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Financial Wellness Month: Tips to help Families Facing Alzheimer’s Plan for Financial Impact

During Financial Wellness Month this January, the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging people to proactively plan for the financial impact of Alzheimer’s – the most expensive disease in the country.

While the costs associated with the disease can be staggering and put a huge economical strain on families, the Association offers tips to help reduce the financial stress and ways to proactively plan for the financial impact of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Some include:

  • Look at retirement planning as a time to think about how to prepare for the need for long-term medical care. After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, your options may be more limited.
  • Conduct an inventory of your financial resources (savings, insurance, retirement benefits, government assistance, VA benefits, etc.). A financial planner or elder care attorney can help.
  • Enhance your understanding of the role and limitations of Medicare, Medicaid and other insurance options. An Alzheimer’s Association report found that nearly two out of three people incorrectly believe that Medicare helps pay for nursing home care, or were unsure whether it did.

Disease-related costs can jeopardize a family’s financial security causing many families and caregivers to make enormous personal and financial sacrifices. The 2020 Alzheimer’s Association “Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures” report found some staggering results:

  • In 2019, the lifetime cost of care for a person living with dementia was $357,297.
  • Average out-of-pocket costs for health care and long-term care services not covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance exceed $10,000 annually.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of care contributors must cut back on their own expenses – including basic necessities like food, transportation and medical care – to afford dementia-related care, while others must draw from their own savings or retirement funds.
  • Nearly two out of three people incorrectly believe that Medicare helps pay for nursing home care, or were unsure whether it does.

This Monday, Jan. 25, the Alzheimer’s Association will host “Caregiver College: Legal and Financial Issues,” a virtual, two-part program, to address these issues in detail. Part 1 will begin at 10 a.m, and Part 2 will begin at 1 p.m.

For additional information on financial planning, visit: alz.org/help-support/i-have-alz/plan-for-your-future/financial_planning

Additionally, if you are interested, I would be happy to arrange interviews with Alzheimer’s Association experts who can discuss the financial toll of Alzheimer’s and dementia further.

 

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