Tampa Alzheimer’s Care
The National Institute of Health reports that an estimated 5 million people in the United States are affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately 500,000 of that total are Florida residents. If you are in any way impacted by this disease, then you know the importance of having quality resources to help you manage care. The National Alzheimer’s Association is one resource that provides support and advocates for patients and families. The Tampa area is served by the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.
Alzheimer’s Facts for Florida and Tampa
According to a 2014 report by the Florida TaxWatch Center for Health and Aging, the population of aging Floridians with Alzheimer’s is expected to increase dramatically, thereby putting a considerable strain on the state’s health care system. This is a nationwide problem as the baby boomer generation ages.
The following facts presented by the Alzheimer’s Association in a 2015 report are pertinent to Florida and echo the need to rethink solutions for Alzheimer’s care:
The number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to increase by 44% by 2025.
Unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers expended 1.2 billion hours of care in 2014.
These hours by unpaid caregivers were valued at over $14.6 billion.
Caregivers had higher health care costs than non-caregivers by a difference of $688 million.
In the face of these staggering statistics, the Florida Gulf Coast Alzheimer’s Association has 8 offices serving this region. At the Tampa area office, caregivers can receive help in the form of consultations, educational programs, support groups and a helpline.
The Fundamentals Of Alzheimer’s Care
When it comes to providing care, there are several options to consider:
In-home care with or without support from a professional trained in Alzheimer’s care.
Senior day care facilities with specific programs for Alzheimer’s clients.
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes with medical support.
Finding quality programs in your area can be difficult at best. Fortunately, resources like local Alzheimer’s organizations and SeniorAdvisor.com can be instrumental in helping caregivers find affordable care in Tampa.
The Cost of Alzheimer’s Care In The Tampa Area
The National Institute of Health reported that health care costs associated with forms of dementia were higher “per person” than any other disease. This translates into higher costs for caregivers. In 2015, Genworth Financial, a Fortune 500 insurance holding company, released a cost of care survey covering Florida. Per the survey, the average annual costs in Tampa ranged from a low of $21,450 for adult day care service to a high of $102,200 for nursing home care in a private room.
How to Pay for Alzheimer’s Care In Tampa
Given the estimated costs, paying for quality Alzheimer’s care can put a strain on any budget as many patients do not have the financial means. Various payment options are available to Tampa area caregivers. It’s a matter of evaluating each option to determine the best way to fund the appropriate level of care.
Personal Funds: Personal monies are frequently used to cover the cost of care. Costs can be managed by choosing in-home care or an adult day care program. These services are on the lower end of the cost spectrum. Many caregivers resort to personal funds when loved ones being cared for have little to no income.
Pensions and Social Security: An Alzheimer’s patient with a solid work history may receive social security benefits or pensions earned from previous employment. These monies can be beneficial in paying for different care options. To make these dollars go further, the caregiver must carefully evaluate the feasibility of each care option.
Long Term Care Insurance: Many working adults purchase long term insurance through an employer. This insurance can also be purchased apart from an employer’s benefit package. While personal funds are used to pay for insurance premiums, a significant portion of patient care costs, from in-home care support to assisted living and nursing home care, is typically covered.
Veterans Benefits: Veterans may be eligible to receive support from the VA Aid and Attendance Program. Under this program, funds may be available in addition to pension benefits to cover the cost of resources needed for Alzheimer’s care. In Tampa, contact the Hillsborough County Veteran’s Services to determine eligibility requirements.
Medicaid: Benefits from Medicaid are an option for managing care costs. Qualified recipients have low income with little to no assets and are unable to pay for long-term care associated with disabilities such as Alzheimer’s. Program benefits vary with each state. To determine eligibility, start here with Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration.
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