“Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Estimates vary, but experts suggest that more than 5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s.”

Although Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the seventh leading cause of death, studies over the last few years reveal that deaths that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease are underreported. Findings show that in many instances, death is attributed to health conditions such as inhalation pneumonia resulting from Alzheimer’s as the body loses its ability to function effectively.

A review of the Alzheimer’s Association 2022 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures reveals astonishingly high annual costs associated with the disease. Estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars, the cost of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to increase exponentially, as the number of people diagnosed with the disease is forecast to be 12.7 million people by 2050. This report provides staggering details outlining the cost of care; including the fact that much of the cost of care is absorbed by the person with Alzheimer’s and his or her family out of their own pockets and the unimaginable number of hours people have donated to provide care for a loved one with the disease.

How many people have Alzheimer’s? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “an estimated 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s. 73 percent are aged 75 and over.”  Many under the age of 65 have the disease as well. The current trend of population growth also means that the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s will increase over time. 

Caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease is not only expensive but can be exhausting. The patient with Alzheimer’s will experience the disease process in different ways at various stages of the disease. Caregiver responsibilities can range from paying bills and balancing the checkbook to bathing and dressing. This chapter explores the care options available to a person living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, who make great sacrifices to care for them.

Many care options exist in the spectrum between living in a private residence and moving into a nursing home. Yet a person who has Alzheimer’s, and his or her family, often view a nursing home as a dreaded choice without learning about all of the care options that exist.

Call us at 919-944-4338. One of our friendly Client Welcome Specialists will be happy to tell you more about The Alzheimer’s Planning Center and our unique Memory Safeguard Planning to help you determine the best path forward and to help you take the next steps toward a more secure future and a better life.

[1] National Institute on Aging, 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet, available at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet (last visited September 11, 2017).

[2] National Institute on Aging, Number of Alzheimer’s deaths found to be underreported, at https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/number-alzheimers-deaths-found-be-underreported (last visited March 1, 2018).

[3] Alzheimer’s Association, 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Cost to Nation, available at https://alz.org/facts/overview.asp (last visited September 11, 2017).

Alzheimer's Planning Series

My Family's Journey with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

My Journey to The Alzheimer's Planning Center

Grandma K's Legacy: The Alzheimer's Planning Center

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Care Options for an Individual with Alzheimer's Disease

Professionals to Contact for Help

The Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Detection and Proper Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Caring for the Caregiver

What Is Sundowning and How Do I Deal With It?

How Do I Deal Effectively With Agitation for My Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia?

Power of Attorney Documents Often Fall Short for Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia

Long-Term Care Planning Series

This article series explores how a well-rounded long-term care plan can help protect and preserve your independence and dignity while avoiding financial devastation and unnecessary stress to your family. This article series explores long-term care planning options beyond government assistance planning, such as planning for eligibility for Medicaid or Veteran's Benefits.

Traditional Estate Planning, Elder Law, & Long-Term Care Planning

The Real Reason Why You Need a Long-Term Care Plan

What Is Long-Term Care?

A Long-Term Care Plan Should Include Care Guidelines For Your Family

How Much Does Long-Term Care Cost?

Don’t Fall for the Medicare Trap

I’m a Veteran, Will the VA Take Care of My Long-Term Care Needs?

Will Medicaid Pay for My Long-Term Care?

Is Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance Still a Viable Option?

Life Insurance with a Long-Term Care Rider

Legacy Assets as a Long-Term Care Solution

Annuity Basics

Annuity-Based Long-Term Care Solutions

Annuities with Income Accelerators

Using IRAs to Fund Long-Term Care

Life Insurance with a Critical Illness Rider

Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) as a Long-Term Care Strategy

Using a Reverse Mortgage to Pay for Long-Term Care

Convert Existing Life Insurance Into a Long-Term Care Benefit Plan

Leverage Your Assets to Reduce Risk of Self-Funding & Relying on Market Performance to Cover Long-Term Care Expenses

Jackie Bedard
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Attorney, Author, and Founder of Carolina Family Estate Planning