$88,000 a year to care for someone living with dementia? It’s true
We’re often asked at agedcare101.com.au by families about the costs of entering aged care – and their main question is “How can it cost so much?”
So I thought I’d share some new research just released by Flinders University. They found the ‘conservative’ whole-of-system cost of caring for a person with dementia in an aged care home was $88,000 a year – much higher than previously thought.
The cost of residential care made up 94 per cent of costs. This was based on the 85 per cent of the single person age pension that is charged to all aged care residents in Australia and the funding that aged care providers receive from the Federal Government – in short, the bare minimum amount you will pay for aged care.
The remaining six per cent of direct healthcare costs were mainly for pharmaceuticals (55 per cent), out-of-hospital attendances (25 per cent), and hospitalisations (13 per cent).
The cost of residential care was also much higher for people with dementia than those without it, though their healthcare costs were lower.
Counting the true cost of dementia
The reality is over half of aged care residents have some form of dementia. Most are also living with chronic conditions.
The Flinders figures don’t even consider the costs of informal care provided by families or other costs such as creating dementia-friendly environments and training staff.
As someone who works in the sector – and has cared for a parent with dementia – I know it takes a lot of time and money to support these residents. Medications, doctors’ visits, increased home care services, loss of time from work, outings.
Most of this bill is footed by the Federal Government, but families will soon have to start contributing more to the costs of care as we all grow older.
If you do have a parent or loved one who may need to go into an aged care home in the future, it’s worth working out the costs now.
For more information on navigating the costs of aged care, click here.