Financial Ruin Possible for Seniors with Dementia

A new study asserts that If seniors have to pay a higher portion of their medical costs, it could lead to their financial ruin, especially if they have dementia.åÊ

There is no doubt that healthcare costs are rising and the public has to shoulder more of the burden. Various Medicare reform proposals have suggested that seniors should pay a higher percentage of their healthcare costs.åÊ

To identify how much Medicare beneficiaries spend on healthcare costs in the last five years of life, a National Institute of Aging study analyzed data over six years from 3,209 individuals with Medicare coverage. They found that out-of-pocket spending for individuals or their spouses dying of dementia was more than twice the average when compared to spending on those dying of gastrointestinal disease or cancer.åÊ

The bulk of these costs were related to nursing home expenses, which accounted for 56% of average spending in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.åÊ

The study was published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

So you know my litany by now. Educated Aging. Plan now for a quality of life as you age. And that means financial planning. Even having long term care insurance may not be enough. You want to start looking to protect your assets.åÊ

There is nothing in my opinion more degrading than spending your whole life building a nest egg only to see it taken away should you enter a nursing home. Remember nursing home care is only covered by Medicare in certain circumstances for a limited time period.åÊ

  • Do effective estate planning
  • Consider long-term care insurance

If not, you face going broke and then hoping you qualify for Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care.

Better yet, stay healthy. Sure you can’t avoid accidents and hidden medical catastrophes but you can prepare yourself best you can to live a healthy quality of life as you age. It will pay for itself.åÊ