Thursday, October 29, 2015

Out-of-pocket Costs of Dementia Leads to Bankruptcy

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According to a U.S study, families might shell out twice as much if they are taking care of a Dementia patient than a loved one suffering from other conditions or illnesses.

It is hard to believe without numbers so here are the costs that Annals of Internal Medicine published. The study revealed that families of dementia patients paid a total of $61, 552 using their savings compared to $34,068 paid by families taking care of patients with no cognitive condition.

Dr. Amy Kelley, lead author of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York has something to say regarding this huge chunk of money that people are spending. According to her, "Many costs related to daily care for patients with dementia are not covered by health insurance, and these care needs, including everything from supervision to bathing and feeding, may span several years."

She spearheaded a study that assessed the financial toll dementia takes on families by analyzing out-of-the-pocket and Medicare spending of 1,700 people who are 70 years old and above who died between 2005-2010.

The result was the same as the study conducted by Annals of Internal Medicine. The families paid a total of 287,000 for dementia patients, $175,000 for heart disease, $173,000 for cancer and $197,000 for people who died due to other causes.

With this amount of money, families struggle to keep up with the cost. These studies highlighted the financial burden that end-of-life care for dementia patients that is repeating in multiple generations.

There are other factors why families are losing money by taking care of dementia patients. According to Dr. Mark Lachs, an expert in aging and finances at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, these families believe that Medicare will cover the long term care expenses. The truth is, it will not.


He recommends getting an insurance for long term care that will help families avoid bankruptcy due to the high cost of end-of-life care of dementia patients.

Visit http://www.altcp.org/costs-ways-to-pay/cost-of-care to know more about the average cost of long term care.

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