Treating dementia patients’ costs around $159 billion a year. A report from New England Journal of Medicine, state that treatment for dementia is more expensive than treatments for patients with cancer and heart disease.
Dementia is the loss of mental function that is severe enough to impede with a person’s daily life. Dementia is not a disease, rather it’s a group of symptoms that prevent a person from doing everyday activites, like bathing and dressing.
Researchers from RAND Corp. in Santa Monica state that medical bills for dementia patients are only 16-25% of the total sum for treating dementia patients. Most of the money spent goes to the care of caring for the patients, either in a nursing home or in their homes. In 2010, the annual cost for care in nursing homes was $13,900 per patient.
After the actual care and medical treatment, there comes the “informal care” usually provided my family members and friends who help their loved one with dementia. The research team calculated this cost of this care in two ways. For the first way they calculated the care by estimated how much it would have cost the family to hire a professional to do the same work. For the second way, they estimated the amount the paycheck would have been for the family members or friends if they spend the same amount of time working at a paying job. The total bill per dementia patient came out to be around $40,000 a year.
“The economic burden of caring for people in the United States with dementia is large and growing larger,” stated study researcher Michael Hurd, a senior economist at RAND.” The cost for dementia care will only rise as Americans become. Experts say that if the rate for dementia care continues to rise it will double by 2040.