There are 5.4 million people with Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, in the United States. The majority of these people are 75 or older.
Most people are not prepared for the high costs of nursing home care or home care as loved one’s with dementia age. According to a survey released by the Alzheimer’s Association, many relatives and friends are having to take money from their retirement savings, cut back on spending, or having to sell assets to either provide financial support or pay for expenses related to the disease. The average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $80,300 a year and the median cost of a home care aide is $20 per hour.
As the disease progresses, people with dementia need more help with daily activities. These simple activities can include bathing, getting dressed, or eating. The caregiving role often falls on a child or a spouse. About two in five of the over 15 million unpaid caregivers in the country have an income less than $50,000.
About 500 respondents from the over 3,500 interviews done for the Family Impact of Alzheimer’s Survey said they have provided financial aid and/or caregiving to someone with dementia. The majority were family members and the highest expenses were incurred by spouses or partners. They spent over $5,000 per year, on average. It was mostly to cover travel, food, and medical supplies like diapers.
About half of the respondents said they had to cut back on their own spending. About twenty percent said they go to the doctor less often and eleven percent cut back on their children’s educational expenses.
The key to not putting yourself into financial turmoil by taking from your own retirement to cover expenses for a loved one is planning ahead. Medicare does not cover most long-term care costs. It is best to look into things like life insurance and long-term care insurance.
Do you need help determining what type of insurance will be beneficial in your situation?
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