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Women are Losers When It Comes to Alzheimer’s Costs

October 5, 2015

Caregiving is one of the most important jobs you can provide for a spouse. However, when the patient is a man, the value of time and energy spent caregiving is about 20 times greater than that performed by a male family member. The ultimate cost is about 6 times more for a woman than it is for a man with Alzheimer’s Disease. Women perform more unreimbursed labor whereas men will spend money on a paid caregiving staff which drives up the costs overall.

 

It is important to address the policies of not only patients, but of the caregivers who bear much of the burden of taking care of a spouse. Caring for women with Alzheimer’s Disease was found to cost more across the board compared to a male patient. Medicare was 1.5 greater; Medicaid was 2.2 greater and home or assisted living costs were 5.8 times greater. The work performed by male caregivers showed a noticeable decline to work performed by female caregivers which increased the overall bill for female Alzheimer’s patients. Public policy must intervene to meet the home health care needs or long-term care of women patients as well as performing research to cure or slow Alzheimer’s. Policies need to be made to benefit the welfare and economic status of women.

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