Study: Families bear majority of dementia-related costs

It is estimated that from the time of diagnosis around age 83, discounted total lifetime cost of dementia care in 2015 was $321,780.
By Amy Wallace  |  Aug. 17, 2017 at 10:40 AM
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Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Families bear the majority of the burden of the cost of caring for a family member with dementia, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers at Brown University School of Public Health developed a mathematical model based on data from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set, the Aging Demographics and Memory Study, and federal Medicare records to simulate disease progression.

The model showed that people with dementia in the United States get $321,780 in care over a five-year period living with dementia, compared to $137,280 during the same period for people without dementia, with 86 percent of the costs being incurred by families.

"Families can use the data from our study to understand the potential financial burden associated with caring for a family member with dementia," Eric Jutkowitz, of Brown University School of Public Health, said in a press release.

"Data on the lifetime cost of dementia can also be used by policy makers for planning at the local, state, and national levels, and they can use the dementia simulation model to ask questions about the impact of different interventions on cost of care."

The study found that healthcare costs for a person with dementia over a lifetime was $184,500 more than for a person without dementia.

Researchers found that reducing functional decline or behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia by 10 percent resulted in $3,880 and $680 lower costs over a lifetime respectively. Policy and intervention services would save costs to families over time.

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