Providing Alzheimer’s care to a parent or loved one is tough, involving both physical and emotional demands. The financial costs of providing that care can also be high, further adding to the stress involved in taking care of a loved one with this illness.
Last year, about 15.5 million caregivers provided more than 17.7 billion hours of unpaid senior care to Alzheimer’s patients . That care is valued at about $220 billion. Smart financial management can help ease the burden of Alzheimer’s care. With proactive planning and resourcefulness, families can make providing senior care to their loved ones more affordable, reducing the strain it can have on finances and relationships. Here are a few tips:
- Know you’re in for the long haul. Families can spend years providing Alzheimer’s care for their loved ones. On average, families can expect to provide about 10 years of care to Alzheimer’s patients. When making financial plans, families need to keep the expected duration of care in mind.
- There are resources available from local governments and Alzheimer’s organizations to help support families providing Alzheimer’s care. Getting in touch with these organizations can help point families to resources such as social workers, counselors, and day programs providing respite care for families.
- Carefully monitor your loved one’s finances. Older people with Alzheimer’s are susceptible to fraud. Check financial records to ensure that no one is swindling your loved one out of their hard-earned retirement funds.
- Consider home health help. Home health workers can provide invaluable support to families caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. These workers can help their charges with basic tasks like bathing and dressing, with a few medical needs like administering medication, and with other tasks. Home health workers are an inexpensive alternative to residential care, and they can greatly help ease the burden placed on families providing care at home.
- Use a care manager. A care manager can shop around various home health and related services and find the one that best suits your budget and needs.
- Involve other family members. Keeping other family members involved in care can help to share the physical, emotional, and financial burden of providing care.
More than 5 million people in the U.S. are currently living with Alzheimer’s. As a larger percentage of the population lives to advanced age, the number of Alzheimer’s patients will only increase, putting considerable burden on their families. Finding proactive means of managing costs associated with elder care will help keep the act of providing care from financially breaking families.
Always Best Care is a home health and assisted living franchise that helps connect seniors with affordable in-home care, assisted living placement, and home health services. In business for nearly 20 years, the company has helped more than 25,000 seniors find quality care.