The beginning stages of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related memory issues can seem negligible – a forgotten appointment, not remembering a face or name, an error in a favorite recipe, etc. Over time, the cumulative effects of these diseases may require outside assistance. For many, this assistance comes by way of a spouse or family caregiver.
When a memory disease progresses further, additional help is often required. It’s so important to begin memory-focused caregiving as soon as possible. Scientists and doctors on the forefront of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease overwhelmingly agree proper care and treatment at the early stages of the disease can have remarkable effects in slowing progress and potentially reversing some side effects. Below we’ll dive into some of the memory care resources available in Atlanta, GA.
Memory Care & Caregiver Support is Thriving in Atlanta, GA
The good news for individuals requiring memory care – and their caregivers – is the Atlanta area is teeming with resources just for you. Here are some places to start if you or a loved one is experiencing age-related cognitive decline as you form a plan.
Financial Support for Memory Care
Memory care can be expensive. From extra doctor’s appointments that require days off work – to medications, caregiving, and/or transferring a loved one to a memory care facility – costs can easily outpace your available budget. Fortunately, financial resources are available.
Schedule an appointment for an official diagnosis
First, bring your concerns to your general physician and have the condition diagnosed. A clear diagnosis not only ensures your loved one begins recommended protocols, lifestyle changes and/or treatments ASAP, it also places you in position for the financial assistance available to you.
Contact your health insurance carrier
Once you have an official doctor’s diagnosis and recommended treatment plan, contact your health insurance carrier and ask for a list of memory care providers in your area that are covered. This can offset care costs significantly – or entirely – depending on your plan’s details.
Are you already covered by Medicare/Medicaid? The aforementioned advice applies. If you aren’t covered yet (the patient must be 65-years or older or already qualify for disability), make a call and see if your loved one is eligible for additional coverage.
Typically, Medicare covers the Following Memory Care Costs:
- 80% of the costs required to diagnose Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions as well as doctor-advised treatments, such as medication or psychological counseling
- Some level of home care services and/or equipment, most commonly during the later stages of the disease
- Certain aspects of facility-based care on a temporary basis
- Large portions of a person’s caregiving expenses if the patient qualifies via low-income maximums
You may find it’s worth paying extra for Medicare’s Supplemental Insurance coverage in order to increase the level of memory care coverage they offer. We recommend reading Medicare for Alzheimer’s and Dementia for more detailed explanations about the financial support Medicare offers.
Veteran’s Administration Resources
The VA offers comprehensive resources – financially and via memory care services – to those who’ve served our country as well as their families. These services include things like:
- Medical care
- Home care
- Respite care for spouse/family caregivers
- Adult day care
- Palliative care
- And more
Visit the VA’s Dementia Care page for more information and resources. You can also contact the local VA to learn more about specific services in your neighborhood.
Memory Care at Home
The Atlanta area has dozens of licensed, high-quality home care agencies. While home-based care allows those with dementia to remain in place for as long as they’re comfortable, these agencies do better in the general home care arena, without being specific to memory care.
Some of the services available to you via home care aides include companionship, grocery/meal prep services, bathing/grooming, and so on. However, because most caregivers are not memory care experts, they may not be able to meet the high demands of a patient with progressive cognitive decline.
Typically, it makes more sense for those in mid- to later stages of dementia to live in a memory care-specific community. Always use a third-party agency, such as The Georgia Association for Home Health Agencies to verify a home care provider is licensed and Medicare approved.
Adult Day Care in Atlanta, GA
Adult day care is another option for keeping your loved one home as long as possible, while still being able to work or take a much-needed break from caregiving. Most centers allow drop-in or scheduled care, during normal business hours, once a client is enrolled.
Visit the Georgia Adult Day Services Association to find an adult day care specializing in memory care near you.
Memory Care Centers in Atlanta, GA
Once an adult is into the mid- or late-stages of cognitive decline, it becomes very difficult for a spouse, family member, or regular home care aides to provide adequate care.
Memory Care Centers are very special places, designed to provide the highest-quality of memory care available in a safe, caring and stimulating environment. Memory care centers are very different from generalized assisted living communities because we focus 100% of our staffing, energy, research and methods on the most forward-thinking memory care findings.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by all there is to do in the wake of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or because your spouse requires more care than you can provide? Please reach out to the Memory Center and we will do our best to be of assistance.
We are experts in all aspects of memory care and can help you create a viable plan, work through the financial FAQs, and outline memory care resources that make the most sense for your situation.