To fully grasp any of the elder law issues that are important for seniors at the present time, you have to learn all that you can about Alzheimer’s disease. Everyone has heard about it, but the facts may surprise you, and not in a good way.
The Alzheimer’s Association is an extraordinary resource that goes the extra mile to provide as much information and real-life assistance as they possibly can. According to their website, the disease strikes one out of every 10 seniors, and the likelihood of contracting Alzheimer’s increases as you get older.
If you were to celebrate your 67th birthday today, your life expectancy would be 85 years if you are a man, and 87 if you are a woman. Alzheimer’s strikes 40% of those over 80 so if you attain octogenarian status, there is a good chance that this disease will impact your life.
Explore the Local Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association
As a resident of the greater Charlotte area, you have the opportunity to tap into the Alzheimer’s Association chapter for residents of central and western North Carolina. You can request information and/or assistance, and you can volunteer to help out if you choose to do so.
You can connect with the Central/Western Carolina Chapter 24 hours a day, seven days a week through their helpline. The toll-free number is 800-272-3900.
You don’t need anyone to explain how difficult it would be to live with Alzheimer’s disease, and it is extremely tough on family members. Unfortunately, the negative effects can reverberate into financial and legal areas as well.
If you do nothing to prepare for possible incapacity and you are stricken by Alzheimer’s disease as an elder, who would make decisions on your behalf? The answer is that an interested party could file a petition with the court alleging that you are unable to handle your own affairs.
After hearing the evidence, if the court agrees, a guardian would be appointed to act on your behalf, and you would lose control.
On the one hand, this is a necessary safeguard, but on the other, the choice of a guardian would be out of your hands. The representative that is chosen may not be the person that you would have selected when you were of sound mind. In some instances, family members will disagree with regard to the choice of guardian, and this is another potential negative.
To prepare in advance, you could execute legally binding documents called durable powers of attorney. One of the documents could be used to name a health care decision maker, and the other one could be devoted to your financial affairs. On the monetary front, it would also be possible to name a disability trustee if you use a revocable living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan.
Nursing Home Care
Eventually, a significant percentage of people with Alzheimer’s disease will require a level of care that can only be received in a nursing home. It would be logical to assume that Medicare would cover these costs, since it is intended to address the needs of senior citizens.
Many would contend that it’s not fair and it makes no sense, but Medicare does not cover long-term care at all. This is a big problem, because in our state as a whole, the average cost for a year in a nursing home is over $80,000, and these expenses have been rising for years.
That’s the bad news, but the good news is that Medicaid is a government program that does pay for most of the nursing home care that is received in the United States. That being aid, because it is a need-based program, you cannot qualify if you have significant assets in your own name so it requires planning.
Explore Nursing Home Asset Protection Strategies!
If you would like to obtain detailed information about Medicaid eligibility and nursing home asset protection in light of the threat that is posed by Alzheimer’s disease, we can help. You can schedule a consultation appointment right now if you give us a call at 704-944-3245, and we have a contact form on this website if you would prefer to send us a message.