Caring for an individual with dementia can be costly. Costs are magnified by the location in which the individual receives assistance and as one’s condition progresses. Unfortunately bills do not stop, and neither do a person’s needs. Some caregivers take on additional costs that they may not have planned for, or are unable to cover on their own. There are some programs to look into that can help with paying for the costs associated with caring for someone with dementia.
Medicaid is a state-funded program that has benefits for seniors. A dementia diagnosis does not automatically qualify a person for medicaid however, because most individuals with dementia have very limited or no ability to work and therefore have limited income, many will qualify for benefits. Furthermore, certain Medicaid programs allow candidates to deduct their care expenses from their income when calculating income for eligibility purposes. This program offers many financial benefits for seniors and can be one way to help cover the costs of care.
The VA has a multitude of options that provide financial assistance for persons with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. The further good news is that their disease does not need to be related to their military service. Therefore, veterans and their spouses who develop Alzheimer’s or dementia for any reason will very likely find some type of financial assistance for their care from the Veteran’s Administration.
State (Non-Medicaid) Programs
Many states offer funding for persons with dementia who require in or out of home care. The funding for these programs are pulled from a “general fund” and is allocated to persons who have age-related care needs. Finding these programs can be challenging. One place to start is by contacting the Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Typically, AAAs are county-specific.
Alzheimer’s Care Loans
There are loans that are specifically designed to help families with the cost of elder care. These loans are given to families that have an immediate need for care and will have funds in the future, but do not have immediate access to those funds. A common scenario for elder care loans is when a person moves to memory care and is selling their home. It can take months or even a year to prepare and sell a home, but when it is sold, the borrower will have funds available to repay their loan.
Tax Credits & Deductions for Alzheimer’s / Dementia
There are tax credits and deductions that are relevant, but these are not specifically designed for persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The Tax Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled is one such option that can save a family 1000s of dollars per year. This tax credit is for persons or married couples filing their own taxes, it may be more advantageous for an adult child to claim a parent with dementia as a dependent. In which case, the Child and Dependent Care Credit is relevant, provided the adult child (or children) provide at least 50% of the financial support their parent requires. Medical and dental expenses can be deducted and, in some cases, costs associated with residential memory care homes (assisted living) are eligible to be deducted. Even home modifications such as a stair-lift or wheel chair ramp are deductible.
While there are many costs associated with caring for someone with dementia, as you can see, there are also many ways to get help. Finding help can be challenging and time consuming. Orchard at Brookhaven strives to be a place of peace and comfort for our residents and their families. Let us help you navigate this difficult time by providing your loved one with quality care. If you would like more information on all that our facility offers, please contact us.