Care Options for Patients with Dementia or Alzheimer’s

By American Geriatrics Society (AGS)

Your loved one won’t require as much care in the early stages of dementia or AD as he or she will in the later stages. For someone with very mild memory loss, perhaps all you’ll need is someone to ensure that medications are taken as prescribed. The care plan you start out with will change and become more comprehensive as your love one’s condition progresses.

The following tables present the various care options that are available for patients.

Respite Care Choices for Patients
Respite Care Choice Care Provider Location Cost
Informal unpaid care You or another family member, friend, or neighbor. Your home or your loved one’s home. No out-of-pocket cost other than medical bills, but you may have to adjust your work hours, take FMLA, or give up your job to provide care, depending on your loved one’s level of need.
Paid caregiver or companion service You may contract with an individual or hire a paid caregiver from an agency. Your home or your loved one’s home or elsewhere depending on need (for example, acute illness requiring hospital stay — hire a sitter to stay with patient overnight in the hospital). Average about $20/hour, but range is $15-25 per hour. More to hire from an agency.
Home healthcare aide for patient with co-existing medical needs Home health aide, LVN, RN licensed to provide medical services. Same as paid caregiver. $25 to $50 per hour, depending on certification and need. May be covered by Medicare for limited time for skilled needs.
Adult daycare Paid staff and volunteers. Free-standing center for adults with dementia or affiliated with a hospital, church, or care facility. Average cost in 2015 is $69 per day with different state averages ranging from $35 to $124 per day. May include transportation; services such as bathing cost extra.
Day healthcare for patients with dementia and co-existing medical illness that requires nursing services Paid staff. Free-standing facility or hospital-based. Average $85 to $90 per day; services such as bathing cost extra.

 

Residential Care Choices for Patients
Residential Care Choice Care Provider Location Cost
Assisted living Paid staff. Assisted-living center. Wide variation, $2,500 to $6,000 monthly average. May have additional costs based on personal care needs.
Licensed residential care home (also called a personal care home) On-site nonmedical staff. Neighborhood home licensed to provide care for a certain number of people on site. $850 to $4,000 per month, depending upon location and client need.
Dedicated Alzheimer’s care center or memory support unit On-site medical and nonmedical staff, visiting medical staff. Alzheimer’s care center; may be free-standing or be part of a continuing care retirement community that offers all levels of care from independent living to assisted living to AD care; some also have skilled nursing on site. Assisted living setting can range from $4,000 to $7,500.
Nursing home On-site medical and nonmedical staff, visiting medical staff. Nursing home. Shared room $220 daily average. Depends on level of care at nursing home. Monthly can range from $4,200 to $11,000.

 

A common misconception exists that after someone reaches the age of 65, Medicare will pay for all that person’s medical needs, including long-term care. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true.