Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country and its impact on families can be devastating. How expensive is it? Medicare and Medicaid cover the lion’s share: $175 billion or 67 percent of the total health- and long-term-care payments for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Protecting these programs is vital.
Medicaid pays for nursing home and other long-term services, which most people with Alzheimer’s will eventually need. In fact, more than 1 in 4 seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are on Medicaid (compared to just 11 percent of seniors without dementia).
My grandmother, a long-term resident of Appalachia, was diagnosed with dementia five years ago. She is the only member of our family left in the area, so we have had to rely on home health-care aides to provide some of the services she requires. This would not have been possible without Medicare, which has provided my family with the financial support to hire help to care for my grandmother, as both her memory and ability to care for herself decline.
It is essential that Congress and the Trump administration maintain the Medicaid long-term safety net while expanding other options and support for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
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Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana Chapter