Choosing an Alzheimer’s Facility

by Dan Dillman

Me (Dan) and My Dog (Duke)

Me (Dan) and My Dog (Duke)

Choosing an Alzheimer’s Facility

Your loved one has been diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s disease. Now it's time for you to decide on a care facility. Let me share my experience...

Unfortunately, I had to choose "several" facilities for my mom. For me, trying to forget this ordeal is an ongoing battle. I am always second-guessing myself. Since my mother passed away last year, I keep wondering if I made the right decisions. My experience with Alzheimer’s facilities has left me feeling both joy and anger.

The Cost of Alzheimers Care

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Before I start sharing my experience, the subject of cost needs to be addressed. I guess like every thing in life, it always comes down to cost.

Depending on what level of the Alzheimer’s disease your loved one is at in the Alzheimer’s stages, this will directly affect the cost of care.

Usually, Alzheimer’s care will range from $3,000 to $8,000 a month for Alzheimer’s nursing homes. This is where my first anger comes into this situation. Probably everyone understands that an Alzheimer’s facility is in the business to make a profit.

About 50% of the people in these facilities pay the cost from their own assets. Obviously, paying $36,000 to 96,000 a year for an Alzheimer’s nursing home will deplete a person’s assets rather quickly.

Medicaid and V.A. Alzheimer Coverage

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If you think that Medicaid will cover the cost, you may be right if you’re broke and have little assets. But, if you’re thinking of hiding your assets so you can qualify for Medicaid, do not do this. This would be a very bad idea.

Another resource that I explored was assistance from the V.A. Since my father was in the military in World War II, my mother qualified for a monthly payment. This was a nightmare to get. The government red tape to get this is unbelievable.

I had to retain the services of a company that specialized in this process. It took over a year to get the payments started. Now I know why only 3 to 5% of those qualified use this service. It is a government nightmare at its best.

Several Different Alzheimers Facilities

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I would like to share with you the gradual progression of my mothers Alzheimers disease history and how this relates to choosing an Alizheimer facility.

Mom lived alone at the old homestead for about 13 years after her husband, (my dad), passed away. I would stop by every day to visit her and just check on everything.

Although I could notice a slow decline in her physical and mental state, I would also admit she did have some good days. I could carry on a very good conversation with mom each day and she always have a great sense of humor.

Unassisted Alzheimer Living

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So, the first decision I made, (concerning mom’s Alizheimers disease stages), was to move mom to an “unassisted” living facility. This cost about $400.00 a month; but, I was satisfied knowing that mom was in a secured facility.

However, I had to bring in county services like daily meals and help with her personal needs. It was a very negative experience at times, such as caregivers not showing up, and things like that. Anytime a person is paid minimum wage, the results are not good.

Choosing an Alzheimer’s Nursing Home

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Mom stayed there for about a year but eventually the Alzheimer’s disease progression became more obvious. I had to move her to an Alzheimer’s nursing home. This is the point that it gets very expensive. Always remember that this company is in the business of making money.

At the first meeting, they were very nice and they offered a very low price to take care of mom each month ($2,500 for their services per month).

But after two years, the price was up to $3,800 a month. Later on, I had to move mom because I was sent a notice that it would be $5,200 a month for her to continue living at this Alzheimer’s Facility.

The final place that took care of mom was great... even though the cost was $3,700 a month. The care was night and day compared to the last Alzheimer’s nursing home. They provided great one on one care. It was sad that mom and I did not experience these conditions at the last care facility.

Warning About Choosing an Alzheimer’s Facility

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So in conclusion, I would warn everyone that you need to check out many different facilities that might be possible caregivers for your loved one. Always remember that they are a business and profit is their main goal. Do your due diligence before choosing a facility. You need to be very informed before making your final decision.

Help with Facility Care Costs

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Need help with covering the costs of Alzheimer's Care?

I share information that could possibly help you raise funds to assist with facility care for your loved one.

Click here for my Alzheimers funding idea.

Dan Dillman, USA

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