How to Manage the High Cost of Memory Care

How to Manage the High Cost of Memory Care

How to Manage the High Cost of Memory Care

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How to Prepare Yourself for the Rising Cost of Memory Care

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continue to have a monumental impact on society. Today, 6.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and this number is projected to climb to nearly 14 million by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Not only that, but 6.5 million of these people will be at the most severe stage of disease, meaning their treatment needs and costs will be highest.

The increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease has led to the emergence of a new kind of long-term care: memory care. Here’s a closer look at this distinct type of senior living community and how planning ahead can help you pay for memory care should you or someone you love need it in the future.

What is Memory Care?

Today’s seniors have many options when it comes to their living arrangements. Says of what distinguishes memory care from the rest, “Memory care is one of the most specialized types of senior living facilities you’ll find… As with other types of personal care facilities, memory care homes will offer the same assistance with daily life tasks, such as providing meals, dispensing medications, and helping seniors get dressed and bathed each day. Where they differ is in providing additional services and care particular to the needs of patients with memory issues.”

If you’ve provided care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you already know that the needs and challenges associated with the task are manifold. Memory care communities strive to meet the unique concerns in one supportive environment.

Related Blog: Are you a Daughter, or a Caregivier?

The Cost of Memory Care

Alzheimer’s affects individuals, their families, the healthcare industry, and society at large in many ways, including the economy. In 2024, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will cost society approximately $360 billion. Experts predict this figure will rise to a staggering $1.2 trillion by 2050. Given the intense nature of caring for someone with dementia, it’s not surprising that the cost of memory care can initially seem overwhelming. However, there are some things you can do to prepare for the expense of memory care.

Planning for Memory Care

The most important thing is to start planning as far as possible. Unfortunately, many people wait until they’re diagnosed before they start preparing for what life will look like with Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s is a disease of the mind, it can compromise a person’s ability to make sound decisions. Acknowledging the possible need for memory care before a diagnosis can help you ensure that your wants and needs are met if a time comes when you’re unable to make decisions for yourself.

Other ways to pay for memory care include insurance, retirement benefits, and personal savings.  Some long-term care insurance policies cover memory care, although the specific coverage and benefits can vary widely depending on the policy.  Many people use retirement benefits and personal savings and assets to make up the difference.  In general, governmental funding for memory care communities is limited to nursing home settings, not personal care or personal care.

Memory Care Resources

If you’re not sure whether you can afford memory care, a financial advisor, such as a financial planner or estate planning attorney, can offer invaluable counsel. They can help you analyze your financial resources, identify tax deductions, and devise an investment portfolio that addresses long-term care needs.

The cost of memory care increases across the continuum of care. Personal care and personal care memory care are less expensive than nursing homes because skilled nursing provides more services, and residents generally need more care. The average cost of memory care personal care or personal care ranges from $4500 - $10,000 per month. Memory care is more expensive than typical personal care due to its specialized nature but less than a private room in a nursing home.

Lastly, it's important to recognize that the memory care costs aren’t just about where to live but also about how to live: In addition to being built specifically to serve people with dementia and the behavioral issues associated with it, the right memory care community can offer enhanced quality of life to residents—not to mention better peace of mind for their family members. Researching what services and amenities are offered, reading the reviews, confirming whether a particular community takes Medicare and/or your insurance for skilled nursing, and visiting in person can all help you identify the memory care center where your investment will go the furthest.

Episcopal Church Home (ECH) is at the forefront of memory care in Louisville, offering multiple living options. We have two newly renovated memory care households: one providing personal care level services and the other providing skilled nursing. Designed for seniors with early-stage cognitive loss who can still mostly live independently, our personal care with memory support household is a good option for many older adults because it supports optimal independence while affording access to memory care services. As a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), ECH also offers a skilled nursing neighborhood with 24-hour skilled nursing with memory support.

For more information about ECH or to schedule a tour, click here.

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Laura Lamb

Laura Lamb

Laura joined Episcopal Retirement Services in 1994. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Cincinnati and received her Master’s degree in Health Administration from Xavier University. Her thesis on Organizational Design in He... Read More >

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