Fort Worth Alzheimer’s Care

Over 340,000 Texans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The number of diagnosed cases is growing every year. Experts predict an increase of one new case every 33 seconds by the year 2050. As family members take on roles as caregivers, raising awareness about care options is crucial.

The North Central Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association serves the Fort Worth area, including 40 counties. It offers a myriad of support groups aimed at education, including early-stage support for patients and their caregivers. A six month program called REACH II is offered to caregivers free of charge. The caregiver meets with a dementia care specialist to focus on managing such issues as depression, self care, health, safety, social support, and problem behaviors.

The Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch is a user-friendly clinical trial matching service. You can create a profile and the site will match you with clinical studies in the Fort Worth area or in other parts of the State of Texas. The site is updated frequently and includes more than 260 clinical studies at over 700 trial sites across the country.

Alzheimer’s Facts for Patients in Fort Worth, Texas

The facts regarding Alzheimer’s disease in Fort Worth and in the State of Texas are not to be taken lightly.

Texas ranks fourth in the number of Alzheimer’s disease cases in the United States.

The state ranks second in the number of Alzheimer’s deaths in the country.

As of 2015, a new person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 1.3 million unpaid caregivers in Texas devoted time to 340,000 patients in 2014. Most of these caregivers are friends and family. This amount of time equates to 1.5 billion hours of unpaid care. The cost for this type of care in Texas is $18.5 billion.

What Alzheimer’s Care Entails

Alzheimer’s care is for those patients in early, middle, or late-stage progression. The care can be in-home, adult day centers, or residential care in a facility. In early-stage, the patient is able to function independently and may only need small reminders about tasks from a caregiver. The middle-stage caregiving can last up to several years as dementia progresses. This will require more responsibility from a caregiver, including helping the patient get dressed and meeting the demands of a patient losing the ability to communicate. The late-stage progression requires intensive 24-hour care as the patient may have difficulty eating and swallowing.

These care communities are either attached to a larger facility or are freestanding. At any stage, the patient will need supervision and a comforting routine and surroundings that will feel familiar.

Social activities with other senior citizens will keep the patient engaged and possible delay later stages of dementia. According to a recent review of 15 studies, cognitively stimulating activities improved the scores on memory and thinking tests, “equivalent to about a six to nine month delay in worsening of symptoms.”

The Price of Care in Fort Worth

The 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey reports the median rates for Alzheimer’s care in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area. If the patient is in the early-stage of the disease, homemaker services or home health aides are worthwhile and affordable at an average rate of $19 per hour.

Fort Worth adult day centers charge a median daily rate of $68. Assisted living facilities are higher in cost. A one-bedroom, single occupancy room runs $3,894 per month, while a semi-private room in a nursing home for one year averages $56,940. As the disease progresses, a private room may be a better option, however the cost is higher at $78,475 per year.

A few care facilities in Fort Worth were awarded the “Top Assisted Living Communities in 2013” from SeniorAdvisor.com, including Sunrise of Fort Worth, Emeritus at Tanglewood Oaks, and Bethesda Gardens. Research and compare facilities before committing to one.

Affording Care Costs

Costs will vary based on the location in Texas and the type of care needed in Fort Worth. Families tend to devote unpaid time for caregiving or use funds from savings accounts or IRAs. There are several ways to manage the cost of Alzheimer’s care.

Texas’ Medicaid program and Medicare are common for most senior citizens. These can be combined with the patient’s employee benefits, if the patient is still working during early-stage progression of the disease. Retirement benefits including IRAs and annuities may be an option. Patients (or their spouses) that served in the military, may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance to help pay for personal care whether the patient is living at home or in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living community.