Cost of Alzheimer's Disease

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Written by: Costnip Team

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Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that destroys memory and cognitive skills. It is the most common cause of dementia. Key features include:

 

  • Memory loss - Forgetting recently learned information or important dates and events
  • Difficulty planning and problem solving - Trouble following a plan or working through a familiar task
  • Confusion about time or place - Losing track of dates, seasons, or passage of time
  • Difficulty understanding visual images - Problems reading, judging distance, or determining color
  • Problems with speaking or writing - Trouble joining conversations or following storylines
  • Misplacing items - Placing things in unusual spots or being unable to retrace steps
  • Poor judgment - Making questionable or unsafe decisions
  • Withdrawal from work and social activities - Losing interest due to confusion or anxiety

 

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There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, but early diagnosis allows for better management of symptoms. Here are typical medical costs:

 

Alzheimer's Average Cost
Primary care visits $150-$300
Neurologist visits $250-$500
PET scan $1,500-$5,000
MRI scan $800-$2,600
Alzheimer's medications $200-$800 per month
Adult day care services $70 per day
In-home care $20-$30 per hour

 

  • For mild to moderate Alzheimer's, lifetime costs average around $400,000 per patient.
  • For more severe or late-stage Alzheimer's, lifetime costs can exceed $1 million per patient.
  • About 70% of lifetime costs are associated with long-term care like nursing homes or in-home care aides rather than direct medical expenses.
  • The lifetime cost for in-home care provided by a health aide averages around $250,000.
  • The lifetime cost of a private room in a nursing home averages around $400,000-$500,000.
  • End-of-life and hospice care in the last 5 years of life averages $140,000 for Alzheimer's patients.
  • Indirect costs like reduced earnings for family caregivers average $220,000 over a lifetime.
  • Overall, the lifetime cost of caring for an Alzheimer's patient is estimated between $500,000 to over $1 million depending on disease severity and care settings.
  • Costs increase dramatically in advanced stages when around-the-clock care is often required. Early interventions can help manage symptoms and delay progression.

 

Over a lifetime, direct medical costs for Alzheimer's care often exceeds $350,000. Additional costs for housing, transportation, and other long-term services can add substantially to this figure. Having insurance coverage and utilizing community resources can help manage Alzheimer's costs. Check out the Costnip Resource Library to find help with some associated costs.