Alzheimer’s disease is still a complex medical problem that scientists continue to unravel. According to the National Institute on Aging, the signs of Alzheimer’s may begin as late as your mid-60s or as early as your 30s.
With that kind of potential window, planning is essential to ensure the protection of your assets or the assets of your loved ones. There is never such a thing as too early when it comes to estate planning or, if the signs of Alzheimer’s begin to manifest, establishing a plan for long-term care and guardianship.
Mild to severe signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
At the top of things, your loved one may appear healthy, but his or her grip on the world around them starts to slip. This might mean poor judgment, loss of spontaneity or increased anxiety. Outward signs might be trouble handling money or losing things.
Moderate signs include shortened attention spans, difficulty coping with new situations and difficulty with language like writing, reading or working with numbers.
Severe signs include seizures, loss of bladder control and the inability to communicate. By now your loved one is completely dependent on others for his or her care.
Plans for caring for your loved one
This is a grim topic. More grim considering medical science has no cure yet. And so taking action today is important. There are a few things you can do while all parties have their heads about them:
- Draft a revocable trust to protect assets and provide a source of income to help pay for long-term care
- Establish financial and health care powers of attorney if your loved one loses his or her mental faculties
- Plan ahead for conservatorship
Going through the steps today may provide security for assets, comfort for your loved one, and peace of mind that you took care of things ahead of time.