Healthcare Watch: Preparing for the price of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s patients and their families should understand what Medicare does and doesn’t cover as a part of long-term financial planning.
March 15, 2013|By Lisa Zamosky

Alayna Tillman’s mother and aunt both have Alzheimer’s disease,… (Ricardo DeAratanha, Los…)
For seniors and their families, Alzheimer’s disease and its hefty price tag are an increasingly scary prospect.

About 5.4 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Because of growing life expectancies and aging baby boomers, that number is expected to triple by 2050.Alayna Tillman’s mother and aunt both have Alzheimer’s disease and live with Tillman, her husband and two sons in Lake View Terrace.

Tillman says Medicare pays for many of the medical costs her mom and aunt incur. But other services, such as home care or adult day care, are left to the family to pay. “Unless you can afford to pay $90 a day for adult day care, there’s nothing for them to do during the day,” she says.

An in-home worker to help her aunt get dressed in the morning costs $50 to $200 a day. “Every penny of her Social Security check goes to the home care agency,” Tillman says.

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