Alzheimer's Caregiving

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.

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.

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/health.

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.

For more information, see Getting Help with Caregiving. You can order a print copy of this booklet by calling 1-800-222-2225 or visiting www.nia.nih.gov/health.