admission, the facility’s nurse will also conduct an assessment. From these assessments, facilities must record a resident’s healthcare needs, including the nursing care they need and their preferences for personal care. Service plans must be updated regularly, at least quarterly, or whenever the resident’s condition changes significantly. If a service the resident requests or refuses may cause harm to themselves, others, or the facility, a managed risk agreement may be required.

Facility Regulations

Facility requirements vary based on the type of facility licensed. Assisted living residences licensed from 1993 and onwards must provide an apartment for all residents that includes a full bathroom, kitchenette, and a lockable entrance door. Apartments can be occupied by a maximum of 2 residents. Outside of resident units, a suitable number of toilet facilities must be offered for residents, staff, and visitors in common areas.

Comprehensive personal care homes may provide residents with apartments or residential units. Units may house a maximum of 2 residents and must have lockable entrance doors. Residential units are not required to have private bathrooms or kitchenettes for residents.

Assisted living programs, which are licensed to service providers, do not have any specific facility requirements as they are offered in a variety of locations. Programs that accept public financing must meet the standards required by these programs, and all facilities where services are offered must adhere to relevant building codes.

Staffing Regulations

In all assisted living facilities, there must be at least one staff member awake on the premises. While no specific staff to resident ratios are provided in state laws, facilities must always employ enough licensed and unlicensed staff members to care for resident needs as outlined in their service plans. Facilities must accommodate all scheduled needs and account for the possibility of reasonable unscheduled needs that residents may have during the day or overnight.

All facilities must employ certain staff to run the facility. This includes a full-time administrator for facilities with 60 or more beds or a part-time administrator for any facilities with fewer than 60 beds. While a registered nurse is not required to be employed by the facility, there must be at minimum a contractual agreement where a registered nurse is available on call at all times. Policies must be in place to keep a minimum of 1 person on duty and awake every day at facilities where licensed assisted living programs are offered.

Along with these positions, assisted living facilities must designate a food service coordinator who is either a dietician or receives regularly scheduled consultations from a dietician. A pharmacist must also be designated. Personal care assistants must be employed to care for residents. These assistants should be certified nurse aides, certified homemaker home health aides, or individuals who have passed a training course for personal care assistants.

Administrators at memory care facilities must go through a minimum of 30 hours of continuous education every 3 years, including training specific to caring for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory impairments. This training should match specifications from the Department of Health and Senior Services.

Personal care aides must go through orientation training and a minimum of 20 hours of continuous education every 2 years. Medication aides should have a minimum of 10 extra hours of continuous education every 2 years related to their specific role in the facility.

New Jersey Medicaid Memory Care Programs

Medicaid in New Jersey does not cover memory care directly under the regular plan. However, Medicaid waivers are available to help low-income individuals cover some of the costs of memory care.

Managed Long Term Services and Supports

Part of the Medicaid waiver program, the Managed Long Term Services and Supports program helps to cover costs associated with care at home or in a community setting such as assisted living. While this program does not go towards room and board costs, it can be applied to transportation, personal care, respite care, medial care, and other services.

Eligibility for Medicaid in New Jersey

Applicants for Medicaid in New Jersey must be legal US residents and residents of the state. They should be 65 years or older, unless specified otherwise by the waiver program itself, and must be in need of nursing home levels of care.

Medicaid also requires applicants to be low-income. Here is a summary of the 2023 definition of low-income for the purposes of Medicaid:

  • Individuals must have an income that does not exceed $2,742 per month with no more than $2,000 in countable assets
  • If a married couple are both applying for waiver coverage together, they must both meet the individual income standards separate from one another, but they cannot have a combined total of more than $3,000 in countable assets
  • A married person who is applying for coverage without their spouse must meet the individual income and assets standards. However, their spouse may not have more than $148,620 in assets

Admissions Requirements for Memory Care in New Jersey

The purpose of assisted living facilities is to provide a caring environment for individuals who need regular support in order to live outside of a nursing home. Memory care facilities may admit and retain residents who need support with many daily activities, but may not admit or retain residents in need of continuous care from skilled nurses, such as those who cannot interact with their environment or those who are in a vegetative state.

Certain types of assisted living facilities, including assisted living residences and comprehensive personal care homes, can admit residents who are terminally ill or are receiving hospice care if it’s deemed that they cannot get appropriate care in their home environment.

Entertainment Options in New Jersey Memory Care Facilities

Residents in memory care facilities in New Jersey are often provided with a range of opportunities for entertainment and socialization. Some entertainment is provided by the facility itself, but residents are also presented with opportunities to engage in their favorite pastimes, receive visitors, and continue with hobbies or activities they love to do on their own.

Group Activities

Memory care facilities emphasize social connectedness and interactions with others, so they often organize regular group recreational activities. These activities help to keep residents more engaged with those around them.

Individual Activities

To allow residents to have as much autonomy as possible, many memory care facilities are set up to allow residents to participate in their own individual activities of their choice, with supervision if required. A big focus on individual activities is to retain memory and motor skills so residents can preserve independence.

Free Spaces and Common Areas

Even if residents are not participating in a specific activity, there should always be space for them to do as they please. Many facilities have both common areas and private spaces for residents to engage in their own hobbies, visit others, and enjoy themselves.

Common Questions About Memory Care in New Jersey

What is memory care, and why is it important in New Jersey?

Memory care in New Jersey is a specialized form of senior living designed for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. It's essential because it provides a safe and supportive environment, specialized care, and programs tailored to the unique needs of residents in cities like Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton.

How do I know if my loved one needs memory care in New Jersey?

Signs that may indicate a need for memory care in New Jersey include memory loss, confusion, wandering, and difficulty with daily tasks. Consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough assessment. Communities in cities like Edison, Camden, Elizabeth, and Atlantic City have experienced staff to help determine the appropriate level of care.

What services are typically offered in memory care facilities in New Jersey?

Memory care facilities in New Jersey provide services such as 24/7 supervision, cognitive therapies, medication management, and personalized care plans. They also offer activities that stimulate memory and promote engagement. Cities like Camden, Elizabeth, Vineland, and Edison have facilities equipped to address the unique needs of memory care residents.

What is the cost of memory care in New Jersey, and are there financial assistance options?

The cost of memory care in New Jersey varies but is generally higher than other forms of senior care due to specialized services. On average, it can range from $5,000 to $8,000 per month. Financial assistance options include Medicaid, which may cover some costs, and veterans' benefits for eligible individuals in cities like Paterson, Trenton, Atlantic City, and Edison.

What safety measures are in place in memory care facilities in New Jersey?

Memory care facilities in New Jersey prioritize safety with features like secure entry points, surveillance systems, and trained staff who are experienced in managing challenging behaviors associated with dementia. Communities in cities like Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton are designed to prevent wandering and provide a secure environment for residents.

Can residents in memory care facilities in New Jersey have visitors?

Yes, residents in memory care facilities in New Jersey can have visitors. However, due to the specialized nature of memory care, it's advisable to check with the facility about visitation policies and guidelines. Most communities in cities like Edison, Camden, Elizabeth, and Atlantic City welcome family and friends while ensuring residents' safety and comfort.

Are memory care facilities in New Jersey licensed and regulated?

Yes, memory care facilities in New Jersey are licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Department of Health. They must adhere to specific standards and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of residents in cities like Vineland, Edison, Camden, and Elizabeth. Prospective residents and their families can inquire about a facility's compliance with state regulations during the selection process.

What is the staff-to-resident ratio in memory care facilities in New Jersey?

The staff-to-resident ratio in memory care facilities in New Jersey varies but is generally higher than other senior care settings to provide personalized attention. On average, you can expect a ratio of 1:5 to 1:8 staff members to residents. This ensures that residents receive the specialized care they need in cities like Paterson, Trenton, Atlantic City, and Edison.

Can residents in memory care facilities in New Jersey bring personal belongings?

Yes, residents in memory care facilities in New Jersey can bring personal belongings to create a familiar and comfortable living environment. Most communities in cities like Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton encourage residents to bring items like photos, mementos, and furniture to help them feel at home and reduce anxiety associated with memory loss.

How do I choose the right memory care facility in New Jersey?

Choosing the right memory care facility in New Jersey involves thorough research and consideration. Start by identifying your loved one's specific needs and preferences. Visit multiple facilities, ask questions, and tour the premises. Consider factors like location, staff expertise, safety measures, and the overall atmosphere. Communities in cities like Edison, Camden, Elizabeth, and Atlantic City offer diverse options to explore.

What is the difference between memory care and assisted living in New Jersey?

Memory care in New Jersey is specifically designed for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, offering specialized care and secure environments. Assisted living provides support with daily activities but may not have the same level of expertise in dementia care. Both options are available in cities like Paterson, Trenton, Atlantic City, and Edison, catering to different care needs.

Are memory care facilities in New Jersey equipped to handle medical emergencies?

Yes, memory care facilities in New Jersey have protocols in place to handle medical emergencies. They typically have trained staff who can respond to emergencies and coordinate with healthcare professionals when necessary. Cities like Camden, Elizabeth, Vineland, and Edison prioritize residents' safety and well-being in all situations.

How can I find memory care facilities with transportation services in New Jersey?

To find memory care facilities with transportation services in New Jersey, you can contact communities in cities like Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton. Many facilities offer transportation for medical appointments and outings to ensure residents can access essential services and enjoy a fulfilling life.

Are there support groups for families of memory care residents in New Jersey?

Yes, there are support groups for families of memory care residents in New Jersey. These groups offer emotional support, information, and resources to help families navigate the challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia. You can find support groups in cities like Edison, Camden, Elizabeth, and Atlantic City that provide valuable assistance and guidance.

What is the role of caregivers in memory care facilities in New Jersey?

Caregivers in memory care facilities in New Jersey play a crucial role in providing personalized care, ensuring the safety of residents, and implementing cognitive therapies. They are trained to handle the unique challenges associated with dementia and create a supportive and engaging environment. Communities in cities like Paterson, Trenton, Atlantic City, and Edison prioritize staff training and expertise.

What activities are available for memory care residents in New Jersey?

Memory care residents in New Jersey can participate in activities tailored to their cognitive abilities and interests. These activities may include reminiscence therapy, art and music programs, sensory stimulation, and group exercises. Communities in cities like Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton offer a variety of engaging activities to enhance residents' quality of life.

Can memory care residents in New Jersey go on outings?

Yes, memory care residents in New Jersey can go on outings organized by the facility. These outings are designed to provide residents with opportunities for socialization and stimulation while ensuring their safety and well-being. Cities like Edison, Camden, Elizabeth, and Atlantic City offer a range of outing options to keep residents engaged and connected to the community.

Are there memory care facilities in New Jersey that offer bilingual or multilingual support?

Yes, some memory care facilities in New Jersey offer bilingual or multilingual support to cater to a diverse resident population. These facilities may have staff who can communicate in different languages to ensure effective care and communication. Communities in cities like Paterson, Trenton, Atlantic City, and Edison may provide language assistance as needed.

Can I tour memory care facilities in New Jersey before making a decision?

Yes, you can and should tour memory care facilities in New Jersey before making a decision. Visiting the facility allows you to assess its environment, staff, and overall suitability for your loved one. It's an opportunity to ask questions and gain a better understanding of what the facility offers. Communities in cities like Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Trenton welcome tours and encourage families to visit.

How can I find memory care facilities with a good reputation in New Jersey?

To find memory care facilities with a good reputation in New Jersey, you can start by reading online reviews, asking for recommendations from healthcare professionals, and seeking feedback from current residents' families. Additionally, you can contact organizations that specialize in senior care referrals for information on highly-rated facilities in cities like Edison, Camden, Elizabeth, and Atlantic City.

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 New Jersey:

Assisted Living in New Jersey Senior Apartments in New Jersey Nursing Homes in New Jersey

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