The True Cost of Alzheimer’s Disease

True Cost of Alzheimer’s DiseaseIt is difficult to ignore certain struggles that our nation is facing today; one of which happens to be Alzheimer’s disease. This disease causes dementia over an extended period of time due to damage and shrinkage of the brain. The exact cause of this expensive health issue is still unknown. An estimated 5.1 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease.[1] The patient’s neurons begin to stop working and ultimately die. This is why the brain cells decrease. A potential telltale sign of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is that sometimes people lose their sense of smell long before the actual dementia sets in. Of course, it may just be a harmless sinus infection, so it is important to see a doctor for a complete diagnosis.

According to the Mature MetLife Market Study, it costs an average of $57,000 annually to care for an Alzheimer’s patient at an assisted living facility.[2] That is more than some people make in a year, which explains the financial burden that this can cause families. It is important to consider long term health insurance while you are still healthy, one in three Americans die with some form of dementia. Proactive planning is vital to making a possible difficult time down the road a little easier. The loss of self-awareness in a loved one can be disheartening and traumatic for all parties involved. Living expenses when caring for such a patient can be a large shock.

Besides an assisted living facility, there are other care options to choose from. One such choice is a care home; this is usually a facility that offers services to a small number of residents. Residential care centers can cost hundreds of dollars less per month than a regular facility. With certified caregivers and customized living spaces, these offer a great alternative to those with a smaller budget. Another option is to utilize home healthcare services. Visiting Angels is a well-respected service that allows the person with Alzheimer’s disease to stay in a familiar environment and still get the daily assistance they need.

Guilt is very common among friends and family; especially, when it comes to deciding whether or not to place a loved one in the care of someone outside the immediate family. As the disease progresses, the patient’s own home can be a dangerous and scary place for this individual. People caring for an Alzheimer’s patient know that it is a 24/7 job. Just know that it is okay to share the responsibility of caring for a loved one. Sometimes, it is easier to maintain the emotional bond without struggling with the day-to-day stresses that come with caregiving.

Alzheimer’s may appear suddenly and can put a lot of strain on the individual’s family and friends. Just know that there are millions of other people going through a similar situation. If you have any questions regarding Alzheimer’s or the assistance that you can receive from an agency like Visiting Angels, you can contact them at (239) 561-7600 or (239) 226-1620. Their commitment to caregiving is unparalleled and they will come into your home to evaluate your specific needs.

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