Costs you may face
To plan for financial needs during the course of Alzheimer's disease, you'll need to consider all the costs you might face now and in the future. Keep in mind that Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and the person’s needs will change over time. While medical or other forms of insurance may cover some of these costs, they may not cover all.
Common care costs include:
- Ongoing medical treatment for Alzheimer's-related symptoms, diagnosis and follow-up visits
- Treatment or medical equipment for other medical conditions
- Safety-related expenses, such as home safety modifications or safety services for a person who wanders
- Prescription drugs
- Personal care supplies
- Adult day care services
- In-home care services
- Full-time residential care services
Tip: Care costs will vary depending upon where you live. Have a family meeting to discuss how much future care might cost and to make financial plans. Consider using professional legal and financial advisors for guidance.
Median costs for long-term care services 2021
Long-term care services include home- and community-based services, assisted living and nursing home care.
Source: Genworth. Cost of Care Survey 2020: Median Cost Data Tables. Available at: https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html
- Home care: A paid non-medical home health aide is $24 per hour and $960 per week (assuming 40 hours of care per week).
- Adult day services: $74 per day.
- Assisted living facilities: $4,300 per month or $51,600 per year.
- Private room in a nursing home: $290 per day or $105,850 per year.
- Semi-private room in a nursing home: $255 per day or $93,075 per year.
Documents you'll need
Gather and organize financial documents in one place. Then, carefully review all the documents, even if you're already familiar with them.
Financial documents include:
- Bank and brokerage account information
- Deeds, mortgage papers or ownership statements
- Insurance policies
- Medical and durable powers of attorney
- Monthly or outstanding bills
- Pension and other retirement benefit summaries (including VA benefits, if applicable)
- Rental income paperwork
- Social Security payment information
- Stock and bond certificates
At this point, it may also be helpful to identify which necessary documents are not in place. Professional financial and legal advisors can assist you with this task. You'll also need to learn about the legal documents needed to plan for long-term care.
Determine needs and goals
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Bring family together to talk about putting financial and care plans in place. Discussing financial needs and goals early on enables the person with dementia to still understand the issues and to talk about his or her wishes. If others are available to help, encourage the sharing of caregiving duties. And discuss how finances might be pooled to provide necessary care.
In addition to planning for the cost of care, there are many ongoing financial duties to discuss, including:
- Paying bills
- Arranging for benefit claims
- Making investment decisions
- Preparing tax returns
Help is available
Need additional information about "Managing Someone Else's Money"? Download the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s free, four-part guide.
Consider your resources
Consider all the private and government financial resources that are available to you when planning for care costs.
These may include:
- Insurance, including government insurance programs
- Medicare or a supplemental insurance policy
- Disability insurance from an employer-paid plan or personal policy
- Group employee plan or retiree medical coverage
- Life insurance and long-term care insurance, which is usually not available for purchase after symptoms of Alzheimer's appear
- Government help
- Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for workers under age 65
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans' benefits
- Tax deductions and credits, such as the Household and Dependent Care Credit
- Community support, including low- or no-cost support services, respite care, support groups, transportation and meal delivery
- Retirement benefits
- Personal savings and assets
Get professional assistance
Financial advisors, such as financial planners and estate planning attorneys, are valuable sources of information and assistance. They can help you:
- Identify potential financial resources
- Identify tax deductions
- Analyze your investment portfolio with long-term care needs in mind
When selecting a financial advisor, check qualifications such as:
- Professional credentials
- Work experience
- Educational background
- Membership in professional associations
- Areas of specialty
Make sure to ask the financial advisor if he or she is familiar with elder care or long-term care planning.
Help is available
Do you need assistance locating a financial advisor? Start with these resources:
- Talk about finances and future care wishes soon after a diagnosis.
- Organize and review important documents.
- Get help from well-qualified financial and legal advisors.
- Estimate possible costs for the entire disease process.
- Look at all of your insurance options.
- Consider work-related salary/benefits and personal property as potential income.
- Find out for which government programs you are eligible.
- Learn about income tax breaks for which you may qualify.
- Explore financial assistance you can personally provide.
- Take advantage of low-cost and free community services.