“Roanoke Times” Article Highlights Economic Burden of FTD

“Roanoke Times” Article Highlights Economic Burden of FTD - WEB FB LI TW

One Rhode Island family spoke about the escalating economic burdens they’ve faced while caring for their loved one with FTD in a Jan. 24 article featured in The Roanoke Times.

Janet Coleman, 57, spoke to Roanoke Times reporter Dan Casey about the challenges she and her family have encountered following her husband’s FTD diagnosis. Mark Coleman, 61, has lived with FTD since 2017. When Mark lost his job before his diagnosis, Janet worked up to three jobs to keep their family afloat.

In addition to the family’s increasing medical and care costs, Mark’s FTD-related symptoms began to affect his behavior and mood, and soon became unmanageable for Janet and their two children to care for him on their own.

“He got nasty. He’d swear at the kids. He’d swear at me. And he’s never been like that,” Janet told the Roanoke Times. “He’s gotten very aggressive with me, and he’s about three times my size.”

Janet decided to move Mark into a memory care facility, which costs nearly $7,000 per month. But her salary as a hospital service coordinator and receptionist isn’t enough to cover Mark’s monthly expenses, she said, and the family has had to use their retirement savings to pay for the monthly expenses.

According to an AFTD-funded study published in Neurology in 2017, the average annual costs associated with FTD is nearly $120,000, nearly twice the costs of Alzheimer’s.

In response to the Coleman family’s financial troubles, their friend, Mark Minnick, organized a fundraiser to assist the family in paying for Mark’s care. He said he hoped that the crowdsourced funding would help to alleviate Janet of the economic strain of caring for her husband on her own.

“None of this is their fault,” Minnick said. “They’re just good people.”

Read the full Roanoke Times article here.

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