Cost Comparison

Care Cost Comparison

The average person is not aware of costs associated with dementia care or how to determine their effectiveness. The below table gives a general idea of costs related to various models of dementia care, and their advantages and disadvantages. Most care models are limited in their capacity to offer person-centred care over a 24-hour period, based on the ratio of support to residents. The following cost comparisons are from facilities in Richmond Hill.
Memory Lane Home LivingCare Cost per person: $3,600*
Living Costs: $1,200**
Total $4,800/month

*$3,600 is based on a rate of $25/hour for expert care in dementia from a reputable organization. This rate includes insurance/bondability. (non union staff)

**$1,200 includes room rental, food and utilities.

• $4,800 shows that the bulk of the care cost is allocated towards “in-home support” which is: reputable, bondable, and well-trained in dementia home-care. Such services include Mosaic and Bright Star.
• The ratio is 1 paid, dementia-trained support person to 5 women.
• Families and their loved ones have a say in the support services and daily living activities, in an effort to promote person-centred care.
• Volunteers are involved daily to assist in the house and with daily walks and community outings.
Aging at home with dementiaCare cost with family support: $0/month

Care cost if 24-hour support is required: $18,000/month
(based on $25/hr)
No move required.• Caregiver burnout.
• Isolation for both the caregiver and their loved one.
• Day programs are limited with a 6-9 month wait list.
• This cost may be unsustainable at $216,000/year if one needs 24-hour support.
Retirement Home: Assisted LivingAssisted Living Cost : $5,500/month• Guarantees 90 minutes of care a day, which translates to 1 personal support worker (PSW) to 16 residents, during day. At night there is approximately 1 PSW to 32 residents.
• A 16 to 1 ratio in an institutional setting does not represent person-centred care.
• Feelings of isolation can increase when you mix residents affected by dementia with those who do not have dementia.
• In retirement homes, families are responsible for taking loved ones to outside activities. Otherwise, residents are mostly confined to the indoors.
• Retirement homes do not indicate how your payment is allocated. What portion goes to front-line care, medical staff, management, room rental and building maintenance.
Retirement Home: Memory UnitsMemory Unit Cost: $7,000 to $10,000/month• Lower care ratios during day approximately 1 PSW to 8 residents.
• Unit is a lock down, with limited or no access to the outdoors.
• Institutional setting does not always allow for person-centred care.
• Retirement homes do not indicate how your payment is allocated. What portion goes to front-line care, medical staff, management, room rental and building maintenance.
Long Term Care
(the official medical model of care)

Government Portion $7,000/mth
(your tax dollars)

Resident portion $2,600/mth

Extra care (optional) $2,500/mth

Total: $12,100/month
• Care requirements are intense due to physical and mental needs and so there is usually 1 personal support worker (PSW) to 10 residents.
• Typically, residents with dementia are put in a lock down unit with limited stimulation, outings, etc. This tends to increase agitation and sundowners on the unit.
• Large institutional setting does not promote person-centred care.
• High rate of violence. Patient to patient and patient to staff. (Statistics available.)
• Extra care costs can be incurred if you feel your loved one needs extra support.
• This official, medical model of care is expensive and inefficient. Frequently, long term care homes will send residents to hospitals for immediate bladder infection checks and rehydration IVs. Why do long-term care homes not provide these medical services in-house, instead of “clogging up” hospital emergency departments?
• It is common for long term care homes to have “flu outbreaks.” The larger the institution, the harder it is to contain the outbreak. This is very hard on staff and residents.


Comparison of important features in the design of an environment for senior care, and seniors with dementia. These features maximize engagement, calmness and care.8

Comfort care features chosen by focus
caregivers and seniors with dementia
Institutional Settings
Assisted Living and LTC
MemoryLane Home
Living Inc.
MemoryLane Home
Living Advantages
Support the continued use of sensory stimulation (i.e., sunshine, outdoors, music, smell, conversation).Daily, modified per person.
Provide daily access to the outdoors / natural environment.Daily access.
Provide daily access to nature indoors (e.g. plants, natural light, fresh air).
Provide daily opportunities for engagement with spiritual aspects of life.Limited.Daily music and prayers with local church volunteers.
Provide opportunities for social engagement.Limited, based on large numbers attending events.Outings in the community, visitors.
Promote a sense of familiarity and homeyness.Small and cozy.
Provide opportunities to be with family.
Promote calmness.Small, promotes quiet.Small, promotes quiet.
Provide privacy.
Foster dignity.Residents participate in decisions.
Support safety and security.Limited, sometimes too large to manage safety.Small can bring safety based on ability to attend to needs.
Support staff, residents and visitors to find their way around / know where things are.Small environment promotes this.
Enable visual monitoring by staff – via human contact and not through the person being placed in a public area.Small environment promotes this.
Reduce physical stress, e.g., clutter and noise, managing odours and temperature.Small environment promotes this.
Facilitate nursing care (e.g., facilitate bathing, feeding, going to the toilet, moving and handling, assist positioning).Limited, lack of person-centred care.Small environment promotes regular care / person-centred care.