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Alzheimer's care and Medicaid

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If you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's, your options might be limited.

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and it is said that one in every five people will some how be affected by the disease. Many families in the Amarillo area are facing a tougher time than others.

"There are currently no assisted living facilities in Amarillo that accept medicaid," Lorry Parker Executive Director at The Cottages says.

The only option for Alzheimer's patients is to go to a nursing home.

"And the problem is worsened if they haven't planned ahead and gotten on a waiting list for Medicaid," Parker says.

The area nursing homes that do accept Medicaid all have waiting lists up to a year long.

"And for someone with dementia or Alzheimer's, everybody walks that road differently. So, you never know exactly when it is that something's going to happen that says ok, I need placement and I need it now," Parker says.

She has been through the difficulties of Alzheimer's.

"My dad suffered from severe dementia. It was like watching my hero crumble right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do to stop it. So to know there's another family member feeling the way I felt, and to know I could take such good care of that person here but we're private pay, it breaks my heart to send them out that door to go look for something else," Parker says.

She says there needs to be something for those families she has to turn away on a weekly basis.

"This is a disease that affects the whole family, and it needs a special place that's trained to take care of those people. But it also needs, we need some assistance, some help for the people that can't afford it," Parker says.

Parker also says many people actually fall in the in between, category, those who don't qualify for medicaid, but can't afford assisted living.

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