Families of dementia sufferers face huge bills

elderly woman's hands - Photo: Public domain

A dementia advocacy group is warning some families face care bills of several hundred dollars a week if their relatives are too wealthy to receive taxpayer subsidies.

People who have to go into care can only get a taxpayer-funded subsidy if they have less than 227-thousand dollars in assets.

And they are only allowed to transfer up to six-and-a-half thousand dollars a year to their children for each of the five years before they go into care.

Dementia New Zealand's chief executive, Paul Sullivan, says the rules are too tough.

"The asset base that you actually have to fall below to qualify for the subsidy is I would argue really quite low. We get a lot of people saying to us 'look I just didn't know that dementia would be this expensive' it really costs people a lot of money to take care of their family."

Paul Sullivan is calling for the threshold to be reviewed.