Louisville Alzheimer’s Care
Over 68,000 Kentuckians 65 years old and older live with Alzheimer’s disease. There is no sign of the disease slowing down either. The disease will affect as many as 86,000 senior citizens in Kentucky by 2025. With diagnosed cases rising as much as 26.5 percent in the next decade, communities will need to work together to help Alzheimer’s patients’ families manage their loved ones’ care.
The Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association provide education and services to Louisville and 125 counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana. The support is available to patients and their families, caregivers, and the general community. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the chapter advocates at the state and national levels for research and support services for Kentucky’s Alzheimer’s patients.
Louisville, KY offers a wide range of Alzheimer’s care communities for every stage, including assisted living, continuing care retirement, independent living, and skilled nursing facilities. Four facilities won top-rated positions in SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2016 Best of Senior Living Award: Wesley Manor Retirement Community, Elmcroft of Valley Farms, Atria St. Matthews, and Atria Stony Brook.
Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease in Louisville and Throughout Kentucky
The facts regarding Alzheimer’s in Kentucky is staggering, however the opportunities for managed care are also on the rise.
11 percent of senior citizens in Kentucky are affected with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the state.
In 2012, as many as 1,462 people died from Alzheimer’s.
The incidence of Alzheimer’s related deaths has grown 73 percent since 2000.
As many as 269,000 caregivers donated 3.1 million unpaid hours in 2014. This unpaid care values at $3.7 trillion.
The stress that affects caregivers in Kentucky created higher health costs averaging $1.6 million in 2014.
The Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Related Disorders Advisory Council was created to provide Kentucky families information and education to locate programs.
The Anatomy of Alzheimer’s Care
Alzheimer’s care is available for those patients in early-stage, middle-stage, or late-stage. 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 for many 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 feelings. The late-stage progression needs intensive 24-hour care as the patient may have difficulty eating and swallowing and will need help with personal care.
These care communities are either freestanding or attached to a larger facility. At any stage, the patient will need supervision and a comforting routine and surroundings. As the patient’s disease progresses, dressing and mealtimes are challenging.
Social activities with other senior citizens will keep the patient engaged. 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 Cost of Care in Louisville
The cost of care for Alzheimer’s patients in Louisville and throughout Kentucky is on the rise, as reported by the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. Patients in the early-stages may employ a home health aide at the median rate of $19 per hour. Adult day centers charge an average of $60 per day in the Louisville-Jefferson County area. A one bedroom, single occupancy assisted living facility monthly rate averages $3,583 (average annual rate $42,990).
Nursing homes are a common solution during the late-stage when around-the-clock care is critical. A semi-private room averages $80,118 annually. A private room will cost the family an annual charge of $85,958 on average in Louisville. As the number of new cases increase during the next decade, these averages will rise dramatically.
Managing the Increasing Costs of Care
The actual cost of Alzheimer’s care will vary depending on the patient’s location in Kentucky and the type of care needed. Many families devote unpaid time for caregiving or resort to using money from a savings account. There are several ways to manage the cost of Alzheimer’s care.
For most senior citizens, Medicare or Kentucky’s Medicaid program is the primary insurance and can be combined with a private insurance from an employer, if available. Retirement benefits including IRAs and annuities may be an option. For patients (or their spouses) that served in the military, they 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.
Research the best type of care your loved one needs and compare costs before committing to one.
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