The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease for yourself or a loved one can be emotionally devastating. Although you may have dealt with significant symptoms for an extended period of time, the diagnosis itself is significant. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Although there are medications available, they are only able to assist your loved one with symptoms and cannot slow or reverse the progression of this debilitating disease.
There are three recognized phases of the disease: mild, moderate, and severe. In the early stages of the disease, many patients can be lulled into a false sense of security as symptoms are less severe. In fact, many people can live independently in the mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
It is critical for you and your loved ones to act during the early stages of the disease. Planning ahead is the first step you need to take when you or one of your loved one receives this diagnosis. You may question how you can plan ahead for a disease that has an unpredictable course of progression. Planning ahead for your family members, your finances, your care and your goals, can be done. It should be started immediately due to the uncertainty that always accompanies this diagnosis.
The planning process begins with informing family members. While this is a very personal matter, your family needs time to prepare emotionally. Your family also needs time to plan for how it will support you. It is important to clearly communicate what you need from each family member. You do not want one person to plan on one course of action, while the rest of the family is planning another. The planning process will proceed much smoother with everyone working together.
After you have talked about your diagnosis with your family, you and your loved ones will want to plan for your finances and your care. This is the time to meet with an elder law attorney. Your elder law attorney is able to help you understand the legal documents you need in place in the event of incapacity. You can use documents, such as the durable power of attorney, to select the decision makers you want to have legal authority to make your choices when you cannot.
Your elder law attorney will also be able to help you find the right care for you and determine the way you be able to pay for it. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, the care needs of the diagnosed individual will increase. There may come a time when you or your loved one will no longer be able to live at home. You need to know the available options in your local community. It is important to talk to your elder law attorney as soon as possible as there are more planning strategies available the earlier you plan.
We know the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease is devastating. Planning ahead with your family, both legally and financially, can eliminate much of the stress you and your loved ones will deal with as the disease progresses. We are here to help you with this difficult diagnosis and plan for yourself and your family. Do not wait to contact our team and schedule your appointment with Attorney Alan Hougum.