How to Plan for Care For a Loved One with Dementia or Alzheimer’s in Michigan

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans are currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The number of persons living with Alzheimer’s is expected to be as high as 16 million by 2050. One person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia about every 66 seconds in the United States. Other startling facts about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in America. Since 2000, Alzheimer’s deaths have increased by 89 percent. One in three seniors has Alzheimer’s or another dementia when they die.
  • The cost of care for dementia and Alzheimer’s in 2017 is expected to be $259 billion. By 2050, the cost for these conditions could be as high as $1.1 trillion.
  • Over 15 million Americans provided 18.2 billion hours of unpaid care during 2016 for persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The value of this unpaid care in 2016 alone is estimated to be $230 billion.
  • About 5.3 million Alzheimer’s or dementia patients are 65 years of age or older. One in ten seniors 65 years of age or older have Alzheimer’s dementia.

While anyone can be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, seniors are by far the largest age group impacted by this terrible and debilitating disease. Alzheimer’s and dementia robs a person of their memories, but it also robs a person of the ability to care for themselves. The care and upkeep of a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s fall to the family or the state.

For many people, the progression of the disease is slow.  They begin by forgetting a few things here and there and progress to forgetting family members and how to dress, drive, or feed themselves. In some cases, the person becomes aggressive and resistant to help. Family members can become overwhelmed and unsure where to turn.

The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry, CELA understands the difficult and heartbreaking position family members are in as they try to care for a loved one who is declining due to Alzheimer’s dementia. We encourage you to see your physician if you are experiencing any symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

We also encourage you to seek help to plan for the costs of care for Alzheimer’s and dementia. In addition to the physical and emotional hardships caused by this tragic disease, the financial hardship can be significant. However, with elder care planning and long-term planning, you can reduce the financial hardship caused by dementia Alzheimer’s.

Early Planning is the Key to Paying for Alzheimer’s Care

The earlier a family begins to plan for long-term care, the more options the family has to choose from for long-term care. Instead of waiting until you require full-time personal and/or medical care to find a way to pay for that care, you need to devise a plan now in the event you become incapacitated in the future.

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Long-term care planning is a crucial element of estate planning. A comprehensive estate plan includes provisions for Alzheimer’s or dementia care in addition to protecting assets and providing for heirs. It also includes Medicaid planning to maximize the benefits available from Medicaid for nursing home or other assisted living care.

If you have not put a plan in place for long-term care, start right now. By making a plan now, you can include your loved one in the process, so his or her wishes are known. If you wait until your loved one does not have the legal capacity to understand the consequences of his or her actions, you cannot be sure what you are doing is in line with your loved one’s wishes. Furthermore, early planning allows you to work through the complex issues related to estate planning without feeling pressured to make quick decisions because your loved one is at a point where immediate professional care is required.

Call The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry, CELA For More Information

Before your loved one or before you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, contact our office to discuss your legal options with an experienced estate planning and elder care attorney. There are several legal documents that can help make taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient less stressful, but you must have these documents signed before your loved one loses the legal capacity to execute the documents.

Our elder care law firm has offices in Brighton, Livonia, Novi and Bloomfield Hills.  Often the best step is to attend one of our upcoming LifeCare Planning Workshops.

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