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Planning for a Family Member with Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain condition that begins slowly, often with increasing symptoms of confusion and memory loss, and gets worse over time. As it progresses, Alzheimer’s can cause confusion, disorientation, violent mood swings, depression, and other behavioral problems. Due to the debilitation that results from these symptoms, the ability of the Alzheimer’s patient to care for themselves is often compromised only a few years after being diagnosed.

Changes in Behavior

Alzheimer’s is marked by various dementia symptoms. As the disease progresses, brain cells become further damaged and exacerbate any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Problems with memory
  • Aggression or agitation
  • Inability to focus or pay attention
  • Confusion
  • Tendency to wander
  • Hallucinations
  • Problems sleeping

Unfortunately, there is no official test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors must rely on medical history, brain scans, physical and mental exams, lab tests, and noticeable changes in behavior.

How to Plan for the Future

In the event that a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to make a plan for their future affairs. A growing inability to make sound decisions means that any emergency situations that require serious consideration and decision-making must be made in advance. While the disease is still in its infancy, it’s important to make arrangements for later in life. Some things to consider include:

  • Completing a will, including assigning any necessary trusts or deeds
  • Planning a medical course of action
  • Making a financial plan
  • Organizing property and preserving assets
  • Naming someone to make decisions on behalf of the Alzheimer’s patient

While it may feel too early to be making these arrangements, it’s important to gain control over this difficult and devastating situation. Going over the above arrangements with an attorney will allow for smooth transitions in the event of various situations or emergencies.

Contact an Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Attorney

The attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC are experienced and knowledgeable in elder law litigation and ensuring the well-being of dementia patients and their families. To set up a consultation to discuss your situation and explore your legal options, call our Illinois offices at (855) 328-5787.