When Fred Schwartz was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994, the financial challenges that lay ahead were not top of mind.
“My health was my main concern,” Mr. Schwartz said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
But the costs of his chronic illness began to loom large eight years later when Mr. Schwartz, 52, left his job as an insurance-reimbursement manager for a nursing-home company. By then, he could no longer use his legs.
In the years since, he has painstakingly pieced together financial aid from numerous sources — for living expenses, caregiving and special equipment — that he anticipates will allow him to live at home for many years.
As the population ages, the numbers of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, heart conditions, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses are rising. A diagnosis may be alarming enough, but equally frightening can be the costs for medical treatments, home renovations and other