Report: Cost of caring for aging adults is more than raising a child; Tempe launches new program

Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 09:48:28-05

"It just can't stay as it is," Jan Dougherty said. "That's what frightens me... for my children's sake." 

Dougherty is a Special Projects Consultant with Banner Alzheimer Institute and she believes Alzheimer's is the disease that will be what bankrupts your sons and daughters. 

It is already crippling to watching emotionally and now, it is also devastating to your finances.  

A study by Forbesrevealed that it costs more to care for an aging adult than to raise a child right now. 

And Arizona is seeing incredible numbers in the number of people suffering from the disease. 

"About 120,000 people in Arizona are impacted and that number is going to double in the next 10 years," Dougherty explained. 

The disease, also one of the many reasons Silver Alerts are issued. 

"The numbers say that 60 percent of people with Alzheimer's will wander away from home in some portion of their illness," Dougherty explained. 

But, in the Valley, Tempe is taking action to try and ease a caregiver's burden with a no-cost extra layer of care, aimed at helping frantic families when their loved ones go missing.  

"You're more concerned about their welfare at that moment than you are concerned about those details," said Megan Hanks, a volunteer coordinator with the Tempe Police Department. 

The new program is called TEAM Reunite, and it asks Tempe residents (even those outside the city) to register their loved ones with the system. 

Everything from their basic physical description to their specific habits — even what grocery store they like can be helpful to police.

And Hanks said, this is not just for people with Alzheimer's. She believes it is a great resource for people to register if they have any type of cognitive disability.  

"If you are a caregiver of one of those people, this is something that you can do to help yourself too," Hanks said. "Maybe give you a little piece of mind in knowing that the city is behind you and our efforts are to reunite you with your loved ones."

The program is set to begin in April, but there are already a handful of ways you can already be proactive with your loved ones care. 

Click here for more information.