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These Free and Low-Cost Resources are for Anyone Affected by Alzheimer’s
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, which is a more general term for a decline in mental capacity severe enough to to interfere with a person’s everyday life. It’s a progressive disease that gradually worsens over several years, and while there are treatments available to delay and lessen symptoms for a time, there is currently no cure.
The emotional, physical and mental effects of Alzheimer’s, along with other diseases that affect memory and brain function, are difficult for everyone involved. Add in the financial implications of long-term care, medication, therapies and appointments, and the financial strain can make an already overwhelming diagnosis that much more devastating.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
Thankfully, several organizations offer free and low-cost resources to people affected by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
We’ve compiled some resources that will help you find free and low-cost resources for both patients and caregivers.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides free, confidential memory screenings administered by qualified professionals across the U.S. You can find a testing site near you that offers free memory screenings.
If you’re not sure if you should be screened, these questions may help you decide. You can also download and take this free Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE), but you should take your completed form to a qualified healthcare professional for a follow-up.
Resources for Individuals Who Have Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer’s Association’s website is a good place to go for initial resources. There, you’ll find links to a lot of helpful articles and videos, including everything from a “What to Expect” section to a free “Taking Action” workbook.
Here, you’ll find resources including a free telephone helpline, links to local and online support groups and free online education courses.
You can also search for free and low-cost services in your community.
Resources for Caregivers
Here you’ll find information and free, online educational materials to help you better understand your role as a caregiver. You can also search for local and online support groups and message boards so you can connect with people who have faced with similar circumstances.
You’ll also find resources that explain different care options, and can connect you to them, because no one person should have to face the entirety of the caregiving experience alone. There’s also an eldercare locator that can help you find programs in your area.
At the National Institute on Aging, you’ll find resources for relieving stress and anxiety, as well as information on coping with the emotional changes and the modified grieving processes that go along with a dementia diagnosis.
If you’re in need of financial help to allay some of the mounting costs of long-term care, Paying for Senior Care has resources for understanding, planning for and lowering long-term care costs. The site covers everything from home modifications to veterans’ benefits.
The Caregiver Center breaks down several financial aid options available to you, including government assistance programs and retirement benefits. This website offers information on Medicare and Medicaid, along with info on the limitations and benefits of different types of insurance and health care coverage.
This free, downloadable educational program provides information on legal and financial planning for those who are in the early stages of the disease.
Finally, this website will help you find your local Area Agency on Aging. AAAs receive federal funding under the Older American Act with supplementation through state and local revenues. Each AAA provides a collection of services including insurance counseling, transportation assistance, caregiver support and information and referrals.
The Alzheimer’s Association is working to inspire action in an effort to find a cure — but for those already affected by this disease in any way, now is the time to seek out emotional, mental, physical and financial support.
Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.