Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Husband Knows Cost of Illness

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Husband Knows Cost of Illness

Article excerpt

It's been 24 years since Arthur Schaefer, 87, retired as a bottle-maker in Alton.

But he's worked full time ever since taking care of his wife, Mildred, 86, who has Alzheimer's disease.

He isn't surprised that a new study ranks Alzheimer's as the nation's third most costly illness.

He has paid at least $80,000 out-of-pocket for aides to help him at home, he said Wednesday.

He's spent another $7,500 for nursing home care. He couldn't estimate how many thousands of dollars he has spent on everyday items such linens, laundry bills and special equipment, including a lift to help ease his wife out of bed.

And now that his wife seems to be entering the final stages of Alzheimer's, his biggest expenses are yet to come, Schaefer said.

Schaefer has his own chronic ailments, including sometimes crippling arthritis and a chronic gastric illness. These ailments forced him to leave his home in Alton in 1989. He and his wife moved in with his daughter, Lynn Schaefer, in Florissant. …

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