Mom Has Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer's. What's your plan?
Some senior citizens face problematic situations—difficulty in walking, speaking and doing normal daily routines become tough due to physical and mental changes. There are a lot of challenges that come with having a parent or grandparent with Alzheimer's, and it is a fact that this condition does not only affect the senior citizen but also the entire family.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimer's disease in 2020, which is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.
Contrary to belief, Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging, However, if this happens to you or a loved one, being sufficiently prepared in advance will help the entire family take care of a patient diagnosed with the condition.
Fortify the Support System
For families with a person with Alzheimer's disease, it's crucial to build a strong support system. This can include family members, friends and even professional caregivers. For family members, being a strong support system means that everyone is aware of the risks and challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer's and is prepared to deal with the condition in any given situation.
It's also essential to start financial planning as soon as possible, preferably when the patient still has the legal capacity to make decisions. Alzheimer's can be a costly disease, and it's important to make sure that you have the resources in place to cover the costs of care.
Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance isn't the same as regular life insurance. It's beneficial for individuals 65 years old and above who need long-term care assistance, especially those diagnosed with chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, where an elder may need constant care.This insurance is designed to cover the cost of care given either at home, at a nursing home, or at an assisted living facility. Do remember, however, that most insurance companies do not allow those older than 75 years old to purchase long-term care insurance, so the best option
This insurance is designed to cover the cost of care given either at home, at a nursing home, or at an assisted living facility. Do remember, however, that most insurance companies do not allow those older than 75 years old to purchase long-term care insurance, so the best option is to make sure that you or your older family members have purchased the insurance around their 50s or 60s.
According to Nancy Mitchell, RN at Assisted Living, "Every insurance option is a gamble, and the same goes for long-term care insurance. Assisted living facilities can be pretty costly, and having long-term care insurance definitely reduces some of that financial burden from the family."
Burial costs can be very expensive, especially for those people without burial insurance. According to Forbes, the 2021 median price for an adult funeral with viewing and burial racked up to $7,848. Even with cremation, the price can come to nearly $7,000 for adult funerals.
Similar to regular life insurance, burial insurance helps alleviate the financial costs of funeral and burial. Because burial insurance costs differ depending on the age, financial advisors recommend getting burial insurance as early as you can.
End-of-life planning, or estate planning, is crucial for any person with substantial assets and debts, especially those diagnosed with chronic illnesses like Alzheimer's disease. End-of-life planning can include:
- Designation of guardianship for those with minor children
- Living trusts
- Written will and testaments
- Funeral and burial arrangements
- Preferred medical care
Families need to discuss end-of-life planning with elders who are still in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's so that they still have the sound mental capacity to make legal decisions on their own. They should be able to choose how to distribute their assets in case of imminent death or select what kind of medical care to avail.
The causes of Alzheimer's disease can vary from person to person—from age-related mental degradation to genetics and environmental factors. No one knows exactly who will be affected or when Alzheimer's will appear in the family. The best course of action is to pre-plan all the necessary care needed, not only for the patient but for the entire family as well.
There are many resources available to help you, and it's essential to reach out for help when you need it. With the right planning and preparation, you can ensure that your family is ready for whatever the future may hold.Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!