Guest blogger Lydia Chan runs Alzheimer’s Caregiver, a resource for those who have been thrust into the position of caring for a loved one who’s battling Alzheimer’s.
Covering the costs of healthcare is never easy. But when it comes to planning for long-term care, it can be downright overwhelming. Many seniors find themselves in difficult situations after retirement and have to look for ways to raise funds in a hurry after a health scare or hospital stay. It’s important to do some research on the costs of long-term care, especially after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Being well-informed will help you stay on top of your finances—both now and in the future—and will ensure that you aren’t left scrambling for funds in the event you do require expensive care.
One of the keys to researching the costs of Alzheimer’s care is to make sure you’re well-informed on your insurance policies, including Medicare and Medicaid. These programs can help significantly with covering the costs of healthcare, but they don’t cover everything. Some treatments and types of care can run into the thousands of dollars very quickly.
Look for help
There are many programs out there specifically for seniors who need help paying for treatments, medicine, and medical bills. Do some research on the best ways to get assistance. Most of these have strict requirements regarding income level, age, and health status, so it’s crucial to ensure you have all the information you need ready to go when you inquire about getting help.
Figure in out-of-pocket costs
Even with Medicare or Medicaid, the costs of medicine and some treatments can be astronomical. Do some research online to find out how much you’ll be responsible for when the time comes to start treating the disease, and look for specific numbers in regards to medication and prescriptions. In some cases, the type of medicine you can get is dependent upon your insurance, but there may be a similar treatment that has a generic alternative.
Look into padding your savings
If you’re worried about racking up medical bills that you’ll be unable to pay, consider looking into a reverse mortgage, which will allow you to free up some cash in a short amount of time. There are many horror stories out there about reverse mortgages, but if you find a reputable lender who knows what they’re doing, they can guide you through the process without stress. Shop around for the best company for your needs; you can start with this list provided by Consumers Advocate.
Get educated about Medicare
Medicare can be invaluable to seniors in many ways. However, as with any insurance policy, it can be difficult to understand. Make sure you know all the details of your own policy and find out what it will cover in the event you have to stay at the hospital or in a long-term care facility in the future. In many cases, Medicare will only pay for about 100 days of a nursing-home stay, and only gives limited coverage on medicines. Read up on their policies and, if possible, talk to someone who can help you create a plan.
Covering the costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’ve recently lost a partner or spouse. Just remember that you are not alone; there are many companies, programs, and people out there who can help you figure out how to take care of your future. Practice self-care as often as possible so stress and anxiety aren’t an issue. With a good plan, you can ensure that your diagnosis doesn’t define you.