Paying for care is a big concern for families as Alzheimer’s progresses for a loved one. Putting financial plans in place as soon as a diagnosis has been made can help secure their financial future.

Understanding the Costs Your Loved One May Face.

To plan for the financial needs over the course of Alzheimer’s disease, consider all the costs your loved one might face now and in the future. Keep in mind that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and the needs will change for your loved one over time.

Discuss the Common Care Costs.

The cost of care will vary depending upon where your loved one lives. On average, the cost of assisted living is $4,774 per month, and a paid nonmedical home health aide is $28.64 per hour. Have a family meeting to consider costs, such as ongoing medical treatment for Alzheimer’s-related symptoms, home safety, medical equipment and medications, or in-home care services.

The Documents You will Need.

Gather and organize your loved one’s financial documents into one place. Carefully review all the documents, even if you are already familiar with them. Financial documents might include their bank information, mortgage papers, insurance policies, medical and durable powers of attorney, monthly bills, or retirement benefits.

Determine Your Loved One’s Needs.

Bringing family together early on to discuss financial needs and goals enables the person with dementia to still understand the issues and to talk about his or her wishes. If other family members are available to help, encourage the sharing of caregiving duties and discuss how finances might be pooled to provide the necessary care for your loved one. Ongoing financial duties to discuss include paying your loved one’s bills, arranging for benefit claims, making investment decisions, and preparing tax returns.

Consider Any Available Resources.

Consider all the private and government financial resources that are available to your loved one when planning for their care costs. These resources include Medicare, disability or life insurance and long-term care insurance, which is usually not available for purchase after symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear. Other resources include any Supplemental Security Income, Veterans’ Benefits, community support groups, tax credits, or their personal savings and assets.

Get Professional Assistance.

Financial and estate planning attorneys can help identify potential financial resources, tax deductions, and analyze your loved one’s investment portfolio with long-term care needs in mind. Make sure to ask the financial advisor if he or she is familiar with elder care or long-term care planning.

Bottom Line.

Paying for care is a big concern for families as Alzheimer’s progresses, so start the conversation about finances and future care wishes soon after a diagnosis. Remember that help IS available. The Alzheimer’s Association provides a 24/7 helpline (800-272-3900) that families can call with any questions or concerns they may have.


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