Feb 17, 2013

Alzheimer's 'epidemic'

"New reports that the number of Alzheimer's cases in the USA will likely triple to 13.8 million by 2050 are raising concerns about the nation's ability to afford care.About 70% of costs for Alzheimer's care are billed to Medicare and Medicaid.​​  Patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia will spend three times more on health care than patients with other types of illnesses, the association says. Medicare patients with Alzheimer's and other dementias spent $43,847 on health care and long-term care services, compared to $13,879 spent by patients without those illnesses, the association said in a 2012 report." USA Today, February 14, 2013

Sobering news.  The article goes on to say that the number of people with Alzheimer's or other types of dementia will increase 500% by 2050.  While this article was about the cost for federally-funded programs, Medicare and Medicaid, we who are caregivers can take the facts to heart as well.  For those of us who do not qualify for government-funded Medicaid, we need to be prepared to spend this money out-of-pocket.   "Many costs associated with Alzheimer's care are not reimbursed. Out-of-pocket costs for a family with a loved one who has dementia were $8,216 compared to $2,500 for patients with other types of conditions, according to a report last week in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia."   Our cost annually is significantly more than that, partly because of the cost of his many prescription drugs, which insurance covers only partially.  We cannot, perhaps, have much impact on what the US government does about the cost of dementia-related illnesses, but we can be stewards of our own financial resources to manage the care needed, and part of that is for us to be realistic about what those costs will be. 

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