Memory Mondays: The Cost of Alzheimer’s Care

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What is the cost of Alzheimer’s care?

For family and friends acting as caregivers for their loved ones, the cost of Alzheimer’s care can reach nearly $200,000 over two years, according to a new study.

The study aimed to put a price tag on the day-to-day help that millions of people with Alzheimer’s require. This includes shopping, cooking, cleaning, eating, medicine and general well-being.

“The costs of caregiving depend on the needs of the patient, and median costs range between $144,000 to more than $200,000 over the course of two years,” study author Norma Coe said. She is an associate professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

To reach these results, researchers observed the costs to daughters between the ages of 40 and 70 who would soon be taking care of their mother. This was based on data from the Health and Retirement Study, conducted by the University of Michigan.

Specifically, researchers looked at different health scenarios of the mother’s health, from memory loss to necessary constant care. The costs for different situations are as follows:

– $163,000 over two years for someone who had memory loss but could still perform activities of daily living

– $167,000 over two years for someone with difficulty with daily activities

– $144,000 over two years for someone with memory problems and difficulty with daily activities

– Over $200,000 over two years for someone who needs constant care

“It is important to remember the costs to the family and informal caregivers,” Coe said. “Caregiving involves significant costs.”

Family Caregiver Statistics

Other organizations have also explored the price of caregiving, beyond just the cost of Alzheimer’s care. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, for example, released a new study about the time and money family and friends spend to care for their older loved ones.

– About 25% of informal caregivers report the amount of time they spend providing care every week is equal to a full-time job.

– Eight out of 10 caregivers pay for costs out of their own pockets.

– Approximately 13% say they spend $500 or more each month.

– Among caregivers with incomes under $50,000, 43% have turned to their personal savings. Twenty-three percent have cut back their retirement savings.