Few challenges of aging are as difficult to manage as being diagnosed with an incapacitating illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. These illnesses can place a great deal of mental and emotional stress on the victim and his or her family. They can also drain the family’s financial resources as they progress.
There are many medical considerations that a family must discuss, plan for, and come to terms with when handling a life-changing illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Addressing issues regarding the patient’s quality of life is typically the family’s biggest concern. Thankfully, there are many solutions and strategies that families can look at to help cope with and manage their loved one’s care.
To learn about these strategies and for more information on the legal aspects of handling such cases, contact Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys today at (856) 857-6007. A dementia and Alzheimer’s lawyer and certified dementia practitioner on our staff can help you plan and prepare for the needs of your loved one as time goes on and his or her condition changes.
How Elder Law Applies to Dementia and Alzheimer’s Cases
Elder law is a specialized branch of legal practice that deals with the needs of the elderly. It covers everything from estate planning management, administration, and litigation to life care planning, Medicaid planning, and assistance with inheritance, tax, and probate issues.
When it comes to illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, proper planning is required to help a family face the medical and legal challenges that arise from their loved one’s condition. Elder care planning can also help a family with the following:
- Plan for the cost of care
- Arrange finances
- Make investments
- Secure assets
- Draw up the legal documents required to ensure that their loved one receives the care and quality of life that he or she deserves
Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alzheimer’s disease is the most commonly occurring form of dementia. The Mayo Clinic defines it as a progressive disease that typically first appears at the age of 60 and initially causes mild memory loss. With time, the patient can suffer an inability to speak or respond to changes in the environment. About five million people live with Alzheimer’s in the United States.
You can reach the Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys team at (856) 857-6007. Our dementia and Alzheimer’s lawyers can help you plan for the needs of your loved one in many ways, as outlined below.
Initiate Planning When You Suspect Dementia or Alzheimer’s
As soon as you suspect that you or your loved one may begin to suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, you should look into elder care planning. There are many different ways to address the care, treatment, finances, and quality of life of a loved one. There are also a variety of ways to handle powers of attorney and estate management if a loved one becomes unable to make decisions on his or her own.
The sooner you begin the investigation and planning phase, you and your family will be better prepared to handle the future of your loved one’s healthcare needs.
Do Not Ignore the Importance of Asset Protection
The onset and advancement of dementia and Alzheimer’s can be brief – in some cases setting in over the course of a few months – or it can occur slowly over several years. Caring for a mentally or physically incapacitated loved one can involve everything from doctor’s visits, home care, and hospital fees to medication costs, diagnostic testing costs, surgery expenses, and more. This can quickly exhaust a family’s financial resources if the necessary plans are not in place.
Planning for the substantial costs that come with a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis can help you manage the influx of bills and expenses. Protecting your family’s assets, making wise investments, and accurately projecting future care costs are all part of the elder care planning process. They are important steps you must take toward ensuring that your loved one is in good hands and is taken care of for as long as he or she requires care.
Estate Planning and Legal Agreements
Planning wills and authorizing someone to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to are painful discussions to have with your loved ones. Still, you must plan ahead to avoid issues after-the-fact. With proper estate planning, you can plan for your later years and ensure your family has the economic support they need should you pass away. Elder care planning and estate planning typically go hand in hand, and families may wish to do both at the same time.
In addition, caregiver agreements and personal services contracts are often drawn up to formally employ a loved one as a caretaker for someone suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s. These contracts can help combat real-life issues that are common in elder care, such as caretaker fatigue and the financial pressures of caring for someone.
Contact Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys Today
It can be shocking to receive a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but advanced preparation and planning for the illness is the best way to overcome the challenges these diagnoses bring.
Contact Bratton Estate & Elder Care Attorneys for assistance. Our dementia and Alzheimer’s lawyer can walk you through what you need to know about elder care planning. We can also help you devise a medical care and financial resources plan aimed at ensuring that you or your loved one gets quality care and treatment, for as long as it is needed. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today at (856) 857-6007.