Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. It’s one that often catches families off-guard with just how difficult it can be to ensure quality care for their parents. These three things about dementia care are often the things families don’t realize.
All Adults Are at Risk
Alzheimer’s used to be considered an older person’s disease. Not everyone is elderly. Many cases of Alzheimer’s appear when people are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. If your family experiences this, it’s extra challenging as the person with Alzheimer’s still is working and needs that income to survive.
Legal protections like advance directives and powers of attorney are essential. If your family member needs to collect disability or go on Medicaid, an elder law expert can help you navigate the process.
Saving money is one of the first things families look at. By taking over as a family caregiver, you help your parent at home and eliminate the need for paid caregivers. While saving money is often practical, being a family caregiver to a parent with Alzheimer’s is exhausting.
The early stages aren’t hard to manage. As the disease progresses, anger and rage are common symptoms. Suddenly, you have a parent who is throwing fists, biting, and kicking. Not everyone is skilled at redirecting and calming an angry parent down, so it ends up being emotionally draining.
The other issue that no one prepares for is wandering. People with Alzheimer’s may only sleep for a couple of hours in the night. When you’re tired and ready for bed, your mom or dad is wide awake and keeps trying to sneak outside.
You don’t want them getting lost, so you install door and window alarms and hope it’s enough. What happens if your mom or dad figures out how to disable the alarms? What if you forget to set the alarms before going to bed? It’s one of many things that can happen and lead to panic when you wake up and find your parent missing.
When you reach a point where your parent needs 24/7 care, the cost of that care can be shocking. The average price of home care in the U.S. is over $4,000 a month, while a nursing home runs upwards of $8,000 to $9,000. Just adult day programs run over $1.600 a month.
Insurance doesn’t always cover this cost. If it does offer any help due to health needs, only a few hours are covered, and there may be a limited number of weeks. Memory care costs can drive a person into bankruptcy, at which point Medicaid pays the fee. Medicaid also has a long application process that’s often tricky to navigate without an elder law specialist’s help.
Talk to an elder law attorney as soon as possible after a dementia diagnosis. The disease progresses at different rates. Someone may live for another 20 years, while another person’s mental abilities diminish in just a few years.
It’s important to make legal decisions while an attorney still feels the person can understand the choices they make. Call an elder law office and schedule a consultation.
If you or a loved need assistance with Elder Law in Hoover, AL contact Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning today. (205) 390-0101