Dementia, no matter when it occurs, is devastating. It can take the person you know and love and change them. It can render your loved one unable to take care of themselves and work. What happens when your loved one relies on a paycheck but can no longer work? How will care be paid for and what can be done? Thankfully, those with dementia are protected and can be cared for with help from Social Security programs.
According to Cydney Hansen, Marketing Director, at CountryHouse, a memory care community in Granite Bay, CA, dementia can make working near impossible because of all of its symptoms and side effects. “No matter what form of dementia you or a loved one have – be it Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, vascular, Huntington’s or any other form – dementia can impact the ability to do the everyday tasks that you were once able to do,” says Cydney. “Common symptoms of dementia are poor judgement, disorientation, confusion and difficulty speaking and walking, and as dementia progresses it can get worse, so it’s important to plan ahead and consider your options once working is no longer possible.”
The Benefits of Social Security for Those with Dementia
Because the financial burden of those with dementia can be large, it’s important to realize the benefits that Social Security can give those with dementia. Consider some of the following:
- Veterans may get extra disability pay. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, a law was passed in 2013 that stated veterans with traumatic brain injuries could receive additional disability pay if they have Parkinson’s disease or other forms of dementia. Even more, veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange don’t have to prove a connection between their disease and military service, because it’s believed that Agent Orange and other herbicides increased chances of developing Parkinson’s disease.
- Dementia can meet standards for disability benefits. Thanks to the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances program, seniors with mixed dementias such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body and Frontotemporal dementia can reduce waiting time to reach disability determinations because they already meet the standards.
- Those with early-onset Alzheimer’s are protected. When Alzheimer’s disease affects an individual’s ability to work, it can be devastating on a family with no other source of income. According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, Social Security disability benefits are extremely important to those with early-onset because there was a point in time where they were initially denied these benefits and then have to go through an appeals process to get approved. The article states that not only is this process financially draining but also emotionally. Now that early-onset Alzheimer’s is on the Compassionate Allowances list, they can find relief quicker.
How to Apply for Social Security Program Benefits
While the programs are available for seniors to use, it can be difficult to navigate if you are unsure. The Alzheimer’s Association provides a checklist to help guide you through the process of applying for Social Security benefits, which we’ve broken down here.
- Find where to apply for your benefits. It’s possible to apply online at socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability or over the phone at 800.772.1213, but it’s most often recommended that you apply in person at your local Social Security office. In order to do this, you must call ahead at the aforementioned phone number to make an appointment.
- Don’t wait to apply. The Alzheimer’s Association states that waiting to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance can cause you to lose out on benefits. As soon as you are diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, you should apply.
- Supply the right information. Before applying for benefits, you should prepare your Social Security number, compile all military information including your type of duty, branch and service period, your W-2 forms and direct deposit numbers, worker compensation information, information about your illnesses and medical records you have. For a more conclusive list, visit the above link.
This can sometimes be a confusing process, so by applying in person it can help to make it easier and allow you to understand the process better. It can also help to ask family and friends for help.
For more information about Social Security benefits and programs for those with dementia, call CountryHouse at 916•778•9665, we’d be happy to help you.
Treating people like family is at the heart of what we do.
CountryHouse at Granite Bay is the very first CountryHouse location in California. With a desirable location among Folsom Lake and the Sierra foothills, and only 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, Granite Bay was the perfect area to place our upscale memory care community. While CountryHouse at Granite Bay may be brand new to California, we are certainly not new to the needs of seniors. And just like every CountryHouse around the United States, we know that personalized care can make all the difference when it comes to quality care and peace of mind.
At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we provide personalized memory care in an environment that is beautiful and thoughtfully designed. Full of natural light, warmth and tasteful elegance, we want residents and their families to feel welcome and at home. In fact, our staff members are even hand-picked based on their natural empathy. Our staff learns each resident’s story, from their likes and dislikes, to their values and their pasts, in order to customize care and make meaningful connections that provide residents with true moments of joy and the desire to make the most of each day.
With our LifeCycles wellness programming, we encourage residents to connect, engage and enjoy every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. We achieve this through a range of daily activities and routines, which can include daily bus rides, cookouts, trips and other special events. At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we strive to make sure our residents make the most of each day, and we believe that when you treat people like family, and keep that at the heart of what you do, residents, their families and their health thrive. Contact us to learn more!
Connect with us today or call us at 916•778•9665 for more information or to schedule a visit.
CountryHouse is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.