The monetary expenditure of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia related disease can be at least three or four times the amount of caring for an average senior adult.
Recently, I received some correspondence from a woman who has been her mother’s primary caregiver for the past five years. She wrote explaining that she has to pay an outside caregiver $22 per hour in order that she could maintain her $13 per hour job. “It’s a little bit’s better than nothing, and it gives me a chance to get some type of respite.”
Most caregivers have to eventually give up their employment completely, bringing on the additional stress of being financially ruined. I understand her dilemma only too well as I had to cut my working hours in half, and eventually completely dedicating myself to my father’s care. In today’s economy, how devastating is that!
Regarding pharmaceutical costs, medications currently available for mort dementia related diseases, which by the way may only ease the symptoms for a short length of time, are exceedingly expensive and have a Medicare D-Plan reaching its limit so fast that you end up falling quickly into a financial hole.
Additional costs may include:
- Hiring home care
- Transforming the home into a safe haven
- Acquiring proper medical equipment
- Earlier admittance into memory care or a nursing home
- Incontinence products
The list is long and goes on. These costs could bankrupt any family.
The incidence of Alzheimer’s alone is rising at an astonishing rate. The mortality rate has now reached an average of 37% per 100,000 here in the United States alone, 18 years ago this number sat at 17%. Experts have released a report that states someone in America will develop the disease every sixty-five seconds. That is almost a person per minute and nearly a half million new cases of Alzheimer’s each year.
The best advice I can offer, once again, is for families to work together. Instead of all the burdensome costs and care falling upon any one person, it needs to be shared throughout all family members. I have found that tragedies tend to bring people together, and that is exactly what category this disease falls into a true tragedy.