Alzheimer’s disease affects over 44 million people worldwide. That number may swell to 76 million by 2030. With over 5 million Americans suffering with Alzheimer’s, it’s the 6th leading cause of death in the US and moving up fast.
Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia and other cognitive brain diseases are complicating End-of-Life legal and financial planning for sufferers. Legal and medical experts say these sobering statistics are all the more reason why early End-of-Life legal and financial planning is so important.
The National Institute of Aging (NIA) says it’s important to act early and make final wishes known since Alzheimer’s sufferers gradually lose the ability to think clearly or meaningfully participate in decision-making.
Advance planning can help early-stage sufferers clarify their wishes and make informed decisions about End-of-Life healthcare and financial arrangements. Those with early-stage Alzheimer’s are often capable of understanding many aspects and consequences of legal decision-making. Legal and medical experts say that even later-stage Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families may benefit from planning financial and legal matters early.
Documents like Advance Healthcare Directives or Living Wills, Medical Power of Attorney and/or Financial Power of Attorney are important to complete as soon as possible after a diagnosis. Choosing someone to speak on your behalf if you become unable, called a Healthcare Proxy, is also very important to ensure that your End-of-Life wishes are honored.
Healthcare providers, Elder Law attorneys and Geriatric Care Managers can assist you with preparing the legal and financial documents necessary to protect yourself or your loved one.
We’re recognizing June as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month by encouraging you and your loved ones to learn more about how to plan End-of-Life legal and financial matters early. Read the story here.