Wichita Alzheimer’s Care
Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 5.3 million seniors living in America. In Kansas, thousands of families have a loved one that has been diagnosed with the disease. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are plenty of resources available to help patients and their families live with the condition. The national Alzheimer’s Association is an organization that strives to raise awareness about the disease and to offer both education and support to those affected.
The Central and Western Kansas chapter of the national Alzheimer’s Association serves the residents of Wichita and its neighboring cities. This area is home to a number of quality respite assistance programs, which offer supervised daytime care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. These programs can be a lifesaver for unpaid caregivers that need to work during the day. Wichita also boasts several full-time Alzheimer’s care communities. Three of these living centers, including Chaucer Estates, the Reflection Ridge Retirement Resort, and Brookdale Tallgrass, were recipients of the SeniorAdvisor.com 2016 Best Senior Living Award.
The Facts about Alzheimer’s in Wichita and Kansas
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the top health concerns among seniors in Kansas, and it is only becoming more prevalent.
An estimated 51,000 Kansas residents over the age of 65 suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in 2015.
The number of Alzheimer’s patients in Kansas is expected to rise from 12% of the 65+ community to over 21% within the next decade.
Alzheimer’s disease was the 6th leading cause of death among Kansas residents in 2012.
In 2014 alone, 150,000 volunteer caregivers in Kansas donated 171 million hours of unpaid time to look after Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
The value of this unpaid Alzheimer’s care in Kansas is estimated to be 2.075 billion U.S. dollars.
The cost of caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients raised the healthcare expenses of unpaid volunteers by $92 million in 2014.
How does Alzheimer’s Care Work?
Alzheimer’s care focuses on keeping patients safe, happy and healthy. Patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia must be monitored with careful supervision by trained caregivers to prevent accidents, injuries, or wandering. Caregivers also have to keep an eye on their patients’ diets and medication schedules.
The comfort of an Alzheimer’s patient is paramount when it comes to quality care. It is best to keep them in a familiar environment with access to plenty of engaging and mentally stimulating activities. Some families choose to care for relatives that suffer from Alzheimer’s in their own homes or to enroll their relative in a day care program designed for adults with cognitive impairments. Full-time care provided by trained personnel is available in Alzheimer’s care communities and in certain nursing homes or retirement communities.
The Rising Costs of Alzheimer’s Care in Wichita
The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise, and so are the costs associated with care. According to the Fiscal Times, in 2015 the overall cost of Alzheimer’s care in the U.S. totaled $226 billion in medical treatments, nursing home care, lost wages of family caregivers, and other related expenses. Individual care costs vary between cities, with care in some locations being more affordable than in others.
In 2015, the estimated median yearly cost for a semi-private room in a U.S. nursing home was $80,300, while the yearly cost for a private room was $91,250. Median care costs for Alzheimer’s patients in Wichita were slightly lower than the national average in 2015. The median yearly cost for a semi-private room was $63,510, while a single room in a Wichita nursing home cost around $70,810 annually.
How to Handle the Costs of Alzheimer’s Care in Wichita
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be expensive. Long-term medical costs can add up fast, and some families struggle financially to provide adequate care without draining their entire savings. To make matters more stressful, adult relatives who fill the role of caregiver may not have the time to hold a regular job. Luckily there are many ways to save money on healthcare costs for Alzheimer’s patients.
Many nursing homes and retirement communities offer residents a choice between living in a single room or living with a roommate in a semi-private room. Doubling up with a roommate can save Wichita nursing home residents over $7300 every year.
Veterans and widows of veterans may be eligible for financial aid when it comes to long-term Alzheimer’s care. The VA Aid & Attendance pension helps veterans to afford quality nursing care. You can contact the Wichita VA regional benefits office to see if you meet the necessary requirements to receive government aid.
Seniors without long-term care coverage or who don’t have adequate funds to support themselves may be eligible to receive financial assistance through Kansas Medicaid. This state program helps low income residents with limited assets to access affordable, quality medical care.
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