Shining a Light on Those Who Provide Dementia Care

Dec 1, 2017 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Editorial Assistant

As National Family Caregiver Month comes to a close, the SSA looks to shine a light on some of the often overlooked aspects of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Today, more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. It is estimated that in 2016 those caregivers delivered 18.2 billion hours of assistance, often at the cost of personal and financial sacrifices.

Traditional health insurance plans and Medicare do not typically cover long-term nursing home stays that people in the late stages of the disease often require. Social Security is used across the country to pay for critical care services for individuals living with dementia. Since 2010, Social Security has included Early-Onset Alzheimer’s as a Compassionate Allowances condition for the Social Security Disability Insurance program, providing access to expedited review of Social Security benefit applications for those under the age of 65.

While we continue to work towards a cure and treatments that will both improve quality of life and reduce costs, it is important to have access to affordable support and services. This includes providing support for those who provide care. To learn more about how Social Security disability insurance works, visit Social Security’s disability page. You can also visit Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances site to learn more about Alzheimer’s and other medical conditions that allow expedited processing of Social Security disability benefits.

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