Minneapolis Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, and thousands of families are affected by the diagnosis each year in Minnesota. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with the disease, you are in good company. In 2015, there were over 89,000 adults over the age of 65 diagnosed with the disease, and that number is growing. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that 99,000 adults will be impacted by this disease in the next five years, and that number will grow to 120,000 over the next ten years.

While those statistics are not encouraging, there is good news. Advocacy for the disease has led to funding and research providing greater resources for diagnosed patients, their families, caregivers and physicians to help manage the disease.

Families in Minneapolis have access to the Minnesota/North Dakota chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The chapter provides resources to learn more about the disease, connect with other affected families in the area, and discover how to be more involved in the advocacy for Alzheimer’s.

The Minneapolis Alzheimer’s community offers living options with over three dozen Alzheimer’s care communities, including top rated properties on SeniorAdvisor.com: Mainstreet Lodge, Presbyterian Homes of Blooming, and Epiphany.

Facts on Alzheimer’s in Minnesota and in Minneapolis:

Alzheimer’s disease is a significant health issue that impacts the quality of life for seniors across the country.

In a 2015 report, 11% of adults over 65 in Minnesota were living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s was 6th on the list of common causes of death in Minnesota in 2012.

In 2014, 248,000 unpaid caregivers in Minnesota spent 282 million hours of their time devoted to caring for a loved one, family member, or friend with Alzheimer’s.

That time added up to $3.43 billion in unpaid caregiving costs in Minnesota.

Caregiving is stressful. The health of those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s was impacted and resulted in an additional $167 million in health care costs.

The Minnesota/North Dakota Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association had more than 40,100 local residents participate in their programs in 2015. These programs included care consultation, education for the community and professionals, support groups, and early-stage engagement programs.

The local chapter was instrumental in supporting and obtaining the passage of the Alzheimer’s Research and Support Act that grants appropriations for both research and caregiver support for the disease.

What defines Alzheimer’s care?

There are three types of Alzheimer’s care. Depending on the needs of the diagnosed, it can take place in the home by a trained and certified provider, in a day care setting specifically designed for seniors with Alzheimer’s, or in a residential living facility that specializes in Alzheimer’s or memory care. Care communities can be within a larger skilled nursing complex or may be freestanding and specific to Alzheimer’s.

Regardless of the right type of care for you or your loved one, be sure to look for options that are comfortable and familiar, and have a vigilant staff to ensure the safety of the participant. The staff should be friendly and approachable as Alzheimer’s patients may need assistance throughout the day with activities of daily living, and at mealtimes. The best care will also offer social activities to help seniors stay aware of their surroundings and keep their spirits high.

What does Alzheimer’s care cost in the Minneapolis area?

Alzheimer’s care is expensive, in fact, it’s making headlines. In January 2016, The Week reported that last year alone Alzheimer’s care costs were over $226 billion, and the article projects them to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2050. Determining the cost for an individual patient can be a bit complex as the cost can vary based on your insurance coverage, geographic location, and the level of care you’re looking for.

According to the Genworth Cost of Care survey, the average cost of nursing home care in Minneapolis for a shared room in 2015 was $6,844 per month. To have a private room, patients paid an average of $7,908 per month. These figures were slightly above the national averages of $6,692 for a shared and $7,604 for a private room.

How to Pay For Alzheimer’s care in Minneapolis

There are many factors to consider when deciding how to pay for Alzheimer’s care. Considering the quality of care is extremely important, as well as the fact that patients can live a long time with the disease. Some families deplete their savings or provide the care themselves in order to help. Before making a decision, explore options for other ways to cover the cost of care and ways to better manage the costs.

Cost Management

One way to manage costs for Alzheimer’s patients who need to live in a nursing home is to have a roommate. According to the data provided by Genworth for the Minneapolis area, private rooms cost over $1,050 per month more than a semi-private room. That savings could add up to nearly $13,000 per year.

Consider a semi-private room as an option if your family member or loved one is open to having a roommate, and doesn’t have any issues with occupying their space with another person.

Caregivers who decide that keeping their loved ones at home have options as well. Adult day programs are popular with dementia patients, allowing caregivers to access respite care and have supervision for their loved ones during the work day. Ebenezer Care Center, the Heartland Adult Day Care, and Millennium Adult Day care are just a few options to choose from. These options cost less than a nursing home or other skilled care, but still give seniors an option outside of the home thus easing the burden on caregivers.

Care Funding

Insurance policies can be a life saver when it comes to funding Alzheimer’s care. Check to see if your loved one has a long-term care policy as it will likely cover their specialized care. Contact the insurance agent or insurance provider to understand what is covered, any limits, and what facilities and types of care may or may not be included.

A VA Aid & Attendance pension may be available for veterans and widows of veterans who served during wartime to assist with skilled nursing care costs. In Minnesota, contact the St. Paul regional benefit’s office for a complete list of eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply. For more information about the A&A program, check out this helpful link.

Medicaid funds the majority of nursing home patients in Minnesota, and it’s the main option for seniors without insurance coverage who can’t afford to pay out of pocket for care. The federal-state program is designed for low-income seniors with limited assets. Know that the primary home and car are not counted as assets when applying for Medicaid. To learn more about Medicaid benefits in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Benefits page or contact an organization like Senior Community Services who work with area seniors to obtain benefits from Medicare.

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