The world of music lost a true icon recently with the passing of Tony Bennett at age 96. In addition to his remarkable music career Bennett will also be remembered for his ability to continue performing despite being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Bennett’s journey with Alzheimer’s has not only showcased his resilience and determination but has also raised awareness about the disease.
When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s you are faced with many different issues: How do you handle your loved ones’ affairs when they can no longer do so? How can you provide care for your loved one without neglecting other family members or your job? Can you get help caring for your loved one if you are physically unable to provide that care yourself? Is financial assistance available to offset the expenses of caring for your loved one?
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s it is critically important that you answer these questions now…before a crisis hits.
Legal pre-crisis planning allows you to arrange and organize financial and health care matters before the need for long-term care arises. Decisions can be made thoughtfully and carefully based on accurate and up-to-date information.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurological brain disorder. During the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease, we recommend specific legal planning to avoid crisis decision making at a later date.
Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive impairments are the leading cause of needing long-term care.
The burden on family when someone needs long-term care can be enormous. But when the need for care is caused by Alzheimer’s, the burden can seem both overwhelming and never ending. The average duration from date of diagnosis to date of death is over nine years. Patients with Alzheimer’s eventually reach the point where round-the-clock care is needed. Even with a loving, devoted family, it is often impossible to keep a loved one at home as Alzheimer’s ravages their ability to be home by themselves safely. That is why many people with this disease end up in nursing homes. Nursing homes are uniquely able to provide the comprehensive, round-the-clock care that most families cannot provide.
Few seniors have the ability to afford the cost of a nursing home. The average cost of a nursing home is about $240,000 per year according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Those who had the foresight to purchase long-term care insurance are in good shape. But only seven percent of seniors have such insurance. Others must pay out of pocket until they qualify for Medicaid, the joint federal and state health care program for the poor. Medicaid now covers more than half of the cost of nursing home care in this country. Its rules permit the protection of significant assets for the nursing home resident, for his or her spouse, and for other family members. But the rules are complicated, ever-changing, and full of traps for the unwary. An elder law attorney is uniquely qualified to guide the senior and his or her family through the long-term care planning process.
Tony Bennett’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease has been an inspiration to many. Despite his diagnosis, he continued to captivate audiences with his timeless music. His openness about his condition raised awareness and reduced the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s, encouraging others to seek diagnosis and support.