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Dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Need for Pre-Planning

One of the hardest things to deal with is seeing your parents’ and spouse’s mental capabilities deteriorate due to Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

As a caregiver for your parent or spouse, how do you tell your parent or spouse that they aren’t allowed to drive anymore? Or that they can’t leave the house without you because you are afraid they might wander off? At what point do you realize that things have gotten so bad that you need to declare the person legally incompetent?

Often time caregivers are not sure whether or not their loved one is dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and have a difficult time taking away freedoms that many of us take for granted, in order to keep that person safe. There are signs you should look for as the disease progresses.

There are documents that can prevent the need for a formal guardianship to be opened as well as taking the financial burden off family members acting as caregivers.

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

If your loved one has one or more of the symptoms listed below, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have Alzheimer’s or Dementia. There are seven (7) stages, from no impairment during the first stage to very severe decline in the final one. If you notice they are suffering from a large number of symptoms over a long period of time and the problem appears to be getting worse, their chances of having the disease increases.

Memory Loss

·      Do they ask the same question over and over? (especially recent information)

·      In the advanced stage of the disease they may forget important events and dates in their life completely.

Inappropriate Behavior

·      Regular behavior may ignore social norms

·      (i.e. bathing regularly, wearing clothes when going outside, or speaking politely around others)

Time and Place Confusion

·      They may have trouble remembering where they are, how they got there, and what’s happening to them.

Difficulty in Following Directions and Solving Problems

·      Getting lost when traveling to familiar places

·      Have trouble keeping track of their bills each month

·      Have trouble remembering recipes that they used to use a lot.

What should you include in your estate-planning portfolio to help protect your loved ones before it is too late? There are documents that can prevent the need for a formal guardianship to be opened as well as taking the financial burden off family members acting as caregivers.

Long Term Care Insurance

This is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks (of daily living) by yourself due to chronic illness. 

Disability Insurance

Provides for periodic payments of benefits when a disabled insured is unable to  work.

Durable Power of Attorney

State who will be in charge of financial decisions on your behalf 

Healthcare Surrogate

State who will be in charge of healthcare decisions on your behalf.

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties it is time to start preparing your estate-planning portfolio. Make sure both you and your family are taken care of in the future. You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.

Contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.