Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's
Resources for Caregivers
Caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease can draw on many sources of help for caregiving and financial support. Here are some places that provide general support and advice for Alzheimer’s caregivers.
- The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center offers information on diagnosis, treatment, patient care, caregiver needs, long-term care, research, and clinical trials related to Alzheimer’s. Staff can refer you to local and national resources, or you can search for information on the website. The Center, a service of the National Institute on Aging, can be reached at 1-800-438-4380 or www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers.
- The Alzheimer's Association offers information, a help line, and support services to people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Local chapters across the country offer support groups, including many that help with early-stage Alzheimer’s. Call or search online to find support groups in your area: 1-800-272-3900 or visit www.alz.org.
- The Alzheimer's Foundation of America provides information about Alzheimer’s caregiving and a list of services for people with Alzheimer’s. Services include a toll-free hotline, publications, and other educational materials. Contact the Foundation at 1-866-232-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org
- The National Institute on Aging Information Center offers free publications about aging in English and Spanish. They can be viewed, printed, and ordered from the Internet. Contact the Center at 1-800-222-2225 or visit www.nia.nih.gov.
Government Health Insurance
Government agencies and private organizations provide health insurance and other kinds of financial support and services for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
Medicare is a Federal health insurance program that pays some medical costs for people age 65 and older and for those who have received Social Security Disability Income for 24 months.
- Medicare Part A covers hospital visits after you pay a certain amount and short stays in a nursing home for certain kinds of illnesses.
- Medicare Part B helps pay for certain medical services, such as doctor's fees, lab tests, x-rays, and medical equipment.
- Medicare Part D covers some prescription drug costs.
For more information, call 1-800-633-4227 or visit www.medicare.gov
Medicaid is a combined Federal-State health insurance program for low-income people and families. This program will pay for nursing home care and sometimes long-term care at home if you meet financial requirements. For more information, visit www.medicaid.gov
Other Government Benefits
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a program that combines Medicare and Medicaid benefits. It pays medical, social service, and long-term care costs for frail, low-income people age 55 and older. PACE permits most people who qualify to continue living at home instead of moving to a long-term care facility. The program is available only in certain areas. To find out more, visit PACE
Social Security Disability Income is for people younger than age 65 who are disabled according to the Social Security Administration's definition. You must be able to show that the person with Alzheimer’s is unable to work, and that his or her condition will last at least a year or is expected to result in death. Visit www.ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm for details.
Social Security also has "compassionate allowances" to help people with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, mixed dementia, frontotemporal dementia/Pick's disease, primary progressive aphasia, and other serious medical conditions get disability benefits more quickly. To find out more, call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is another resource for caregivers. This is a national program offered in each State that provides free counseling and advice about Medicare coverage and benefits. To contact a SHIP counselor in your State, visit www.medicare.gov/contacts.
Help for Veterans
If the person with Alzheimer’s disease is a veteran, he or she may qualify for long-term care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There could be a waiting list for VA nursing homes. The VA also provides some at-home care. To learn more about VA benefits, call 1-877-222-8387 or visit www.va.gov.
Other Sources of Help
The National Council on Aging, a private group, has a free service called BenefitsCheckUp. This service helps you find Federal and State benefit programs that can help pay for prescription drugs, heating bills, housing, meal programs, and legal and other services. To learn more about BenefitsCheckUp, call 202-479-1200 or visit www.benefitscheckup.org.