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The IRS does not specifically state whether expenses for the care of an Alzheimer's patient are deductible, but they do provide information on how to make such a determination.

The primary factor is whether the lodging is essential for medical care. This can vary depending on the individual circumstances (i.e. how far an individual's Alzheimer's has progressed), so the determination must be made on an individual basis. See the information below for assistance making this determination.

Per IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses, pages 10-12:

Lodging

You can include in medical expenses the cost of meals and lodging at a hospital or similar institution if a principal reason for being there is to receive medical care. See Nursing Home, later.

You may be able to include in medical expenses the cost of lodging not provided in a hospital or similar institution. You can include the cost of such lodging while away from home if all of the following requirements are met.

  1. The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care.
  2. The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.
  3. The lodging isn't lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.
  4. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.

The amount you include in medical expenses for lodging can't be more than $50 for each night for each person.You can include lodging for a person traveling with the person receiving the medical care. For example, if a parent is traveling with a sick child, up to $100 per night can be included as a medical expense for lodging. Meals aren't included.

Don't include the cost of lodging while away from home for medical treatment if that treatment isn't received from a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital or if that lodging isn't primarily for or essential to the medical care received

Long-Term Care

You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and premiums paid for qualified long-term care insurance contracts. (Please note, limitations may apply to Qualified long-term care premiums.)

Qualified Long-Term Care Services

Qualified long-term care services are necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative services, and maintenance and personal care services (defined later) that are:

  1. Required by a chronically ill individual, and
  2. Provided pursuant to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.

Chronically ill individual.  An individual is chronically ill if, within the previous 12 months, a licensed health care practitioner has certified that the individual meets either of the following descriptions.

  1. He or she is unable to perform at least two activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another individual for at least 90 days, due to a loss of functional capacity. Activities of daily living are eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence.
  2. He or she requires substantial supervision to be protected from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.

Maintenance and personal care services. Maintenance or personal care services is care which has as its primary purpose the providing of a chronically ill individual with needed assistance with his or her disabilities (including protection from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment).

Nursing Home

You can include in medical expenses the cost of medical care in a nursing home, home for the aged, or similar institution, for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents. This includes the cost of meals and lodging in the home if a principal reason for being there is to get medical care.

Don't include the cost of meals and lodging if the reason for being in the home is personal. You can, however, include in medical expenses the part of the cost that is for medical or nursing care.


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