It seems that every day we are hearing of another person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, we’ve learned that retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has been diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s, which will likely impact the rest of her life severely. She is not alone, of course. Robin Williams, Ronald Reagan, Normal Rockwell, Rosa Parks, and a long list of other famous, brilliant, and talented people have suffered from, and eventually succumbed to, the disease. Unfortunately, this will likely continue to occur until a cure or treatment is found. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s right now, a statistic that is expected to rise to 14 million by 2050. Included in those numbers are our parents, grandparents, spouses, and friends.

Just as varied as the people who are affected by Alzheimer’s are the ways in which the disease takes hold in our lives. Some people live long after diagnosis with little impact, others succumb quickly. Some will remember names and important dates forever, some will have personalities changes and become almost unrecognizable to us. Most likely there will become a need for assistance with the basic activities of daily living. Things like bathing, dressing, handling medication, cleaning, cooking, transportation, etc.,  become harder and harder for our loved one to handle independently.

As an elder law attorney, it is my job to make sure you have the help you need–well beyond estate planning and document drafting. At PBM, we collaborate with all necessary parties (family members, friends, care providers, geriatric care managers, health care professionals, financial planners, government agencies, social workers, counselors, clergy, realtors, estate sales teams, transportation providers, etc.) to make sure your loved one is getting what they need to be well cared for and comfortable. We understand that every aspect of a family’s life is impacted by the disease and that coordinating care and services can be overwhelming for your family. We do everything we can to limit the disruption to your family and to make sure your loved one is cared for without bankrupting your family (both financially and emotionally).

It is a matter of fact that your life will be touched by Alzheimer’s disease. It is also a matter of fact that there are financial and other supportive resources available to help you and your family while you endure the challenge of living with Alzheimer’s. We are here to help.

If you have any questions about the above material or wish to speak to an attorney, please contact us at (716) 204-1055.

Alzheimer’s Disease, Long term care, Perspectives on Aging