Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC

Dementia diagnoses present the need for elder care planning

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia affect a significant number of people. If you have a loved one who recently received this type of diagnosis, you may understandably wonder what the condition will mean for his or her future as well as the future of your family. As much as you may want to provide the care your loved one needs, it is not always possible to do so on your own.

Many conditions like Alzheimer's, which lead to mental decline, can result in a person needing long-term, professional care. Though the doctors may have caught the disease early, planning now may help prevent complications in the future.

For what should you plan?

Hopefully, at this point, your loved one still has the majority of his or her mental faculties. If so, you may have an easier time creating important legal documents associated with planning for future care. For instance, your loved one likely needs to utilize a financial power of attorney document to appoint someone to handle his or her financial affairs after losing the ability to make sound decisions.

Along those same lines, your loved one needs a medical power of attorney in order to name someone to make medical decisions on his or her behalf. If a person becomes incapacitated and cannot accept or decline treatments, it is important that a power of attorney agent exists who can make those vital decisions when needed.

Having a personal care plan or creating an advanced health directive can also be important, as this document can direct the power of attorney agents on how to act in certain scenarios.

How to handle certain expenses

Though your loved one may need long-term care, such care can prove immensely expensive. In fact, currently, a private nursing home room costs more than $7,500 each month. Paying for such expenses is not easy, and you and your loved one may want to explore the possible ways of paying for care now. Using personal funds, relying on insurance, trying to qualify for Medicaid and other options exist, but finding the best one for your loved one's ordeal is wise.

Because so many details go into creating long-term care plans, and many documents need to be legally binding, it is wise to work with a Connecticut elder law attorney during this time. This legal professional can help ensure that your loved one's wishes are properly documented and that your questions are answered with reliable information.

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