Alzheimer’s diagnosis and financial planning

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Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are degenerative and fatal diseases that steal a lifetime of memories and experiences. When a loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, financial planning may not be top of mind — but it should be.

As the disease progresses, financial acumen is generally one of the first skills to go. For patients, families and caregivers, getting the finances in order as soon as possible may help lessen the anxiety down the road.

The fact that Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition to treat only heightens the urgency. The cost to Medicare to treat the average Alzheimer’s or dementia patient is three times the amount spent on people without that condition. Medicaid pays out 19 times more for dementia patients than for other seniors, the Alzheimer’s Association reports.

In 2014, the total cost to treat people with Alzheimer’s was estimated to be $214 billion in that year alone, with $150 billion being paid by Medicare and Medicaid. Much of the remainder, $36 billion, is paid for out of pocket by individuals, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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