Caretakers of People with Dementia Face Often-Severe Financial Problems, According to Survey

Caretakers of People with Dementia Face Often-Severe Financial Problems, According to Survey
Relatives and friends of people suffering from dementia may put their retirement savings at stake or sell assets as they increasingly face hard financial decisions to keep taking care of their loved ones. Most families have to cut back on spending, and many have to cut out basic necessity items, according to a survey by the Alzheimer’s Association, which says an average of one caregiver out of five go hungry due to a lack of money. There are 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease today, making this disease the most common cause of dementia. As dementia progresses, patients begin needing more help with simple, daily activities, such as getting up, getting dressed, eating, and bathing. Nearly two out of five of the more than 15 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S. have a household income below $50,000, according to an Alzheimer’s Association estimate. Caregivers are often family members like a daughter, son, or spouse. "This was a big shocker for us," Keith Fargo, the Alzheimer’s Association’s director of Scientific Programs and Outreach, said in a press release. He said he had no idea about the growing number of families struggling with costs. The survey showed that families were definitely not prepared for the high costs of home care and nursing home care, among others. Home health aides now charge a median $20 per hour, and a semi-private room in a standard nursing home averages $80,300 per year. Renee Packel, of Philadelphia, shared her story of the years after her husband was diagnosed with Alzh
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