The realization that a loved one has dementia is emotionally daunting on its own. To make matters even more overwhelming, you now have to make many decisions as to what kind of care is going to be best for your mother, father, or spouse. Mount Laurel offers a variety of high-quality options for those in need of dementia care, making the decision all the more complicated. Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions about dementia care in Mount Laurel, NJ, to help you sift through the endless possibilities:
What Is the Average Cost of Dementia Care in Burlington County?
New Jersey is one of the more expensive states in the country when it comes to assisted living. Though the national average runs around $4,000 a month, New Jersey residents pay an average of $6,065 per month as of 2019, according to PayingforSeniorCare.com. For Burlington County specifically, assisted living costs average $5,040 per month, according to Caring.com. Dementia care is likely going to cost substantially more than standard assisted living, with an average monthly cost of $8,300 in Mount Laurel and an average monthly cost of $6,271 for Burlington County as a whole.
The cost of care will depend heavily on how much assistance is required, and because dementia is progressive, residents may need to be reassessed regularly to keep pace with their needs.
Likewise, if you are considering in-home care, costs vary widely depending on the level of assistance required and whether you hire through an agency or independently. As of 2019, the average rate for home care in New Jersey is approximately $24 per hour, with dementia care likely involving additional costs.
Are There Financial Assistance Opportunities for Dementia Care in New Jersey?
Though the price of dementia care can seem shocking at first, when you consider both the financial and emotional costs of taking care of a loved one on your own, it can actually be a great value. Plus, there are several ways to reduce the financial burden, including Medicaid, long-term care insurance, and other state-sponsored support programs.
For those who qualify, Medicaid can help with the costs of assisted living, although it’s important to note that not all communities accept Medicaid, and beds reserved for Medicaid residents are usually limited. To figure out whether you qualify for public benefits and to receive help signing up, call a state health insurance counselor for a free consultation.
If your loved one has signed up for long-term care insurance, that should help substantially with the financial burden of assisted living. However, if they haven’t signed up and need care imminently, it’s probably too late.
Aside from Medicaid and insurance, New Jersey also offers a handful of programs to ease the financial burden of dementia care and assisted living. New Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving provides nonmedical, home support services to help seniors continue living independently. The New Jersey Statewide Respite Care Program offers reduced rate or free respite care to help individuals who are caring for a loved one gain some relief from their duties. The New Jersey Alzheimer's Adult Day Care Services Program (AADSP) can cover as much as 80 percent of the cost of adult day care several days a week for those who qualify. And prescription assistance programs, including Senior Gold and PAAD (Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled), can reduce medication costs.
What Options Does Mount Laurel Offer for Seniors in Need of Dementia Care?
Mount Laurel has 11 communities that offer dementia care, according to Caring.com, and Burlington County has 111 in-home care options, some of which offer dementia care. The level of care varies widely depending on the community or care provider you’re considering. The best dementia care communities provide a high quality of life while taking precautions to ensure each resident’s safety, such as security measures to prevent wandering outside the grounds and design choices that decrease residents’ frustration with or agitation because of their dementia.
How Do I Choose the Right Care for Myself or a Loved One?
Not all dementia care options are created equal, and the best choice will depend on a number of factors. You should first evaluate the severity of the dementia and the level of monitoring required. For those with very mild dementia, an in-home caregiver who can assist with some daily activities, such as taking regular medications, may be sufficient. For more advanced cases, the best option may be a senior living community that offers dementia care, which can provide consistent monitoring and access to care providers who are well versed in caring for residents with dementia. The best way to figure out the best option for you or a loved one is by visiting a few different communities or meeting with several caregivers and asking plenty of questions.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Dementia Care as Provided by a Senior Living Community?
Dementia care provided by a senior living community is often the best option for someone with dementia because it allows the highest possible quality of life while ensuring safety and peace of mind. Residents are typically integrated into a supportive community where they can continue practicing hobbies and engaging in social activities, all while reducing symptoms such as aggression, anger, wandering, and depression. And due to the progressive nature of dementia, if your loved one’s health declines further, most dementia care facilities will be able to easily adjust the level of care provided. Communities that offer that range of care are often preferable to a sudden shift from in-home care to full-time dementia care, which can be especially disorienting for someone with dementia.
Hopefully these answers helped make this big decision slightly less daunting. For more insights into living well with dementia, check out The Arbor Company blog.