Alzheimer's Disease: Tips for Covering the Cost of Care

With the cost of healthcare rising each year, it’s no wonder that so many people have a hard time paying for the things they need after a diagnosis. For seniors who are living with Alzheimer’s disease, there are so many things to consider; it’s a condition that requires sufferers to look into the future, to think about what kind of care they might need months or even years down the road. Many choose to seek help from a long-term care facility because they don’t want to risk living alone and potentially harming themselves. However, this can be an expensive move, especially if your health insurance policy doesn’t cover the cost of care.

Fortunately, there are some things your loved one can do to minimize the financial end of their care and prepare for the changes that come with an illness. They might consider downsizing their home to save money, or they can search for supplemental insurance that will help them pay for long-term care or medications that would otherwise be out-of-pocket expenses.

Get an Idea of the Cost

It’s imperative that you figure out what the total cost will be of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Factor in medication, home health care services, hospital stays, and the cost of making your loved one’s home safer, which might include helping to prevent wandering if they are easily confused or updating the bathroom so they can shower without fear of injury. Once you have a good idea of what the cost will be, you can start planning with your loved one for the next several months.

Look for the Right Insurance

The right health insurance can help your loved one pay for things that might not be covered under a regular policy; for instance, Medicare is invaluable for most seniors, but basic plans only cover so many days in the hospital or in the care of a long-term nursing facility. Supplemental plans, such as policies from companies like Humana, can help pay for those stays and also help cover prescription medications, dental care, and vision.

Consider Downsizing

If your loved one is in the condition to make big decisions, you might talk to them about downsizing, especially if they own their own home. It can be difficult for Alzheimer’s patients to keep up with the cleaning and maintenance of a home and everything that comes with it, and the bigger the space is, the more at-risk your loved one is for a fall or other injury. Downsizing can be a big job, and finding the right place to move to will take some time unless you know your loved one will live with you. Getting started now will help ensure that your loved one stays safe and comfortable, and it will help them save some money at the same time.

Think About Life Insurance

If your loved one has a life insurance policy, check to see if they’ll be able to pull money from it in order to pay for big medical bills or safety upgrades to their home. Many insurance policies have this feature, but it will affect the final payout when your loved one passes away, so it’s crucial that you both understand all of the details.

Alzheimer’s disease comes with a lot to think about, both for your loved one and for you and your family. You may be worried about how you can help, or you may be feeling anxious about making sure your loved one stays safe following their diagnosis. Remember to take care of yourself during this time too, especially if you’re taking on the role of caregiver. Remember to reduce stress where you can, and ask for help when you need it.

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