The Cost and Unavailability of Dementia Care

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Just as I was obsessing about how to pay for help to keep J safe and engaged, the New York Times published an article earlier this week about the high cost of dementia care.  It didn’t make me feel any better.

(See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/27/health/costs-for-dementia-care-far-exceeding-other-diseases-study-finds.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share.)

Also enraging is how few dementia care resources are out there. J goes to a great program at our local Alzheimer’s Association two times a week.  The person who used to run the program already tried to “transition” J out. At that time, J was beginning to lose some verbal skills, but she was still quite conversant, and enjoyed the program very much. I fought successfully to keep her in.  Now, some months later, there is talk again of “transitioning” J. To me,”transitioning” suggests going from one thing to something else. The Alzheimer’s Association, however, has no other program for her.

Nor have I found much in the way of other resources, despite diligently looking. J is only 64. We tried a senior center, but she couldn’t keep up with a non-impaired population. I looked at day care, but the people there were much less competent than J.  And it is certainly much too soon to think about a facility.

One solution is the companion who is starting with us next week.  I’m sure she will be terrific, but J very much enjoys being with other people who have Alzheimer’s disease, and that will end once she is no longer welcome at the Alzheimer’s Association program.

And we will find ways to cope, because that is what we do.

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