Florida is now home to the country’s fastest-aging population with Alzheimer’s dementia. By 2025, a projected 720,000 senior Floridians will have this brain disease.
Although often used interchangeably, Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia. On the other hand, dementia is the broader umbrella that collectively pertains to all cognitive and memory decline symptoms disrupting daily functions.
With the harmful impact of dementia on your or your loved one’s daily life, do you have long-term plans in place?
Establishing a dementia care plan
Dementia has no cure, which makes early detection and management even more pressing. A dementia care plan helps your family and other dependents honor your wishes through properly executed legal documents.
- A living trust: With your explicit instructions, this entails a designated trustee managing the distribution of your assets among your beneficiaries if faced with incapacitation or death.
- A living will: Like an advanced health care directive, this outlines the kind of end-of-life medical procedures and interventions you want and would not want. A “Do Not Resuscitate Order” is one of the most common directives that shows your unwillingness to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when your heart stops beating.
- A medical power of attorney: Commonly used with a living will, this shows the agent or proxy you assigned, who may be a trusted family or friend, to make health care determinations on your behalf.
- A financial power of attorney: Like a medical power of attorney, this grants your assigned agent or proxy the power to make financial decisions for you, such as collecting your retirement benefits and paying your bills and taxes.
As early signs of dementia emerge, your condition becomes increasingly fragile. You may experience completely forgetting critical dates, times and places, struggle with finding the right words and withdraw from your hobbies and other social activities.
A fortified future
More issues may come up as you age, especially with a progressive disorder like dementia. Aside from a comprehensive dementia care plan, other crucial matters, like estate planning, need your urgent attention. All of these may prove too much to process with your frail condition. Seeking the help of an elder law counsel in these sensitive times can lead to a strengthened future for you and your loved ones.