After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it is important to talk with an Alzheimer’s planning lawyer. There are many decisions which have to be made following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and it is best for everyone involved if those decisions are made early on by the patient.
Planning ahead to deal with Alzheimer’s is not only important for individuals but also for communities as well. Just recently, WCAX published an article about the growing number of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the state of Vermont. The article focused on the steps that individuals should take in order to cope with Alzheimer’s, which is being described by the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association as the “public health crisis of our time.”
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide the help that you need to make a plan after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. We help you to determine the specific issues that must be addressed as a result of the diagnosis. Our legal team will also assist in making use of legal tools under Vermont law that can provide you with autonomy and security in an uncertain future.
Alzheimer’s is a Growing Problem in Vermont
According to WCAX, there are currently around 12,000 people in Vermont who are living with Alzheimer’s or who have been diagnosed with some other kind of dementia. However, as the baby boomers age and the population in Vermont as a whole gets older, Alzheimer’s is going to become much more widespread and will become a major public health issue.
By the year 2025, experts project there will be around 17,000 people within Vermont who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This places a strain on public service programs that aim to provide support for Alzheimer’s patients. Many of these patients will need to find care in nursing home facilities which have a limited number of openings, especially in specialized memory care units where Alzheimer’s patients must be treated. The costs of coping with Alzheimer’s can also be very high, and a lot of this cost usually ends up being paid for by government health programs like Medicaid as families struggle to cope with the financial demands of a progressive condition.
The Vermont Alzheimer’s Association provides free services to families who are affected by a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. They offer referrals and support groups for patients and caregivers. This Association is raising the alert about the challenges of a diagnosis, not just for the Alzheimer’s sufferer but also for caregivers who must cope with a stressful situation.
The Importance of Advanced Planning When Coping with Alzheimer’s
It can be hard to prepare for Alzheimer’s, as it is never clear how quickly the condition will progress. However, professionals who are warning about the growing Alzheimer’s problem in Vermont do strongly urge diagnosed patients and their family members to begin preparing for the future. As WCAX reports: “medical professionals say people living with this disease have a better quality of life when they have a strong and unified support system.”
A director at the University of Vermont Medical Center also warned that the “worst outcomes” for Alzheimer’s patients generally occurred in situations where family members were at odds with each other about how to provide care and treatment for the Alzheimer’s suffer. This director has seen many families coping with Alzheimer’s, as he founded the Memory Care Program at the University of Vermont 25 years ago.
Patients and their families should take this advice and should begin working as soon as they get a diagnosis to develop a road map for the future. Many things can be done right away after a diagnosis, from creating an estate plan to making advanced plans for nursing home care to taking steps to protect assets while finding ways for a nursing home to be paid for when it is needed. An experienced attorney can help identify the right process for making a plan after finding out that your family will be affected by Alzheimer’s.
Getting Help from A Vermont Alzheimer’s Planning Lawyer
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC knows the ins-and-outs of nursing home planning and of the other steps that Alzheimer’s patients need to take to protect themselves, their caregivers, and their families. We provide compassionate and knowledgeable legal representation at a time when you and your family are faced with a stressful situation.
To find out more about how a Vermont Alzheimer’s planning lawyer can provide assistance to you and your loved ones, give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online today. You can also download our free estate planning worksheet to discover more about how Alzheimer’s planning can fit into your comprehensive estate plan.