What Does It Really Cost for a Patient With Dementia?

Without proper planning, the individual with dementia and their family may struggle to cover the costs associated with their care and may face financial stress and uncertainty.
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It’s important to plan for dementia financially.

Newsbreak’s recent article entitled “Financial Costs and Planning for Dementia and Alzheimer’s” says that financial planning for dementia should consider the following:

  • The patient’s current financial situation
  • Their future care needs; and
  • The potential impact of the disease on their ability to manage their finances.

This entails creating a budget, seeking government benefits, and creating a plan for managing assets and liabilities.

Planning allows those with dementia and their families to be certain they have the resources they need to cover the costs of care and maintain their quality of life. They can also reduce the stress and uncertainty that often comes with dementia and have peace of mind knowing their financial future is secure.

Here are some examples of free financial planning and how it can be accessed for dementia finance decisions:

  • Community centers and senior centers that have workshops and classes on financial planning
  • Online forums and discussion groups that provide support and information for those affected by dementia; and
  • Religious organizations and charities that aid those in need.

Here are some paid options:

  • Elder law attorneys who can help create a comprehensive plan for the future
  • Professional fiduciary services that provide support with financial and legal decision-making
  • Investment advisors to help with managing assets and creating a financial plan for the future
  • Tax professionals who can help with implications and government benefits; and
  • Geriatric care coordinators who can provide support and assistance with long-term care planning.

The costs associated with dementia can be substantial and can include:

  • Medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits, medications, and any necessary medical procedures.
  • Long-term care, including the cost of assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or in-home care.
  • Home modifications, such as the cost of adapting the home to meet the needs of the individual with dementia.
  • Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and other necessary errands.
  • Personal care items, like incontinence products, special diets, and other necessary items.
  • Respite care, which can be the cost of temporary care for the individual with dementia, so that their primary caregiver can take a break.
  • Legal and financial planning. The expense of an attorney to help with estate planning and navigating government benefits.

These expenses can tally quickly, especially over the course of the whole run of the disease. They can have a major effect on the person with dementia and their family.

It’s important to plan ahead and seek guidance from professionals, such as an elder law attorney to be sure the best decisions are made for the future of your family and for your loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Elder law attorneys specialize in legal and financial issues affecting older adults, including estate planning and government benefits for those with dementia.

Reference: Newsbreak (Feb. 12, 2023) “Financial Costs and Planning for Dementia and Alzheimer’s”

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