Elderly Care | Professional Care Manager | Caring for Parents with Dementia
Arizona, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, AZ
The cost of caring for loved ones with dementia will double in less than 30 years due to the increasing number of people developing the disease. According to a RAND Corporation study, the average individual cost to pay for care, including lost wages for a family member, is about $41,000 per year. With some living with Alzheimer’s for 20 years before death, that’s over $800,000 worth of care, privately purchased and given by a family member.
These individuals will overwhelm the medical systems and the government programs. Once diagnosed, it is smart to plan proactively before the dementia really gets bad. The study points out that the baby boom generation is not prepared for this massive growth in needed services and families are not prepared for the real cost of caring for a family member with a dementia.
Professional Care Managers, with a care plan, can help the family budget and plan for the cost and burden of care. Families that learn to share the care, give care with training, attend support groups, and have a care manager as a 'elder coach', are able to care longer for their loved ones and without placing them in a long-term care facility.
Here are seven ways a Professional Care Manager can help families early in the disease process plan for cost as well as burden:
- Review available resources. Look at total resources available for care and plan how and when to spend those resources. In some areas, it is best to save some resources to pay for the early months in skilled care before Medicaid starts.
- Determine who will provide the care. Look at family and friends who have committed to assist with the care and plan a system of sharing the care that doesn’t burnout or burden the primary caregiver.
- Utilize community resources. Help the family use community resources such as respite programs and “free systems of companion care” before having to spend dollars on home care.
- Educate families. Teach families on how to communicate in order to reduce stress, adverse behaviors and preserve dignity of the individuals with dementia.
- Modify Homes. Teach families how to retrofit their homes for safety and recommend technology to guard against wandering.
- Systemize the medical needs. Set up systems of medication and medical care attention that secure the best level of care.
- Enable legal and entitlement advice. See that families have legal advice that will allow them to apply for government benefits. Educate the family on all the entitlements and benefits available – they can differ from community to community.