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July 18, 2006

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Deb Peterson

Mona--Once again, you've boiled this down to the most illuminating facts. I didn't know that 70% of Alzheimer's patients still lived at home, but I'm not surprised, considering the financial toll of professional care. I may be an idealist, but I can't help but think that there is a better way--not only for the families, obviously, but for the country as a whole, financially and ethically. This is one area where those in power who spout the "family values" rhetoric could really put their money where their mouths are!

Patricia Howitt

Hello Mona
I've found time to visit you at last - this is a great resource and I've linked back to you.

Your latest post is right on target - not only is cost a huge factor for people in USA, but most other places too I guess. Here in New Zealand annual cost of resthome care (government not private) would be about NZ$33,000 - that is US$21,000. If the patient cannot afford it, government will take their pension and pick up the tab. If they have a home, govenment will take that. I won't go into more detail but it's crippling and hugely stressful.

Patricia

Paula

Mona - Thanks for posting these facts. I encourage anyone in the US who's caring for someone with AD or other dementias to get themselves to an elder-law attorney - not just any wills-and-estates attorney, but a specialist with the National Elder Law Foundation (www.nelf.org). There's a big difference! My sister and I were in despair about finances because we didn't know that we could get government assistance with nursing-home or in-home nursing care for my dad without using all of my parents' savings (and thereby impoverishing my mother).

Karma

The other frustrating thing is that even with all of the money in the world, the system is so ridden with problems that its almost impossible to get proper care for someone with A's. My mom is in a very expensive facility where clearly the staff are over-worked and under-paid and many patients do not get basic services that they need. Why? Because big corporations own these companies and care only about the bottom line. Mom is at one of the better facilities, and we're shelling out $60,000/yr but she's still not getting great care.

Karma

Thanks Mona. Patricia - what would an attorney be able to do? As far as I understand, nursing home is not covered by Medicare. Plus, my mom has EOAD, so she isn't a senior citizen. Hmmm.

What's especially frustrating that is at my mother's ALF, and I'm sure many others, the level of a person's care is somewhat dependent upon the finances of their family. I've spoken with several family members of residents in Mom's facility who say that they can't afford to pay extra fees and are now in a bind. My mother's place costs $60,000/year. And some people think they can afford it and then when their family member declines, all of a sudden the costs start to get even higher.

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