This sounds weird to say, but many people are lured into a false sense of security when they first get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I know—a weird statement to make, right? I say that because while the diagnosis is scary and thoughts of what the future might look like can be too much to bear, they may be doing just fine right now without any help. They are expecting great things from their treatments, so they continue living their lives and hope for the best.
Maintaining a positive outlook throughout your journey is important. Plan for a slow progression of symptoms, but do not shy away from looking ahead to the time when you are not as independent as you are right now. Now is the time to look for Alzheimer’s care providers and resources to have in your back pocket, including:
- Services provided in your home
- Outside of home services
- Alternative living arrangements
In my book, You’re Not Alone: Living with Alzheimer’s Disease, I stress the importance of getting into the “planning ahead” mode. Hope for the best, and plan for the worst so you do not find yourself living from crisis to crisis. There are plenty of care options available now, and no doubt there will be new and innovative services to add to that list in the future. These are people who will be there to help you.
Below are 9 Alzheimer’s care providers and resources you will likely find in your area.
- Private In-Home Care – Non-medical or medical in-home care can be hired privately or through a home health agency. These caregivers can support you or a family member in providing care for your loved one. Some of the advantages of hiring through an agency are that they find the workers, screen them, monitor their work, and even replace the worker if they call in sick or do not report for work. Agencies also hold licenses and certifications that meet federal government standards and tend to be more comprehensive in their care plans.
- Medicare-Funded Home Health Services – These are only available if you are homebound, in need of skilled nursing or rehabilitation services beyond personal care, and approved to receive these services through your primary care physician. Medicare will not cover a nursing assistant to stay with you all day, and aide services are usually only available for a short period of time (maximum of two hours) and for only one to three days per week.
- Living Together in One Home – If living alone is not feasible, another alternative is a shared living arrangement. It does not always work out. It causes stress on the relationship to live together in the same house. A few things to consider are if there is a private and safe place for you and how much privacy everyone in the house will receive. Also, is everyone the home educated about Alzheimer’s and able to devote attention to the support you need?
- Medical Alert Services – These are systems that can be used to summon help in an emergency simply by pressing a button on a necklace or wristband that notifies a central call center. These systems can be installed for approximately $50 to $100 and charge a monthly monitoring fee that ranges from $25 to $40.
- Adult Day Care and Adult Day Health Centers – These Alzheimer’s care providers and resources are great to provide the family caregivers a break and to give the personal with social activities. The average cost is $65 per day and may be covered by Medicaid programs.
- Assisted Living Facilities – Assisted living facilities could be an ideal option when you reach the point where the person with Alzheimer’s need help with daily living (bathing, toileting, dressing, and eating). Additional benefits include socialization, activities, transportation, laundry, and private rooms for a home-like environment.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities – These communities offer everything from independent living to skilled nursing facility care to carry you through the duration of life. But they are also very expensive. These communities offer houses or apartments for independent living and assisted living options, and residents are able to move within the CCRC as their needs change.
- Nursing Homes – When it comes to Alzheimer’s care providers and resources to have in your back pocket, it is important to remember that you will want to plan for admission to a skilled nursing facility well in advance. This allows you and your family to choose the facility that is right for you and understand the costs involved along with what that covers.
- Hospice Services – Hospice is the practice of caring for the dying. All efforts are focused on keeping the patient comfortable and free from pain during their last days, including providing doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, dieticians, clergy, home health aides, and volunteers. Staff members are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Call Leigh Hilton PLLC today!
Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is a challenge that no one is prepared for. But accepting it is the first step and could set you and your family up for an easier road as you continue on your journey. Our goal was to build a practice with a team of professionals who work together to have your back at all times—whether that means putting steps in place to protect you and your loved ones or offering practical advice.
Leigh Hilton PLLC wants to be your first call every time for any estate planning or elder law need. Call us today!