Caregivers of people with dementia face financial hardships

CHICAGO (AP) — Many relatives and friends providing financial support or care to people with dementia have dipped into their retirement savings, cut back on spending and sold assets to pay for expenses tied to the disease.

A survey by the Alzheimer’s Association also finds that about one in five go hungry because they don’t have enough money.

Keith Fargo, the Alzheimer’s Association director of scientific programs and outreach, says the survey shows that people are not prepared for the high costs of home care or nursing home care. The median cost of a home care aide is $20 per hour and the average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $80,300 per year.

Nationwide, there are 5.4 million people with Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia.