The Financial Strain of Dementia
One in nine Americans aged 65 and older have dementia, a disease that robs people of their memory. Some common symptoms include:
Trouble completing everyday tasks
Dramatic mood swings
Physical problems, such as trouble walking
It is well-known that dementia brings emotional hardship to loved ones. However, there is an added burden for families that many are unaware of. Caring for a loved one with dementia comes with a high financial cost. Ongoing medical care is required and the cost of caregivers is very expensive. Family members who cannot afford a full-time caregiver are forced to quit their jobs and care for their loved ones themselves. Other additional costs include:
The total lifetime cost of care for someone with dementia is estimated to be $341,840, with the costs associated with family care to be 70% of lifetime dementia care costs.
The national average cost for memory care in the United States is roughly $6,935 a month.
People pay an average of $62,000 out-of-pocket to care for their loved ones.
In addition, Medicare does not cover the cost of care for older adults with dementia, further putting people in debt. Putting stress on loved ones from medical bills from dementia adds to the existing stress of caring for a loved one with dementia, which is already a large undertaking.
The cost of care for dementia is continuing to increase. The economic costs of dementia are expected to be around $1.5 trillion by 2050. Society must work towards financial support for people with dementia and their families.
The Amity Program aims to increase social interaction between older adults and younger generations. To support those with dementia, the organization launched the Art Box Program in June 2020. This program sends art supplies to homebound adults with dementia. The activities are simple and allow a small break for the participants’ care partners, and the program is free of charge. Furthermore, the organization hopes to raise awareness about and reduce social isolation among older adults.