What is the Average Cost of Caring for Someone with Cerebral Palsy?


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Cerebral palsy is a lifelong developmental disorder that requires long-term medical care and treatment. It is a disorder that affects the individual, the family, and other loved ones. People with cerebral palsy often cannot provide for themselves physically or financially, so the burden of caretaking and covering the costs of the disorder becomes the family’s responsibility.

The cost of caring for someone with cerebral palsy (CP) is determined based on multiple direct and indirect expenses. These costs include medical expenses related to treatment, as well as other expenses like assistive devices, medication for spasticity, 24-hour nursing care, orthotics, therapies (speech, occupational, physical, aquatic), wheelchairs, modifications to the home to accommodate the individual with CP, and many more.

The lifetime cost for a person with cerebral palsy can cost tens of millions of dollars. Medical care costs have risen exponentially, annually outpacing inflation rates for consumer goods.

Expenses Related to the Care of Someone with Cerebral Palsy

The expenses that the family of someone with CP incurs fall into two categories: direct and indirect, and they cover everything from medical costs to modifications for accommodation.

Direct Expenses

The direct expenses for caring for a person with cerebral palsy include the medical costs associated with treating the condition.

Some of the direct medical expenses for caring for a person with CP include:

  • Appointments with doctors and specialists
  • Physical, speech, or occupational therapy sessions
  • Medicine
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital stays
  • Diagnostic imaging testing

Medical equipment and Supplies (Diapers, wipes, catheters, etc.)

The amount of medical expenses incurred depends on the seriousness of the person’s cerebral palsy. A person with a milder form of CP will likely cost less to treat than it does to treat someone with a more debilitating type of the disorder. People with more severe movement limitations will need more treatment and, thus, have more medical expenses associated with their care.

Indirect Expenses

Medical expenses directly related to a person having cerebral palsy account for only a part of their care. Parents or other caregivers can also expect to pay various indirect expenditures as part of their loved one’s care. Indirect expenses are often not covered by medical insurance. For example, if a person with CP must use a wheelchair and the home has to be modified to accommodate this, insurance may assist with the wheelchair but not the home modifications.

Some of the other indirect expenses of caring for an individual with CP are:

  • Modification to vehicles
  • Adaptive shoes or clothing
  • Assistive devices (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc.)
  • 24-hour nursing care
  • Special education programs or helpers

An additional indirect cost of CP is the person’s loss of earning potential, which significantly affects the lifetime expense of living with the disorder. Although some people with a very mild form of cerebral palsy can work, most face considerable physical or intellectual limitations and cannot be gainfully employed in the labor market.

Help to Alleviate the Cost of Living with Cerebral Palsy

Suppose you suspect a loved one’s cerebral palsy (and co-occurring conditions) resulted from a medical mistake or negligence. In that case, contacting an attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases involving cerebral palsy is essential. At Ross Feller Casey, we have an unrivaled record of winning medical malpractice lawsuits involving cerebral palsy. We have top attorneys and medical doctors on staff to help determine if you have a potential case.

We handle all our cases, including cerebral palsy lawsuits, on a contingency basis, so you will not pay anything until a financial recovery is made.

About the Author

Scott Vezina concentrates his practice on representing individuals who have suffered catastrophic brain or spinal cord injuries caused by medical negligence and product defects.

Scott Vezina

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