Possibly one of the most costly aspects of care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients is the long term care required for a patient living with any dementia related condition. Making long term care plans involves understanding the stage that the patient is in, as well as acknowledging that dementia is progressive and needs will change over time.
Medicare/Disability Insurance: Having access to Medicare and disability insurance like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is extremely valuable in terms of short term and long term care costs. Both benefits have attributes that help those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s and their long-term care needs. When considering long term care planning and the costs associated with it, having Medicare or disability insurance will help make those care decisions easier.
Long Term Care Insurance: Having long term care insurance is a great way to cover the costs associated with a patient’s care throughout the many stages of disease progression. Unfortunately, once an individual is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they aren’t able to apply for long term care coverage. However, if the patient had it before diagnosis, it can be a great asset.
Financial Planners/Advisors: Financial planning and long term care are not the easiest processes. It’s time consuming, and learning nuances can be confusing. Not knowing certain aspects of financial planning can leave a patient without the best care possible. In times like this, it can be helpful to have an outside planner or financial advisor help with the process to avoid any question of dishonesty or self-gain when making decisions for a patient’s finances.
Here are some resources:
- Alzheimer’s Association Legal and Financial Worksheet
- Alzheimer’s Association Financial Planning Resources
- Genworth Financial — Compare long term care costs across the United States
- Home modification information — Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
- Alzheimer’s Association Medicare and Medicaid information
Next up: Long Term Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities: A Comprehensive Guide