Over 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States and about 350,000 of them live right here in Texas. The number of individuals with this disease is expected to grow exponentially, and by the year 2025, there could be as many as 490,000 people living in Texas with Alzheimer’s. While those numbers can seem devastating, there is some good news. There are plenty of resources to help those living with Alzheimer’s as well as their family members and loved ones. These resources can include physicians, education, caregivers, and other outlets to help everyone involved.
Austin has a large active chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and you can find everything from caregiver support to care options in your neighborhood through their website. Austin is also a great place to find care for your family members with Alzheimer’s Disease. Four of the local Alzheimer’s care communities, Elmcroft of Austin, Silverado Onion Creek, Legacy Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care, and Autumn Leaves of Northwest Austin have all won 2016 Best of Senior Living Award from SeniorAdvisor.com.
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and also the 6th leading cause of death in Texas.
In 2013, over 5,000 people in Texas died from Alzheimer’s disease.
Texans that are 75 to 84 have the highest amount of people with Alzheimer’s at 160,000.
Alzheimer’s cost the nation about $236 billion dollars in 2016.
Every 66 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2015, there were over 1.3 million caregivers in Texas that worked over 1.5 billion unpaid hours.
The value for all of those unpaid hours is over $18 billion.
The Austin Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association helps serve the entire capital and has support groups and resources all over the city to help anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s in any way.
There are a few different ways that you can get care for Alzheimer’s. First, you need to decide whether you or your loved one would be more comfortable at home or if their needs would be better met in an outside facility. In-home care can include home health aides and caretakers that are specially trained to work with Alzheimer’s patients. There are also adult day care centers that can work with seniors that have memory loss problems and help them build their cognitive functions. Memory care centers are also another option and allow those with Alzheimer’s or dementia to get around the clock and intensive care.
The most important thing is to choose a form of care that is best for you or your loved one. You want your family member to feel comfortable with their care in a familiar environment. There should also be an emphasis on minimizing wandering, working on social skills, building cognitive function, and engagement in social activities.
It is no secret that the cost of Alzheimer’s care is high and for 2016 it is well over 220 billion. That number is expected to rise in the coming years, and it also makes it hard to pin down an exact cost for each particular patient. The cost of your care can vary by your location, the type of care you choose, how often you use your care, and how severe the disease is for you.
Right now the national average for a semi-private room in a nursing home stands at $6,844, and a private room will average around $7,698 per month. For the Austin area, those averages are relatively close, with a semi-private room coming in at $5,019 and a private room coming in at $7,026 per month. Remember these are just averages, and you can find places in your area that fit your budget but keep in mind that both of these averages will increase over the years.
Alzheimer’s is a slow disease, which means that you can be looking at years of treatments and care. This can cause financial stress for any family that has to look after a loved one or deals with the disease themselves. While you might be tempted to save money by providing unpaid care yourself for a loved one, there are a few ways you can get the resources you need without draining your bank account.
There are a few ways to get the care you need and reduce the total amount that you pay. In the Austin area, a shared room in a nursing home was $2,007 less than a private room. If you get a roommate in a facility, this will help cut your costs and over the course of a year, you could save well over $24,000. Keep in mind this might not be an option for every patient especially if your loved one doesn’t do well with other people or gets nervous around strangers. Talk with each facility and see what they suggest is best for your family member.
Adult day care centers are another cost-effective form of care. If you need to work during the day and can’t stay with your loved one or afford a care facility, then daycare is a good option. These centers give seniors a place to go during the day, and it is also less expensive than a nursing home.
You can also help cover the costs of care a few different ways. If your relative has long-term care insurance, then there is a good chance that Alzheimer’s care is included in the policy. Double check to make sure and carefully choose care options approved by insurance. You can also talk with the agent to see if there are specialized care options and a way to set up automatic payments, so the policy doesn’t lapse.
Veterans and widows of veterans can use their VA bill to help cover the cost of things like nursing homes or in-home care. You can contact the VA’s regional office to learn more about eligibility requirements and apply for benefits.
Finally, Medicaid helps cover more than half of the nursing home patients in Texas. If you’re a low-income senior without long-term care coverage, this is your best option for covering the cost of your care. There are a few requirements you need to meet to get financial help like limited assets, not including your car or home, as well as an income limit. You can apply for benefits through the My Texas Benefits page and contact any of the numerous agencies throughout Austin if you have any questions or need assistance.
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