Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Care

More than 5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s, according to the National Institute of Health. In Pennsylvania, approximately 270,000 of that total, age 65 and older, are affected. If you are impacted by this progressive disease or know someone who is, then you realize the importance of the proper resources to help manage long-term care. The National Alzheimer’s Association is a resource that provides support to patients and affected families. Pittsburgh is served by the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter.

Alzheimer’s Facts for Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh

The 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report issued by the Alzheimer’s Association reveals that individuals with Alzheimer’s have more hospital stays in a year than other seniors. This signals a mounting health care issue as the large population of baby boomers age. This report also points out facts specific to Pennsylvania, showing the impact on caregivers:

By the year 2025, the number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to increase by 18.5%.

Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers delivered 765 million hours of unpaid care in 2014.

The total value of this unpaid care is estimated at $9.3 billion.

Caregivers saw higher health care costs than non-caregivers by a difference of $472 million.

Considering these eye-opening statistics, caregivers can count on the support provided by the Pittsburgh Office of the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Alzheimer’s Association. The office serves 13 counties and offers caregivers access to support groups, education, training, and care consultations.

Alzheimer’s Care Basics

Individuals affected by Alzheimer’s can display a range of symptoms. This means that the type and level of care varies with the individual. Caregivers have several different options to consider, when assessing care specific to their loved ones:

In-home care with or without support from a qualified home health aide.

Senior day care facilities that are designed for Alzheimer’s clients.

Assisted living facilities and nursing homes with necessary medical provisions.

Finding the best care option for your situation can be difficult. The Pennsylvania Department on Aging, The Greater Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s organization and resources like SeniorAdvisor.com can help with the identification of viable alternatives.

What it Costs in Pittsburgh To Provide Alzheimer’s Care

Health care costs associated with forms of dementia were higher “per person” than any other disease, according to the National Institute of Health. This means higher costs of care for patients and caregivers. A 2015 cost care survey by Genworth Financial examined the cost of care across the United States, including Pennsylvania and key cities within the state. Per the survey, the average annual costs in Pittsburgh ranged from a low of $15,600 for adult day care service to a high of $110,960 for nursing home care in a private room. The cost of care at a Pittsburgh assisted living facility was more than double the cost of a day care service.

Payment Options for Pittsburgh Caregivers

The costs for providing care for an Alzheimer’s patient are high. Paying for quality care can squeeze any budget. There are payment options worth considering, but the key to managing costs is choosing an option that provides the best care within budget constraints.

Personal Income: Many caregivers use personal income to supplement or cover the cost of care when there are no other options. Costs can be managed by choosing options such as in-home care or adult day care programs. These options are among the lower cost alternatives.

Retirement Funds: An Alzheimer’s patient with an employment history may have retirement benefits. This monthly income can help caregivers manage the cost of care. To make these dollars stretch, the caregiver must decide on the most feasible care options.

Private Insurance: Many working adults purchase long-term care insurance through an employer or private company in anticipation of care needs. Premium payments are an out-of-pocket expense, but the insurance pays a significant portion of patient care costs.

Veterans Benefits: Veterans may be eligible for monetary support from the VA Aid and Attendance Program. Qualifying Veterans receive money added to existing pension benefits that can be used to cover the cost of resources needed for Alzheimer’s care. Start with the Pittsburgh Regional Veterans Benefits office to determine eligibility requirements.

State Medicaid Programs: Medicaid benefits can help cover the costs for Alzheimer’s care. Benefits vary with each state. Typically, qualifying recipients must have expended most all assets and have the inability to pay for the long term care associated with a disability. To determine eligibility requirements, start here with the Pennsylvania Medicaid Program for assistance.


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