VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

How to account for the cost of Alzheimer's

There are currently 5.7 million Americans who have Alzheimer's disease, and lifetime care costs for someone who has it are well over $300,000 on average. As an increasing portion of the population turns 65 or older, the number of people who experience this condition will grow as well. Florida residents who find out that a family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's should review that person's estate plan.

This can help to get everyone on the same page as it relates to medical and financial needs. It can also help to make sure that beneficiary designations are current and correct. A living will can be created that will help determine what type of care an individual will receive while mentally diminished. It can be a good idea to meet with a financial adviser who may be able to talk more about how to handle the cost of in-home care as well as the cost of adult day care or other facilities.

Medicare and Medicaid may help to cover some of the health care costs an Alzheimer's patient will encounter. A long-term care insurance policy could also be helpful in defraying the cost of care. People who have family members with this condition should look for local support groups. This can help with the mental toll that they may be feeling.

An estate plan may allow individuals to retain control over their assets and health care while mentally incapacitated. It may also prevent family disputes or reduce the likelihood that they occur because of a person's diminished mental capacity. An attorney may be able to help draft estate plan documents or review those that already exist.

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