After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, what are the first steps your family should take? Alzheimer’s disease is prevalent and most people are aware of the symptoms and progression. What you may not understand is the financial and emotional toll it takes.
Your mom or dad went to a specialist and the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s. You must focus on three areas immediately. Financial, legal, and medical matters need to be addressed. If you wait, your parent’s cognitive skills may be too diminished for any preventative measures to be taken. You need to go to an elder care law attorney and ask these questions.
How Does Estate Planning Help?
Estate planning is an important step. Before the memory slips away, a will must be drawn up and legalized. The person your parent wants as executor is named.
Plans for estate taxes, funeral expenses, and end-of-life wishes are decided. Estate planning protects personal property and resolves future arguments over who gets what. Lawyers help find a way to best manage and protect assets.
What’s a Power of Attorney?
At some point, you may need to become your mom or dad’s legal representative. A power of attorney for financial and medical matters covers legal decisions. The person designated on a medical power of attorney makes decisions related to healthcare matters. A financial power of attorney gives someone the power to pay bills, deposit checks, and make decisions related to money matters.
How Do You Help With Long-Term Care Plans?
Caregivers cost just over $3,400 a month in Alabama, and that’s likely more than your parent gets in retirement income and/or Social Security. Assisted living that specializes in memory care is likely to run into the $7,000 a month range. Alzheimer’s disease has forced many older adults into bankruptcy. Planning for long-term care gets you prepared in advance.
In the United States, more than five million men and women have the disease. The estimated cost of care that unpaid caregivers provide comes to more than $240 billion. Don’t plan on being paid to provide care to a parent with Alzheimer’s. It’s not always possible.
Long-term care insurance is something to ask an attorney about. It can help cover some of the cost of caregivers, but you need to be careful in picking out a policy that meets your parent’s future needs. People with Alzheimer’s generally live for 8 to 10 years after their diagnosis, but there are cases of people living for 20 years.
Financial aid for Alzheimer’s care is limited. The application processes for Veteran’s Aid and Attendance or Medicaid are complex and have plenty of rules. Even if you don’t feel you need to be aware of the financial implications at this stage, be proactive.
Talk to an elder law attorney as soon as you can to get the answers you need. Alzheimer’s care is challenging, but an expert’s help from an experienced elder care law firm takes some of the weight off your shoulders.
If you or a loved need assistance with Elder Law in Homewood, AL contact Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning today. (205) 390-0101.