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Credit: Kampus Production on Pexels
Credit: Kampus Production on Pexels
A new study detailing out-of-pocket costs for people with dementia finds that the cost of long-term care can become a financial burden that can easily eat up almost all of one's income.
A team of researchers from the Georgia State University School of Public Health, the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, and the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed data from a national sample of more than 4,500 adults age 70 and older and came up with these ideas. This is the first study to compare out-of-pocket costs based on dementia status and care environment.
Researchers found that the median adult with dementia in residential facilities, such as assisted living centers, spends 97% of their monthly income on long-term care. Dementia patients living in nursing homes spend almost 83% of their monthly income on long-term care.
The results of this research have recently American Medical Directors Association Journal.
“Dementia is such an expensive disease that when you start thinking about funding long-term care, it really falls into a different category,” said lead author Jalayne Arias, associate professor at GSU School of Public Health. . “Our study shows that people with dementia experience unmanageable costs when compared to their age-matched peers.”
Jing Li, lead author and assistant professor of health economics at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, said the new study emphasizes that dementia care is more affordable for individuals and their families, rather than emphasizing the total cost to funders such as Medicaid. It emphasized the economic burden it imposes. A more general approach.
“It's really surprising that the median person with dementia essentially spends almost all of their income on long-term care,” Lee said. “We've heard about this anecdotally, but the data supporting it is very alarming.”
Average monthly out-of-pocket costs for residents in non-nursing facilities such as assisted living facilities were $3,090 and $3,849 for people living with dementia in nursing homes. For older adults without dementia, these numbers would be $2,801 for adults in residential care other than a nursing home and $2,176 for nursing home residents.
Regardless of residential status, more than three-quarters of people with dementia hire helpers to help with daily living activities such as dressing and bathing, as well as laundry, grocery shopping and other errands. More than half (56%) of the dementia patients in the study paid their helpers an average of $1,000 a month.
The researchers noted that their findings could inform policy at a time when the proportion of older Americans is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.
For example, in 2019, Washington state passed legislation creating the WA Cares Fund, the nation's first public long-term care insurance program. Benefits are capped at $36,500, adjusted for inflation, but researchers believe this is the average out-of-pocket amount for two years for a dementia patient living in a nursing home, or for a dementia patient living in a nursing home. points out that it will cover the out-of-pocket costs for one year. .
The federal government's Elderly Comprehensive Care Program, known as PACE, provides long-term care services to eligible seniors in nursing homes in the region. However, the program is only available in 32 states and the District of Columbia, and its high premiums put it out of reach for the vast majority of Medicare-only (not dual-eligible) beneficiaries.
“Given the costs associated with residential care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living centers, increasing funding for home- and community-based care will reduce the economic burden that long-term care places on older people, especially those with dementia. “This is a promising way to reduce the burden,” the authors noted.
For more information:
Jing Li et al., Out-of-pocket costs for long-term care by dementia status and living environment among older Americans, American Medical Directors Association Journal (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2023.09.010