AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — It’s estimated that most Americans with an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient, will spend nearly $400,000 dollars to care for them.

“The disease is chronic and a person diagnosed with dementia, I mean, they’ll live four to eight years,” said David Hernandez, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association’s West Texas Chapter. “And in that span of their life, you know, there, you think about all the cost of medical care and daily living expenses, that incur.”

Hernandez told us some of those expenses include out of pocket costs which can be up to $10,000, medications, some which aren’t covered, but that’s not all.

“Later on down the road, you’re more prone to falls, you’re more prone to other ailments, other things that come with it pneumonia, you know, losing mobility in your legs, and, unfortunately, Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance doesn’t cover all those expenses,” he said.

Which leaves the family or individual to cover the additional costs.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, two out of three people believe Medicare helps pay for nursing home care, but that’s not always the case.

He offers some tips on what you can do beforehand to find out.

“Gather as a family with their loved one to see what, what it is that they can’t afford, you know, what are the assets and liabilities that they have, seek out resources. Education, whether it’s virtual or in person, where we can direct them in reaching out to social security to find out early on what is covered,” he explained.

Perhaps the best thing to do; plan early.

“Now’s the time, you know, even when you’re young, you know, that’s that’s the time to really plan for your retirement plan for those things that can come up,” he explained.

For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association, click here.