Alzheimer's or Dementia Diagnosis? See How Planning Can Help You Save

Look Now, Save Later

Eventually, around-the-clock care and support likely will be necessary as dementia progresses. Discussing senior living options early in the process is much easier before that level of care is required — especially for families with loved ones who have dementia. Early planning also ensures that the person living with dementia themselves can be included in decision-making and the plans for their own future care.

It may seem like having a family member provide at-home care would save money, but that isn’t always the case. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are very complex illnesses and require very specialized care and support. Twice as many dementia caregivers report substantial emotional, financial and physical difficulties, as opposed to caregivers for loved ones with other kinds of conditions. The toll of at-home, unpaid caregiving may outweigh the financial cost of senior living.

Many dementia care communities offer robust evidence-based programs that help foster a sense of belonging and purpose, while preserving identity and sense of self in their residents. This level of care is aimed at keeping persons living with dementia as healthy and happy as possible and it can be challenging to replicate this in the home setting.

 

Paying in Stages

Depending on the level of care required, many senior living communities offer different payment options. You shouldn’t have to pay for care that isn’t needed, and becoming familiar - early in the process - with the options your community offers may make for an easier transition to memory care.

Here are just a few examples of services that may be included in memory care communities:

 

●           Private and/or companion suites

●           Licensed 24-hour nursing care

●           Clinical consultations

●           Pharmaceutical consultations

●           Engagement programs, events, and outings

●           Paid utilities and trash removal services

●           24/7 on-site well-trained care associates

●           Routine wellness monitoring

●           Housekeeping, weekly laundry and linen services

●           Nutrition and dining programs

 

If day-to-day activities and chores are becoming harder, especially for someone with dementia who lives alone, look for a community that offers memory care for those in the earlier stages of the disease. It might be a better choice financially.

It’s not just the health of the person living with dementia that is at stake. The day-to-day challenge of dementia also affects the health care costs of caregivers, with a reported $11.4 billion in their own added health costs nationwide.

 

What’s Next?

One of the biggest challenges of organizing finances as a family facing dementia is where to start. There are several resources to get you on your way toward a more successful financial plan.

Depending on your relation and responsibility for the person living with dementia, these resources from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may help:

 

●           Power of Attorney

●           Court-Appointed Guardians

●           Trustees

●           Representative Payees and VA Fiduciaries

 

Planning for a future with Alzheimer’s or another dementia is important for the entire family, but don’t forget to involve your loved one dealing with this disease. Starting this planning early after diagnosis ensures you will be able to include them in the decision-making.

Finances are just part of what families need to start thinking about after a dementia diagnosis. Download our planning checklist or contact one of our senior living advisors. With more than 30+ years of experience in memory care and a deep understanding for unique situations, we’re prepared to help you get started with a financial plan that works for you.

 

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

 

This information is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for tax or financial advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors. 

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