Nashville Alzheimer’s Care
Five million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease and the Alzheimer’s Association predicts that this number will increase to 16 million by the year 2050. There is no cure yet for this debilitating disease and costs continue to rise.
In 2015, the number of people aged 65 and older with Alzheimer’s in Tennessee hit a staggering 110,000. The state is expected to see a 27.3 percent increase in diagnosed cases by the year 2025.
During this challenging time, support is available to patients and their families and caregivers. The Middle Tennessee Regional Office of the Alzheimer’s Association serves 22 counties through the Nashville office. The chapter provides support, education, and resources.
Nashville is home to 29 top-rated senior living communities, according to SeniorAdvisor.com. The site awarded its 2016 Best of Senior Living Award to three Nashville senior care facilities: Brookdale Belle Meade, Barton House, and Brookdale Green Hills Cumberland.
Alzheimer’s Facts in Nashville and throughout Tennessee
Alzheimer’s disease takes a toll on patients and caregivers physically, mentally, and financially.
More than 140,000 people age 65 and older in Tennessee are expected to be diagnosed with the disease by 2025.
11 percent of senior citizens in Tennessee suffer from the disease.
Tennessee has the sixth highest Alzheimer’s death rate in the country.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the state.
2,536 Tennessee residents died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2012.
The number of Tennessee Alzheimer’s deaths has increased 148 percent in the last 16 years.
In 2014, Alzheimer’s caregivers numbered 422,000 devoting 480 million unpaid hours. This equates to $5.8 trillion of unpaid care.
Alzheimer’s Care Options in Nashville
Finding high quality care is a priority when your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. 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 or skilled nursing facility. In early-stage, the patient is able to function independently and may only need small reminders about daily tasks from a caregiver on occasion. The middle-stage caregiving can last for months or years as dementia progresses. This will require more responsibility from a caregiver, including helping the patient get dressed and meeting the demands of a frustrated patient losing the ability to communicate. The late-stage progression needs intensive 24-hour care as the patient may have trouble eating and swallowing. At this stage, the patient may begin to have difficulty walking.
These care communities are either freestanding or attached to a larger facility, like a hospital. At any of these stages, the patient will need supervision and a comforting routine with familiar surroundings.
Social activities with others 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 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey shows the trending cost increase for Alzheimer’s care in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreeboro-Franklin area. These are the median rates for various types of care:
Home health aides average $18 per hour.
Adult day centers charge an average daily rate of $58.
Assisted living facilities charge a median monthly rate of $3,325 for one bedroom with single occupancy.
A semi-private nursing home room averages $200 per day or $73,000 per year.
A private room in a nursing home averages $230 per day or $83,950 per year.
Paying for Quality Care in Nashville
The actual cost for Alzheimer’s care can vary greatly depending on location and the type of care needed. During the early-stage, many families choose to volunteer their time for a loved one. As the disease progresses, they may be forced to pay for care by accessing their savings accounts or other investments.
The primary insurance for most Tennessee seniors is Medicare. If the patient is eligible, they can combine Medicare with the state’s Medicaid program to cover costs. Retirement benefits like IRAs can be used to help offset the cost of care. The VA Aid and Attendance is available for qualified individuals (and their spouses) that served in the armed forces. This benefit covers personal care either at home or in a skilled nursing or assisted living facility in Nashville.
Before committing to a senior care community or other type of care, research and compare facilities and costs. The local Middle Tennessee Regional Office can provide you with resources to aid in your decision.
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