I was pleased to learn that Medicare is no longer requiring the “demonstrable improvements” mandate when it comes to covering the charges for a variety of therapy treatments for those with dementia. Most of us who have cared for a loved one with dementia know that physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy can often improve quality of life. While this improvement was often not at the level Medicare required for reimbursement, it offered benefits that the indifferent eye of bureaucracy could not see.
While I have witnessed firsthand the challenges of successful rehab with a dementia patient, I think there are specific therapy programs that could brighten a dementia patient’s mood and help them better communicate their fears and frustrations. Dad somehow learned to walk again, despite being in the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s. I think it takes specially-trained therapists who know the best ways to reach dementia patients.
I hope more dementia patients can take advantage of therapy programs without their families having to worry about the financial consequences.