The High Cost of Care for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not only costly diseases to treat, but also devastating for patients and their families. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the cost of care is rapidly rising. In 2018, the total cost of care for persons with dementia was $277 billion. This number is expected to rise to over $1 trillion by 2050. While the cost of dementia and Alzheimer’s care is staggering, it’s important to remember that these figures only represent the financial cost. The human cost – the mental and emotional toll that the disease takes on patients and their loved ones – is incalculable.
According to a study conducted by the Rand Corporation, the total cost of care for a patient with dementia is $287,000 over the course of their lifetime. This includes all direct medical costs as well as indirect costs such as lost productivity at work and informal caregiving. The majority of these costs are borne by patients and their families, rather than by insurance or government programs. Dementia care also places a tremendous strain on caregivers. According to a recent study, caregivers of people with dementia reported higher levels of psychological distress than caregivers of people without dementia. They also had an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. In addition, caregivers often suffer from physical health problems due to the demands of caregiving. All of these factors underscore the importance of providing support for caregivers.
Patients with dementia often need around-the-clock care, which can be extremely costly. In-home caregivers can cost $20 per hour or more, while nursing home care can cost over $100 per day. Many patients require both types of care as their disease progresses. Patients with dementia also have a higher risk of hospitalization and require more frequent doctor’s visits. All of these factors contribute to the high cost of care for persons with dementia. There are a few ways to begin offsetting this cost, but above all addressing this major dilemma requires taking as proactive an approach as possible.
The cost of caring for a patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is high, but the human toll is even greater. These diseases are devastating for patients and their families. If you are caring for someone with dementia, know that you are not alone and there are resources available to help you.
About Isaac Health
Isaac Health is a specialized online memory health service that arranges for patients to meet with a telehealth clinician who can diagnose and treat memory loss, Alzheimer’s dementia, and other related conditions. Isaac Health provides medical care and cognitive therapy for patients in New York, Florida, and North Carolina who are concerned about symptoms of dementia.
For more information or If you’d like to understand whether you or a loved one may benefit from new Alzheimer’s disease treatments, schedule a free no-obligation discovery consultation with a member of the Isaac Health team.