Over 11 million Americans care for family members who have Alzheimer's Disease or another form of dementia — a number that is growing as the population ages. The financial and personal costs of dementia care for a relative can be huge. According to the Alzheimer's Association's 2021 Facts & Figures report, family members and other unpaid caregivers offer about $257 billion worth of care each year.
Learn about the cost of dementia care, the distinctions between different types of care, and how to balance the personal costs and benefits of caring for a loved one with dementia.
According to an AARP survey, nearly 80% of seniors want to stay in their homes long-term. Dementia can make those plans more complicated. If your loved one wishes to age in place, in-home care can assist them in staying secure and engaged.
The cost of Alzheimer's care at home is usually location-dependent, based on your relative's level of need and care aid training. According to Genworth, the average cost of a home health aide in 2020 will be $24 per hour or more than $54,000 per year. The hourly cost varied by area and was between $17.00 and $33.00 in Louisiana and Minnesota. A home health aide who has further training or certification in dementia care can be more expensive.
Determine if the aide has expertise in caring for dementia patients, as this requires a distinct set of skills. Before contacting to screen and employ home care providers, be aware of your loved one's dementia symptoms, care needs, and expectations.
Seniors may encounter mobility issues, disorientation, and wandering as dementia advances. Due to the fact that a fall might result in hospitalization or the need for long-term care, it is critical to take safety precautions in the home — another big dementia care expense.
As dementia progresses, the cost of dementia care for home safety can skyrocket. To prevent wandering, alarms on windows and doors, automatic-off appliances, and mobility assistance such as stairlifts may be necessary. Other frequent alterations include non-slip flooring, walk-in baths or showers, and lever handles.
When families examine the financial costs of dementia care, they rarely include the non-monetary consequences of caregiving. While caring for a loved one who has dementia can be extremely fulfilling, it can also have severe health consequences. According to a survey issued by the National Alliance of Caregiving (NAC), more than one in three dementia caregivers experience substantial emotional stress and one in five experience financial or professional stress.
Dementia caregivers reported increased levels of anxiety and depression, excessive stress, and reduced well-being than non-caregivers, according to a University College London study.
If you're burdened by the emotional toll of caring for a loved one with dementia or are suffering caregiver burnout symptoms, try joining support groups to connect with other caregivers who can understand and reassure you that you're not alone.
Read this article if you wish to know some essential health and wellness tips for seniors.
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.