The Alzheimers’ Epidemic: Understanding the Facts and Knowing What to Do if a Family Member is Diagnosed

Alzheimers epidemic By now nearly everybody knows what Alzheimers’ disease is. The chronic, debilitating condition is responsible for more than half of all dementia diagnoses in the United States, and its effects are devastating – not just for the person who has the disease but also for those who love them. The disease is progressive, starting with simple short term memory loss, and as time goes by the symptoms expand to include a change in behavior or personality, disorientation, the inability to care for their own needs and hygiene, withdrawal, and eventual loss of control over bodily functions. People who have Alzheimer’s generally live between three and nine years after the time that they are diagnosed, and though there are some treatments available to slow its progression, there is currently no cure.

In addition to the physical and emotional devastation that Alzheimer’s represents, there are also the very real economic issues that must be faced. Studies have shown that caring for a person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s carries a shockingly-high price tag, and it is generally their loved ones who shoulder the burden. While finding appropriate care should always be your highest priority, is also important to understand your financial options when a family member is diagnosed. Careful planning and working with an experienced elder law and estate planning team can help to avoid some of the biggest mistakes and pitfalls. At Bratton Scott, we offer comprehensive Life Care Planning services to help ease the burden and provide you with the answers that you need.

Most families that face an Alzheimer’s diagnosis are woefully unprepared. The condition strains family’s finances to a point of breaking, with the average cost of care for a patient over $60,000 per year, and more than half of that usually funded out of pocket by family members, or goes uncompensated but disturbs the general flow and balance of the family. The biggest expenses come when the family member needs to be placed in a health care facility, which can often cost families more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per year. These expenses can last for many years, so it is important to make preparations and arrangements as soon as possible to mitigate their effects.

At Bratton Scott, we have assembled a team of experts to help families who are facing the realities of Alzheimer’s disease. Though we are at our heart a law firm, this service goes beyond the legal and provides important information to help you come up with a comprehensive plan for your loved one’s care. Our professional staff includes an elder care coordinator who can provide you with valuable information and will serve as a powerful advocate on your loved one’s behalf. We help you find the best care for their particular situation, and perhaps most importantly guide you through the various benefits that are available as part of our public health care system, thus saving your family from unnecessary financial burdens.

To set up a consultation to discuss our Life Care Planning service, contact our office today. WE are here to help.