It doesn’t really matter what causes dementia, the problem is that it isn’t covered by health insurance! Most people don’t realize how expensive it is either.  A nursing home can cost between $5000 and $7000 or more per month for dementia care.  All out of pocket unless you qualify for Medicaid (have less than $1500 to your name).  For a farm family this literally means losing the family farm to pay for care.

Farmers that do plan ahead get Long Term Care insurance ahead of time.  (We are dealing with filing for benefits now.)  It’s paperwork, run around, and lots of work to get the benefits when they are finally needed – and that’s after they push the ‘grace period’ as long as they can.

Long Term Care insurance policies are also only good for a set amount of time – so the issue also becomes at what time do you enter the nursing home to use all the benefits without going over.  Basically what is the family members life expectancy, if you miscalculate you can still ‘lose the farm’.

We have in our own situation looked at other things, but the biggest issue is that we are stumbling around blind.  Whether you get an advocate, get a lawyer, or just get friends that have been through it, every situation is different.

For example, my father was in the reserves, but was told that he was serving active duty for 6 months near the end of his enlistment during the Vietnam war.  We are filing for benefits, but now we are being told it may not count because it was classified as ‘training’! Assets become an issue also and income definitely does. From the sound of it my mother would need to be destitute and live on nothing for my dad to get benefits? If he had qualified…

Anyone with suggestions on ways to pay for dementia care when a family members becomes unmanageable at home?


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