Costs Associated with Alzheimer’s Care

Many seniors will eventually need to move to an assisted living facility because they can no longer take care of themselves. It will likely fall on their adult children to identify the signs that indicate it’s time for a change so it’s important they know what to look out for.

Recognizing when a senior would be safer and happier in an assisted living facility doesn’t have to be a traumatic event, and I’d like to help ease some of the stress that comes with this big life change.

I have been writing on this very topic, would you mind to take a look at the article below and let me know if you’d like to share this on your site? In the article, I’ve about what behaviors or factors indicate it’s time to consider the move to assisted living as well as how to have a sensitive and productive conversation about it.

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Wisely Managing the Costs Associated with Alzheimer’s Care 

Tending to the needs of someone with Alzheimer’s is costly in many ways.  It’s expensive in terms of time, energy, emotions and last but far from least, finances.  The financial struggle can be so overwhelming that even though you know things will work out, some days you wonder how you’ll get through.  Here are some words of advice for managing the financial burden that comes along with Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn and plan

When you care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, it doesn’t take long to recognize the financial toll is tremendous.  It’s vital to become educated on the costs of services, available options, and resources for assistance. According to NextAvenue, Alzheimer’s caregivers spend an average of nearly $60,000 per year.  If your loved one should require nursing home care, a private room costs an average of more than $82,000 per year.  If you need to hire an unskilled caregiver, the cost is an average of $21 per hour. Those expenses can add up quickly, so it’s wise to make appropriate plans for your situation.  Also keep in mind costs for care vary widely, sometimes even within the same city. Paying for Senior Care offers an online guide for locating quality, affordable care wherever you live.

Resources and options

First and foremost, you should think about what options pertain specifically to you.  Chances are you have some resources in place you can turn to in order to pay some of the expenses associated with Alzheimer’s care.  You might want to make a list of your potential resources.

Here are some of the options available for covering the costs associated with Alzheimer’s care:

  • Veterans benefits.  The Veterans Administration offers assistance to veterans and surviving spouses.

  • Area Agency on Aging.  Your local Area Agency on Aging can likely connect you with numerous options for offsetting costs, such as transportation to appointments and respite care.

  • Medicare.  As Huffington Post explains, Medicare does not cover long-term care costs but does assist with medical expenses associated with Alzheimer’s care.

  • Medicare supplemental insurance.  These insurance policies help with some of the expenses Medicare doesn’t cover such as coinsurance, deductibles and copayments.

  • Medicaid.  There are strict financial qualifications to receive Medicaid.  For those who qualify, Medicaid provides coverage for services not covered by Medicare, such as expenses associated with long-term care.

  • Disability benefits.  Those who are still employed when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s might be able to take advantage of disability insurance.  When you stop working you can apply for Social Security disability benefits.

  • Health insurance.  If you or your spouse is still working and one of you is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, your health insurance plan through your employer should help cover approved medical expenses.

  • Health savings account (HSA).  An HSA can be used toward health-related expenses, if you have high-deductible health insurance.

  • Long-term care insurance.  Long-term care insurance is specifically designed to cover the costs associated with long-term care.  That means it helps pay for much of what other insurances do not, including custodial care. Usually premiums rise with age and some health conditions can disqualify individuals from coverage.

  • Selling assets.  Many people have some form of assets available to liquidate when a need for long-term care arises.  This could be in the form of investments, pensions, vacation homes, RVs and so on.

  • Life insurance.  Although life insurance doesn’t help cover costs right away, it can provide you with financial relief in the future.  If your loved one has final expense insurance, it can be used to cover funeral costs and medical bills upon death. You might also be able to sell a life insurance policy for a cash payout if you need the money sooner.

Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can often feel overwhelming in more ways than one, but always keep in mind that you do have options for financial assistance.  Start with the above suggestions, and reach out to family for advice and support.