The average costs for long term care in the United States (in 2010) were:
However, the costs of long term care greatly vary based on time of day in home caregivers are needed (higher during evenings, weekends, and holidays), amount of care needed in a facility (such as whether a person lives independently in an assisted living home or needs help with daily activities), and location (state, city, or even placement on the facility grounds).
Here is a list of questions that you should consider when choosing a long term care home:
Dementia is actually not a disease but a variety of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills which has a large impact on a person's ability to perform everyday activities. If these symptoms persist for six months or longer, than it is given the diagnosis of dementia.
Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia (which occurs after a stroke), thyroid problems, and vitamin deficiencies also may cause problems in cognitive behavior under the umbrella of dementia, but these account for less than 10% of patients with this disorder.
Dementia usually starts with problems involving short term memory and tends to progress inhibiting routine activities and independence. The later stages of dementia are characterized by depression, anxiety, psychosis, being easily agitated, or being disoriented about the present time, surroundings, or people they are interacting with. For 90% of cases, there is no reversal.
Dementia is a series of symptoms such as memory loss, problems with processing information, and an impaired ability to perform daily functions. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and is a degenerative brain disease. While patients may experience dementia, it does not mean they have Alzheimer's. However, if someone has Alzheimer's, they will experience most of the symptoms under the category of dementia.
There are many factors that cause dementia in different patients:
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the progressive deterioration of the frontal lobe of the brain which controls planning and judgment, emotions, speaking and understanding speech, and certain types of movement. Although there is no cure, there are some medications available to help aid in behavioral difficulties. FTD accounts for approximately 10 – 15% of dementia cases.
The common symptoms of dementia include:
There are four basic warning signs of dementia in seniors: memory lapses, difficulty performing common tasks, misusing terms or a disruption in language skills, and orientation problems such as forgetting where the bathroom is in their home.
Most medical professionals agree that there are seven stages of dementia:
After Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia and is caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain. Some of the causes include having a stroke, being physically inactive, partaking in a fatty diet, being diagnosed with diabetes, having high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. The symptoms of vascular dementia begin suddenly, such as after a stroke. While vascular dementia has many similar symptoms of dementia, there are a few different symptoms to be aware of such as:
While the brain damage that causes vascular dementia cannot be reversed, the patient can take medications to treat the underlying causes, they can partake of a healthier lifestyle, and different therapies (such as occupational and speech) can slow down the progress of the disease.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a type of dementia closely associated with both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. It accounts for around ten per cent of all cases of dementia in older people and tends to be under diagnosed. Lewy bodies are tiny, spherical protein deposits found in nerve cells. Their presence in the brain disrupts the brain's normal functioning, interrupting the action of important chemical messengers, including acetylcholine and dopamine.
Patients with DLB have similar symptoms as those with Alzheimer’s (such as memory lapses, difficulty performing common tasks, misusing terms or a disruption in language skills, and easily becoming disoriented), but will also have other symptoms unique to DLB such as:
Hospice care focuses on relieving a terminally ill patient’s pain and symptoms usually in the patient’s own home. When no cure is available and a patient is in his or her final days (6 months or less), a hospice nurse or volunteer’s primary concern is to make the patient as comfortable as possible and will neither prolong nor hasten death. Hospice care attends to pain management, the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their family, and provides grief counseling to families before and after the passing of their loved one.
Hospice is a special concept of care which is designed to console and support patients and their families when an illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments and the patient is entering into the final days of his or her life. Its goal is not to end or prolong life, but to ease suffering and keep the patient’s comfort and dignity at the forefront of care.
An assisted living facility combines residential housing, personalized support services, and health care for people who need some help with daily living activities. Residents have as much independence as they want with the knowledge that personal care and support services are available if they need them. These communities tend to be apartment homes that also provide housekeeping services, three meals a day, and social events. Assisted living communities may help with daily tasks such as bathing and grooming but their services do not include medical care (such as wound care, colostomy care, or IV maintenance).
The national average daily cost is $110 per day (or $3,300 per month) for a one-bedroom, single-occupancy assisted living apartment. These costs are considerably lower than nursing homes due to the absence of medical services. Moreover, the cost of an assisted living home also fluctuates depending on location, services needed, services offered, size of apartment, and location in the community.
Traditional palliative care can be given at any time during the course of an illness and in conjunction with curative and aggressive treatments. Palliative care differs from hospice care in that hospice care is given when treatments are no longer available to bring about a cure and is usually assigned within the last six months of life. Palliative care is a medical specialty that focuses on relieving pain, symptoms, and stress of a life-threatening illness and improving quality of life. It is appropriate at any point in an illness.
Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for a family member who might otherwise require permanent placement in an assisted living or nursing home. Respite care can involve a caregiver coming into the home to give the primary caregiver a break or bringing a loved one to a nursing home or care facility for a time ranging from a few hours to less than 30 days.