The number of US adults age 65 or older who have dementia is expected to grow, raising concerns about the demands on family members and other unpaid caregivers. This study uses the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and its companion National Study of Caregiving to examine the role of dementia in caregiving for older adults who live in settings other than nursing homes. Although 10 percent of older adults have dementia, their caregivers account for one third of all family and unpaid caregivers and for 41 percent of all hours these caregivers provide to older adults. Regardless of their dementia status, most older adults receiving help in community and residential care settings other than nursing homes rely on family or unpaid caregivers. Caregiving is most intense, however, for those caring for persons with dementia, and particularly for spouses, children, and those who live with the care recipient.
I just read the above report and am not sure how they say only 10% of older adults have dementia when the Alzheimer’s Association says that by 65, one in eight has it and by 85 it is one in two.
In any case, caring for someone with dementia is the most difficult caregiving there is. There may be no reasoning with the person if they are unable to reason. Thus random and odd behaviors may become the norm and can be very frustrating. As dementia progresses, it can be very difficult to grieve the loss of the person who is sitting right in front of you, but is not really there.
Bathing can be especially stressful as many Alzheimer’s patients do not want to get into the water. They may not even know what the various fixtures in the bathroom are used for.
It is admirable to want to provide the care yourself and keep your loved one at home, but in many cases it becomes impossible. That is when many people find out what it costs to have someone in a Long-Term Care facility.
If the bulk of the savings is in an IRA or 401k account, the income taxes must be budgeted for in addition to the expense of care, and money can go more quickly than one might imagine. That is why it is so important to plan ahead for LTC when a person is still healthy.
You cannot purchase life insurance when significant health problems exist and are on record. It is the same for LTC insurance, It must be purchased when healthy. People often cancel life insurance when it is no longer needed, which reduces the cost of life insurance policies. LTC insurance can pay out huge sums over the years, preventing you from financial ruin and giving you choices and options for your care, but they are not cheap.
It is appropriate to consider that when someone needs LTC, there will be less travel, vehicles, toys, etc., meaning that more of the available cash flow can go towards care than you might imagine. Even without touching the principal of your savings, the interest can also contribute towards the cost of care.
Most people find that when things like this are taken into consideration, less LTC insurance is needed, and the cost is less than feared. It is important to consult with an expert on LTC financing, so that nothing is overlooked. More help is available at www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com