My step-father has Alzheimer's and eventually he will need to be placed in an assisted living home.

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My mother worries about the cost.


Of course mother worries. So take her on tours, they usually provide a free lunch and will talk about how you pay for this. If Dad was a veteran, also check into VA benefits for him. Even if he has to go on Medicaid, she can still keep the house and one car.
I'm sure she worries about the cost. Possibly she even concentrates on worrying about the cost, because it helps takes her mind off worrying about lots of other things: there is such a hard, heart-breaking series of choices ahead for her.

I completely agree with Pam that the best way to help is to get good, clear information, and to meet with the people who will be able to support her now and in future. Unfortunately it won't make the situation any less sad when the time comes, but at least she will know that she has worked out the best possible option for his care.
She is right to worry. AL costs will add up quickly, with the added cost of any medicine to add insult to injury.
I commend you and your mother for being proactive and thinking about your step dad's needs sooner rather than later. Start investigating potential care options in your area *and* within a reasonable driving distance. There are big differences in price and services between New York and Pennsylvania, for example, and that may also be the case where you live.

Right now you can help your mother do something more productive than worry. Get facts and then you can help her figure out a budget. If possible, tour places yourself and get the numbers first before visiting with your mother.

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