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Article written by Scott Sanders:
The Cost of Alzheimer's Disease: Tips for Loved Ones
Covering the costs associated with an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis can quickly become overwhelming, even if there are savings or health insurance benefits. Treatment and medication can get costly very easily, leaving patients struggling to make ends meet when they should be focusing on their health. If your loved one was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to do research and find out all you can about the disease and the costs associated with it. Being well informed is half the battle and will help you stay on top of finances.
The key is to think not only about current needs but future ones as well. Your loved one may require long-term care, which can become very expensive over time -- even with health insurance or Medicare, which may not pay for everything. Thinking and planning ahead will help you and your loved one prepare for any issues that may arise without adding to your stress.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to cover the cost of Alzheimer’s disease.
Find the Right Insurance
There are many different types of insurance, and for those who have serious health issues, final expense insurance can be very beneficial. This can help prevent any problems with paying for your loved one’s final wishes or covering medical bills, which will take some of the pressure off of you or your loved one’s spouse.
Look for Assistance
If your loved one doesn’t have the savings to pay for their care, or if their health insurance won’t cover what they need, it may be time to look elsewhere for assistance. There are several programs that will help individuals pay for treatment and medication, and they all have different requirements, so it’s important to do some research and get informed on the necessary applications and forms. In most cases, your loved one’s doctor will need to fill out some paperwork, so try to be patient during this process.
Think Carefully About Your Role
Some individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease hire a caregiver to help them with daily activities; others ask a close friend or family member to take on this role. Think carefully before committing to the job, as it’s extremely involved and will require a lot of time and physical effort. If you do decide to help out in some capacity, do some research on the best ways to help your loved one with daily activities and allow them to retain their dignity.
Get Familiar with What Medicare Covers
All health insurance plans are different, and Medicare is no exception. It can be confusing to figure out what your loved one’s policy will cover, so do some research and get familiar with what it will pay for. In general, Medicare will pay for inpatient hospital care and medical fees for patients over 65, as well as a limited amount of prescription drugs. It only pays for up to about 100 days of care in a nursing home, however, which is important to note.
The cost of Alzheimer’s disease will vary for each patient, but if you are well-informed and prepared, you and your loved one can plan for their current and future needs without stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed. A serious diagnosis like Alzheimer’s disease can leave the patient and their loved ones feeling depressed, anxious, and stressed, so it’s important not to neglect your needs.