Alzheimer’s disease touches the lives of thousands of people in Nevada, whether someone has the disease or is caring for a loved one. There more than 43,000 people over the age of 55 living with Alzheimer’s. With the rapidly aging population, this number could increase by 48.8 percent to 64,000 by the year 2025. These statistics can be overwhelming, but there are resources and help for the families and patients to help manage this condition.
The Alzheimer’s Association has a local chapter in Reno. The Association provides assistance for the families, patients, and health care providers through education, research, support groups, care consultation, professional training, local referrals, and 24-hour help lines. There are some highly rated facilities on SeniorAdvisor.com that specialize in Alzheimer’s care in the Reno area, including Brookdale Northwest, Brookdale Reno, Stone Valley, Arbors Memory Care, MorningStar of Sparks, and Cascades of Sierra.
More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s in the United States, and as many as 16 million will have the disease by 2050.
The number of Alzheimer’s deaths in Nevada has increased by 211 percent since 2000.
In 2016, approximately 145,000 caregivers gave 1.7 million hours of unpaid hours to assist a family member, friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s care.
The estimated value of this unpaid care is $2.1 billion.
The health costs of care added to the stress of caregivers by costing nearly $83 million in 2016.
The Northern California Alzheimer’s Association Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has raised more than $14 million for national research.
There are more than 150 support groups for Alzheimer’s in Northern California and Northern Nevada.
There are different forms of care available including at-home care with visiting trained medical providers, day care programs, or residential care at a memory care facility or skilled nursing home. Some memory care communities are part of other nursing homes or can have their separate building to focus on cognitive diseases.
The goal of this care is to provide a soothing and recognizable environment under a watchful eye for Alzheimer’s patients. It’s also important to include activities to keep the seniors in tune with their surroundings. Supervision is crucial to prevent falls and wandering. Alzheimer’s patients also need supervision during the day to ensure that he or she is eating and drinking sufficiently and may require eating assistance.
As the Baby Boomer Generation begins to rapidly age, the costs of Alzheimer’s care is growing just as fast. The Fiscal Times reported that the cost of Alzheimer’s care had surpassed $226 billion in the US. It’s hard to clarify actual cost per patient due to different costs by location and the various types of care. Alzheimer’s care costs are typically included in all skilled nursing care for these surveys if they in the same facility.
Genworth conducted a 2016 Cost of Care Survey and found the national median cost of nursing home care was $6,844 monthly for a semi-private room and $7,698 for a private room. In Reno, the median prices were slightly higher with semi-private rooms averaging $7,969 and private rooms costing an average of $9,155 monthly. By 2026, these costs could rise to $10,710 and $12,304 respectively.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s care is very expensive, and families may take a financial hit due to how long patients can survive with the disease. The family may have to pay out of savings or provide unpaid care just to reduce expenses. There are a few ways you can save money, and these savings will not affect the quality of care for your loved one.
By choosing a semi-private room in a nursing care facility can lessen costs considerably. Based on Genworth’s median figures above for Reno, semi-private rooms cost nearly $1,200 less a month than a private room, which equals savings close to $14,000 a year! However, sharing is only an option if your loved one can handle having another person in the room and the roommate’s visitors. Ask the care centers about their experience with roommates and what their policies are for visitors.
If you want your loved one to live at home, you can save tremendously by providing care. While you are at work or need a break, there are adult day care facilities that provide supervised care and activities. More to Life Adult Day Health Center provides a safe environment for seniors and offers recreational activities to keep seniors active and engaged. Your loved one will also receive care services, a nutritious lunch, wellness monitoring, and medication management. These facilities also offer caregiver support and exercise programs.
Using an adult day program and having your loved one live at home will save a lot of money for care. You will need to consider or provide care for evenings and weekends.
If your loved one has a long-term care insurance policy, it should cover Alzheimer’s care expenses. Talk to your insurance agent about the coverage, limits, exclusions, and gaps in the insurance coverage. You will want to make sure this policy doesn’t lapse, which means paying on time. With all you have on your plate, you may want to consider signing up for automatic bill pay.
For veterans and widows of veterans who served during a time of war, they may be eligible for the VA Aid & Attendance pension to help pay for health care expenses. Contact your local Nevada VA office for more information or to apply for this benefit.
Medicaid covers long term care and is a viable option for patients who do not have long-term care coverage and can’t afford to pay for care on their own. This federal-state program is for low-income seniors with minimal assets. When determining assets, these calculations do not include a person’s car or home for this program. For more information, visit Nevada’s Medicaid site or visit a local Medicaid office.
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