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Programs are available to help with elder care costs

The Alzheimer's Association reports that of adults above age 65, one in nine have Alzheimer's. This may be a startling statistic to some in New Jersey, but it brings to the forefront the fact that many people in America will have a loved one develop Alzheimer's at some point in their lives. In addition, many elderly people suffer from dementia, which can affect their memory, personality and ability to reason.

Some people with dementia or Alzheimer's are cared for in an assisted living facility. While this provides the resident with nutritious food, a secured facility and activities, it can cost thousands of dollars monthly.

Some people with dementia or Alzheimer's will be cared for by in-home caregivers. This can help those who want to stay in their home, but are unable to do so safely on their own. An in-home caregiver may provide services such as cleaning, cooking and shopping. They may also help the senior with using the bathroom and bathing. However, this, too, can be costly.

Due to the costs of nursing homes or in-home care, some people decide that they will take care of their loved one on their own. They may have their loved one move in with them, or they may move into a loved one's home. Some state that doing so is like being a parent to their elderly loved one.

There is help for those who choose to care for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's. For example, there is a Medicaid program called "The Home and Community Based Waiver Program," which may help qualifying individuals pay for in-home care. This program is need-based, but it does not have a look-back period. If the person with dementia or Alzheimer's is a veteran, they may be eligible for financial assistance via the "Veterans' Special Monthly Pension." This program also does not have a look-back period, but it is needs-based.

As this shows, there are programs available to help people pay for care-related expenses for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's. Having a loved one develop one of these conditions can be upsetting and stressful, so anything that can relieve the financial burden associated with the care of that loved one can be of great help. An elder law attorney can provide more information on programs that help individuals care for their loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer's.

Source: The News-Enterprise, "Dementia care creates new costs for families," Cynthia T. Griffin, Nov. 5, 2017

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