Alzheimer’s Preparation

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A recent WebMD survey revealed several startling conclusions many seem to have about Alzheimer’s disease and its management.

The Alzheimer’s Association currently estimates about 11% of those over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to triple by 2050.

Yet, many people have not given any thought to how they would care for themselves or a loved one when faced with this disease.

Many of those surveyed seem to understand the likelihood of dealing with the disease and its seriousness but are still failing to act. While 67% of respondents want to know their risk of getting the disease, 41% said they would not take advantage of any offered methods to do so.

Just over two-thirds of respondents said Alzheimer’s related costs could cause their family financial harm, and they are not wrong. The estimated cost of care for someone that develops Alzheimer’s disease is currently $174,000, however only one in ten respondents have tried to learn about prevention of the disease.

What these numbers show is that the majority of people polled understand the severity of Alzheimer’s disease and the potential cost but they are woefully underprepared to handle it.

Even as 71% of those polled answered their family is not equipped to handle such a financial burden, most are doing nothing to address this issue.

Not being prepared can lead to unexpected hardships for those involved. Of those surveyed 28% spend over 40 hours a week, or the equivalent of a full time job, caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s, and 14% said they had to quit their job to do the same. These numbers also do not include the financial costs mentioned above, or the mental burden caring for a family member in this situation can cause.

The best advice for avoiding such seemingly no-win situations is simple, be prepared, and plan ahead. Having an Advance Health Care Directive spelling out your treatment wishes and who should control them should you not be able to, will not make the disease easier to treat, but it will greatly reduce the time, stress, and cost needed to ensure a your wishes are followed, and the best care is available.

Other solutions can include long term saving, seeking out government assistance such as Medicaid, finding the right long-term care provider, or insurance plan.

Alzheimer’s is something we consider when working with our clients in the matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Guardianship, Asset Preservation and Fiduciary Representation.

To find out what is best for you and your family an initial consultation can be scheduled with the attorneys at Abraham & Bauer today.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

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