Speaking as one steeped in the challenges of everything Alzheimer’s I am excited about our upcoming program, and hopeful that it will be well attended. Is that about raising plenty money for Alzheimer’s Tennessee to improve care for patients? Well, yes, it is. But first and foremost I believe the material we plan to share will help Alzheimer’s patients, their families and professionals providing care and guidance in the field.
In many ways “caregiver training” is in truth a day in, day out revelation for families. Mostly, we do not assume the role with great preparation and experience. In fact, we find ourselves hoping against hope that this whole progressive dementia diagnosis deal is some big ol’ mistake.
Each day and every stage of the disease reveals new, uncharted territory for patients and families. We will begin our morning with a discussion of what happens in the brain and how that translates to the person as Alzheimer’s disease runs its course from the early to the late stages. Given that context and framework we will look at the range of legal needs: what, why, and when.
Anyone who has any experience with Alzheimer’s knows that just because one has carefully gotten all one’s legal ducks in a row does not necessarily mean that those ducks will waddle accordingly! We will discuss the legal tools needed to manage care during the course of the illness, and strategies for managing those loose ducks!
How much “power” does a power of attorney really have? The answer may surprise you! What elements are crucial for inclusion in this document? Is it ever “too late” to appoint a Power of Attorney or make a Will? And what happens when the Power of Attorney is revoked?
What does the family do when the Alzheimer’s patient refuses to follow medical advice? Or financial advice? Or legal advice?
Dealing with self neglect, predators, and the (huge!) driving question are just a few of the many issues we will cover.
As the disease progresses care needs increase. Finding and paying for care, and preserving resources for the well spouse and for future generations will be addressed in our discussion. Finally, we will discuss end of life issues for Alzheimer’s patients, including advanced directives and Living Wills and the use of Comfort Care and Hospice resources.
The idea of planning for incapacity seems counter-intuitive. Or oxymoronic…is that a word? By any name, the process of planning for future disability requires a level of acceptance and insight that may escape some of those suffering the illness, and some of those who are supposed to know better and be tending to this business. Take comfort in the fact that this is a natural response for all to an illness that does “take prisoners.” It is our goal to provide information that will empower patients, families and professionals in their fight against Alzheimer’s and for those affected!