Talking about your long-term care wishes and your money can be difficult enough, but when these come up in the context of helping a family member who is suffering from memory loss, time is of the essence.
The development of Alzheimer’s disease can have many different ripple effects throughout your family. There are four critical steps that you must take with regard to planning as soon as you notice a family member having memory lapses.
The first thing to do is to pursue an early diagnosis if anyone in your family is showing signs of cognitive decline. It is important because at this stage in a potential diagnosis the patient can still fully participate in conversations about projected medical costs, current budgeting, and legal and financial planning. The second step involves naming a power of attorney with a person who your trust is aware of your situation and can make decisions for you. The third step to take is to create an advanced directive with the focus on medical decisions.
A patient who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will live 4 to 8 years with the disease, on average, and the costs for supporting memory care services can add up. It can be as high as $7,000 a month in some cases. The final step of supporting a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is to find an experienced and trusted elder law lawyer in Maryland to support you.