Alzheimer's and Dementia

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“Does Dad want to be in an assisted care facility, or a nursing home?”

“Does Grandma look at life with Alzheimer’s or Dementia to be quality of life?”

“Do you have, and where do you keep legal documentation ensuring someone can act financially on mom or dad’s behalf if they are no longer able to act on their own behalf?”

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Alzheimer's and Dementia

  1. 1. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />Boston Elder Law Attorneys<br />Specializing in Medicaid Planning<br />Cohen & Oalican, LLC<br />617-263-1035- Boston<br />508-821-5599 – Raynham<br />978-749-0008 - Andover<br />
  2. 2. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />While most of the country is involved in Valentines activity this week, those who care for elders with special needs are more than aware that this is also Alzheimer’s and Dementia awareness week (February 14th –21st). <br />This week is the perfect time to show your love for those you care for by having the “tough love” hard conversations with elderly aging parents about their wishes and plans should the disease ever strike. <br />
  3. 3. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />“Does Dad want to be in an assisted care facility, or a nursing home?” <br />“Does Grandma look at life with Alzheimer’s or Dementia to be quality of life?”<br />“Do you have, and where do you keep legal documentation ensuring someone can act financially on mom or dad’s behalf if they are no longer able to act on their own behalf?”<br />
  4. 4. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />These are many questions that experts in all fields urge adult children to ask of their parents during this year’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Awareness Week. <br />These answers help family’s build a plan, and know how to execute their parents’ wishes in the tragic event that mental illness strikes. <br />Don’t leave the decisions to when it becomes a battle between siblings, or until there isn’t enough time to financially prepare. <br />Have these heartfelt conversations now. <br />
  5. 5. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />“We see so many families that waited on important conversations, that come to us in crisis mode, instead of planning mode regarding Alzheimer’s or Dementia - Crisis mode is expensive, and results too often in knee jerk, and expensive decisions.” says Boston elder lawyer, Stephen Cohen. “Legally, if an adult child doesn’t know their parents’ wishes, or can’t put their hands on instruments like a durable power of attorney, they can be left with a legal, financial and tax quagmire, while simultaneously dealing with the physical and emotional needs of this debilitating disease”, adds elder law partner Eric Oalican.<br />
  6. 6. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />According to the law firm of Cohen and Oalican, elder law attorneys in Boston, MA, there are 5 specific conversations adult children should have with their parents as soon as the opportunity presents itself. <br />They comprise the following:<br />
  7. 7. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />Long-term care preferences<br />Would your parents prefer nursing home, long term care, or in-home care if there had to be a choice? If they prefer a long term care or nursing home facility, what amenities and activities are important to them? Asking these questions early can smooth the moving to an assisted living facility or a home-health care program far simpler should the need ever present..<br />
  8. 8. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />Legal Documentation<br />What good is a living will if no-one knows where to find it? It is critical that you know what legal documentation your parents have before incapacity occurs. This includes making sure their parents have a power of attorney, health care directive and HIPAA forms so someone can easily step in to make financial or medical decisions on their behalf. In absence of this documentation, the family can be forced into petitioning a court for control over their parents. This can be expensive, time consuming, and may not result in what your aging parent wanted with their lives.<br />
  9. 9. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />Medical Preferences and Wishes<br />Please discover what type of, and how much care your aging parents want as soon as possible after their initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Understand their desires about life support and other end-of life medical treatments. Who do they want to make these decisions for them if and when they can’t? This will help your parents' security in knowing that their desires in this area will be carried out, despite the family trauma that enfolds itself around Alzheimer's and Dementia.<br />
  10. 10. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />Financial Status<br />Use this week to ask tough questions about your parents financial status. Be sure that their finances are appropriately managed after their diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Find the location of safety deposit boxes, bank accounts, investment or brokerage accounts, outstanding debts or other assets unknown to the family. If you don't have these hard discussions, funds that could be used to cover the costs of long term care could be lost and forgotten when memory loss ultimately occurs.<br />
  11. 11. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />Contacts and information<br />Ask now, while memories are still sharp. Begin to work with your elder parents to compile a list of important contacts and other information that will be useful to the family if memory loss occurs. Get information on doctors, professional advisors (ie. accountant, attorney, financial advisor) and important passwords for online accounts.<br />
  12. 12. Alzheimer’s and Dementia<br />“These conversations are NEVER easy. Having these talks though can ease every member of the family's transition into living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.” says Steve Cohen. “Plan Ahead, if at all possible, don't leave these things till it is too late and you have to react instead of plan. Your parents will appreciate your care and concern that their wishes be followed and honored ”.<br />
  13. 13. Alternatives to Nursing Homes as Nursing Home Populations Swell With Younger Patients.<br />Boston Elder Law Attorneys<br />Specializing in Medicaid Planning<br />Cohen & Oalican, LLC<br />617-263-1035- Boston<br />508-821-5599 – Raynham<br />978-749-0008 - Andover<br />

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