You want only the best care for your loved one with Alzheimer’s but it can be expensive. Here are tips for how you can manage the cost of Alzheimer’s Care.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, in that the amount and quality of care increases as the disease worsens. This means that not only is Alzheimer’s an emotionally challenging disease, but a financial one too.
The reality is that the cost of Alzheimer’s care in the form of assisted living and memory care increases as the years go by. Ultimately, this makes adequate Alzheimer’s care unattainable for many.
But with some smart financial planning, your loved one can receive the care they’re owed. Here are 8 ways to plan for their financial future with Alzheimer’s…
Smart Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Care
When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they could either be in the beginning or middle stages of the disease. Due to the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s, this means a person could live with the disease for many years to come.
Basically, this means that ongoing Alzheimer’s care falls onto the shoulders of a spouse, children or nearby relatives- as well as the financial strain.
In order to ensure a loved one receives the best possible care for this debilitating disease, financial planning is paramount.
Here are 8 important steps to take to help you financially prepare for the journey that is Alzheimer’s care…
1. Call a Family Meeting
Once a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a family meeting should be first on the agenda. During this family meeting, you should discuss the responsibility of care and how it will be shared amongst the family.
Initially, your loved one may not require much hands-on care. However, as the disease progresses, financial strain is a reality without preparation.
It may be wise to consult a professional such as a legal or financial advisor to assist with your planning.
Openly discussing the financial needs and goals for a loved one’s care enables them to understand future issues and make their wishes known. It also allows them the chance to contribute towards financial planning, helping them to feel less like a burden.
If family members can contribute towards Alzheimer’s care, discuss how funds and resources can be pooled. Establish an understanding of who is prepared to contribute and how much they can.
2. Establish a Financial Game Plan
Setting up a financial game plan as soon as possible after the initial diagnosis will stand you in good stead.
As mentioned, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that can span a number of years. A financial game plan that reaches into the future is very important.
Consider the costs of future care such as medical bills, medication costs, arranging benefit claims, investment decisions, and submitting tax returns.
3. Plan For Future Expenses
Due to the extended nature of Alzheimer’s it’s important to limit expenses from the beginning, thereby reducing the overall costs of the disease.
The best plan-of-action is to think about what your loved one can still manage on their own, and what they cannot. Establish a financial plan for what they cannot manage and any future developments.
Waiting for something to happen or the condition to worsen is the worst thing you can do. Plan ahead, set money aside and save for those rainy days to come!
4. Pool Family Resources
Pooling your family resources is one of the best ways to manage Alzheimer’s care in the years to come. A loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s is prone to making bad decisions and falling victim to fraud. So taking on the care of their finances is always in their best interest.
If all family members are committed to tackling care finances, you’ll need to designate someone to handle finances. This party then needs an experienced power of attorney to help them manage these funds accordingly.
5. Apply for Medicaid Early On
This best way to maximize the services of Medicaid for Alzheimer’s care is by signing them up 5 years before they actually need assistance.
This is because Medicaid reviews 5 years’ worth of your loved one’s financial records in order to gauge the level of care they qualify for.
If your loved one qualifies in terms of income and assets, Medicaid pays for a portion of nursing home costs for those with Alzheimer’s.
6. Opt For a Medicare Prescription Plan
On the topic of medical cover, you may also want to consider signing your loved one up for a prescription drug Medicare plan. This is known as a Part D Medicare prescription drug plan.
This plan offers cover for diagnostic and medical treatments for Alzheimer’s patients. As well as wellness physical exams, cognitive examination, and geriatric assessment.
7. Consider All Long-Term Care Options
Though the idea of in-home care may appear more affordable, this is not always the case when it comes to long-term care. In some instances, in-home care and a senior living community may rack up the same expenses.
In-home care can be crippling for seniors who have to look after a spouse as well as other family members. Just some of the costs of in-home care include medications, incontinence care, home renovations, a full-time or part-time caregiver and more.
That’s why it’s important to assess and weigh up the costs of all long-term care options. A senior living community may appear expensive at first, but does it really out-weight the financial, emotional and physical costs of in-home care?
8. Assess Life Insurance Policies
It may be worthwhile looking into the clauses of a loved one’s life insurance policy if they have one.
Some life insurance policies include accelerated or living benefits. This means you can draw half or more of the value of the policy for their care.
A policy may also offer a life assurance benefit. This benefit pays directly for long-term care, though at a much lower premium than the value of the policy.
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Aside from Alzheimer’s care, Scotch Naturals offers tips and advice on managing all aspects of your health as you age.
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