Dementia never appears in an instant. Rather, it is a gradual decline that families often initially attribute to “forgetfulness”. The prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is increasing with an estimated 16 million suffering from the disease within the next 35 years. Knowing and accepting this reality is a great first step, planning for it is the next.
It is important to plan for the possibility that you may need dementia related care, often referred to as “memory care”, for several reasons:
If you or your family is concerned about dementia, touring memory care and assisted living communities now will allow for your input. For example: do you personally prefer a large community with many other residents, or smaller community with fewer residents?
Working with your family, elder law attorney and investment advisor allows you to express your wishes with regard to finances. This discussion could range from how to pay for long-term care, how to protect assets from the high cost of care, and who ultimately receives everything you worked your whole for when you die.
Signing financial and healthcare powers of attorney while you are healthy lets you choose who will help you make legal, financial, personal, and medical decisions if you are unable to do so.
These recommendations can be easily summarized: Choice. Planning now gives you the opportunity to decide where you will receive care if needed, how you to pay for this care, and who will help make sure your wishes are carried out.