Does Medicare Cover Alzheimer’s Care?
It can be difficult to know what is covered by Medicare. You will want to know well in advance so you can make sure everything you need is covered. A common concern is whether Alzheimer’s care is covered. This is important for people to know if their loved one has Alzheimer’s and needs care. Residences at Vantage Point, which provides Alzheimer’s care in Columbia, MD, has shared the most important things to know.
What Is Alzheimer’s Care?
Alzheimer’s care is the care provided to those with Alzheimer’s disease. This care can vary based on a number of factors. These factors may include the person’s needs, stage, and their family situation. This care is meant to provide people with the help they need every day. This care can be medical, custodial, or both.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are several different care options available. These include:
- Adult Day Centers
- In-Home Care
- Residential Care
- Respite Care
- Hospice Care
How to Choose the Right Type of Care for Your Loved One
Each type of care is designed for different situations. It’s best to talk to your loved one’s doctor for guidance. They know what stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in. They may have recommendations that can help you make an informed choice. Your loved one’s doctor will be the most familiar with their needs and their overall progression.
What to Think About When Visiting a Care Facility
If you choose to visit an Alzheimer’s care facility, it’s best to be thorough. You want to get as much information as possible. This will allow you to make an informed decision. You should ask about pricing and whether they accept Medicare. You should tour the building and get a feel for the environment.
You may want to ask about family involvement and care. Find out about the residents. See what types of activities and transportation are offered. It’s best to get these questions answered so you can find the facility that meets your loved one’s needs.
Does Medicare Cover Alzheimer’s Care?
According to Alzheimers.net, Medicare covers what is medically necessary. This care relates directly to medical needs. Medicare will cover nursing home stays for up to 100 days. If the needs are not medically necessary, they are not covered by Medicare.
Custodial care is another type of care your loved one may need. This includes non-medical needs, such as cleaning and eating. This care is not covered by Medicare.
Unfortunately, most Alzheimer patients require custodial care. This may not be the case right away, but things can progres to that point. To prepare for these costs, you can begin to save up early on. This isn’t always possible though.
How Much Does Alzheimer’s Care Cost?
The cost of Alzheimer’s care varies. As mentioned, there are different types of care available. Each one has a different price tag. Because of the stages of Alzheimer’s, the needed care can change. This results in changing prices over time as well.
- Alzheimer’s care at home costs an average of $20 per hour nationally.
- Alzheimer’s care at an assisted living facility costs about $1,150 more each month. This is compared to average assisted living costs.
- Often in nursing homes, there is not an upcharge for patients with Alzheimer’s. This is due to the amount of care needed compared to other patients.
- Adult day care centers for Alzheimer’s cost about $70 per day.
In addition to care, those with Alzheimer’s also need medication or doctor’s visits. This can become costly.
How to Cover the Costs of Alzheimer’s Care
Since Alzheimer’s patients often need custodial care, their families must cover the costs in ways aside from Medicare. Some families choose to provide custodial care at home. This isn’t always possible due to work schedules and the nature of the care needed.
This means that families need to find another way to pay for the care. Insurance plans can be an option. You may also choose to draw from your loved one’s retirement. These expenses can be costly, so it’s important to prepare if possible.
You may be able to add a rider to an existing insurance policy. They suggest understanding the terms prior to agreeing. There may be specific criteria to meet as well.
Long-term care insurance is an option too. If your loved one is already showing signs of dementia, it is too late to start long-term care insurance. You can buy these policies early on or for someone who is already older. This is a way to cover some of the needed costs.
Medicare covers some of the costs of Alzheimer’s care. If the needs are medically necessary, Medicare will cover the costs. If the needs are custodial, Medicare does not apply. This means that families must pay for the care in other ways. Most Alzheimer’s patients will need custodial care at some point.