A Burlington Alzheimer’s planning lawyer can provide assistance to patients and their families when a doctor makes an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Alzheimer’s is a disease that becomes progressively worse and which can make you feel as though you are losing control over your own destiny and your own future. You do not have to just surrender to fate, though. An attorney at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide you with help in preparing and making plans after a diagnosis.
While it can be frightening and upsetting to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia, it helps to take control and make advanced plans. It also helps if you know what to expect. Recently, WCAX reports that a simulation kit has been developed by staff members at one nursing home to try to provide a small glimpse into what life can be like for patients. This kit highlights some of the additional challenges that patients with dementia routinely face, even above-and-beyond losing their memories.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed and you want to get a better understanding of what life can be like with dementia, kits like this one could be important so those who provide care can get a better understanding of the challenges that seniors face.
What is Life Like for Alzheimer’s Patients?
WCAX indicates that there are around 12,000 people in Vermont who have Alzheimer’s. There are also around 100 different types of dementia that affect patients. In Vermont, dementia of some form is the fifth leading cause of death.
One Alzheimer’s patient is the mother of a woman interviewed for the news story. The woman interviewed said “I’ve been losing my mother for a long time,” and describes how her mother used sticky notes to try to keep control of her life as she began to suffer from the effects of dementia.
She also discussed how difficult it was for her to deal with when her mother forgot her name, forgot how to thread a needle, forgot how to button a blouse, and forgot the things that she had liked in the past. She tried to embrace her mother’s new reality, rather than dwell on the memories that had been lost. However, it is often very challenging for caregivers and loved ones to deal with the impact of dementia because it is hard to know what patients are going through. This is especially true if patients with dementia also have other ailments as well.
To try to help illustrate how frustrating life can be for patients, staff members put together a number of sensory tools to illustrate some of the things that their patients deal with every day. Patients with dementia can experience a lot more hindrances than just memory loss. In the early states, patients become unable to interpret one of every four words that is spoken to them. The number of words per sentence which are not understood begins to increase as th condition progresses. Memory, depth perception, vision, and judgment also get “fuzzy.”
The simulation kit tries to replicate some of these conditions. The kit included spikes in the shoes and gloves on the hands in order to mimic the impact of arthritis, which is a common ailment suffered by patients with dementia. The kit also included headphones to muffle hearing; special glasses to create the effect of blurry vision that many people have, and a nose clip which made breathing more challenging.
By using the kit, caregivers can get a better understanding of what challenges someone with dementia actually faces. This can increase empathy, and it can also help caregivers to better anticipate the type of help that is required by Alzheimer’s patients. While no one can ever truly comprehend what it is like for someone to go through the process of losing memory and cognitive function, at least efforts like this one can do a little to try to make those around Alzheimer’s patients more understanding of their challenges.
Getting Help from an Alzheimer’s Planning Lawyer
An Alzheimer’s planning lawyer at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide all of the assistance and advice that you need following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. From incapacity planning to making decisions about nursing home care or plans for your legacy, we can assist you.
To learn more about what is involved with making plans once you have Alzheimer’s, join us for a free seminar. You can also contact us to get personalized advice that is tailored to your situation. Give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online today to learn more about how we can help you.