Have you ever had a “senior moment” or know someone who has? Do you have trouble remembering facts about your own life – either from years past or from the past five minutes? These are common and usually not a cause to worry.
But sometimes these are our first steps on a long journey of care needs.
If so, then these may be the first steps of a journey that can lead to increasing confusion, loss of memory and other cognitive impairment. Dementia and Alzheimer’s affect many Americans and is characterized by progressive changes in a person’s behavior and personality.
Because dementia can be a progressive disease that can go on for many years, long-term care in an intermediate care or skilled care nursing home (including memory care facilities) will often become a necessity.
First, talk to your Chicago area doctor or your loved one’s doctor if you are noticing any signs or symptoms of memory loss, personality changes, or impaired thinking or judgment.
Also, you should take steps now to consult a Chicagoland elder law attorney to prepare legally and financially for the coming years of long-term care, even if the journey has already begun and you or a loved one are already in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
For example, start thinking about “senior estate planning” with legal documents such as advance directives, powers of attorney for property, powers of attorney for healthcare, wills and trusts that are designed specifically for seniors, rather than non-seniors, and a host of related planning tools that are designed to preserve your assets, legally and ethically.
Similarly, position yourself properly take advantage of governmental benefit programs that you have paid into during your lifetime as a U.S. Citizen-Taxpayer. Select the right options and elections in Social Security. Do you understand your options in the four main Medicare plans: Parts A, B, C and D? Have you planned your affairs with a view toward your eligibilityfor long-term care through the Medicaid program in order to avoid total impoverishment and have some asset protection should you require long-term care for many years.
Don’t wait….take action now.
Make certain that you are “getting your ducks are in a row”.