Nov 1, 2015

Cost of Dementia Care Late in Life Can Be Staggering

The cost of dementia care over the last five years of life is significantly higher than for patients who die from heart disease, cancer, or other causes.

The cost of dementia care over the last five years of life is significantly higher than for patients who die from heart disease, cancer, or other causes | Alzheimer's Reading Room

The study found that out-of-pocket spending for patients with dementia was 81 percent higher than for those who died from other causes.


By Alzheimer's Reading Room

The average total cost for
  • patients with dementia was $287,038 in the last five years of life.
This was significantly higher than for those who died of
  • heart disease ($175,136), 
  • cancer ($173,383), 
  • or other causes ($197,286).
  • In addition to higher total end-of-life costs, out-of-pocket spending for patients with dementia was 81 percent higher than for those who died from other causes.
The families of patients with dementia have more expenses than other families, and the financial burden is greatest among families that may be least able to manage it,” said Dr. Amy Kelley.
The discussion of healthcare reform must include the significant uninsured care needs of older adults with dementia and examine ways to mitigate the financial risk currently faced by Medicare beneficiaries.”
Importantly, many of the healthcare expenses are uncovered.

On a separate issue. If voters in the Alzheimer's community were to become active and organized they could make a difference.

Consider these voter statistics.
  • 52 million American voters have provided care or personal assistance to a relative, friend or neighbor with Alzheimer's
  • 73 million voters have had a family member or close friend with Alzheimer's disease
  • 82 percent of voters nationwide are concerned about Alzheimer's disease
  • 87 percent of voters feel unprepared or only somewhat prepared to meet care needs of a family member who develops Alzheimer's disease.
Sources of information: Icahn School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, University of California Los Angeles, Annals of Internal Medicine, National Institute on Aging, and the Alzheimer's Association.


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