Did you know that, every 3 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with dementia? World Alzheimer’s Day, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma, is September 21. Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes, including Alzheimer’s, which affect memory, thinking, behavior, and emotion.
It can be critical that individuals who have been diagnosed acquire legal help in planning their affairs as soon as possible. The sooner these plans are put in place, the more likely that the person living with dementia will be able to participate in the process.
A person with dementia should consider putting legal tools in place to protect his or her best interest and that of family members and loved ones. For instance, a health care surrogate can appoint a trusted individual, such as a friend or family member, to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the person with dementia should he or she become incapacitated. Another important health care document to put in place can be a living will, which can set forth the specific types of care a person wants or does not want when in a terminal, end of life situation.
Additionally, a person diagnosed with dementia should consider putting a durable power of attorney for finances in place. This would empower an agent of his or her choosing to take over management of finances should the need arise. Due to its durability feature, this power of attorney remains effective even in the event that the principal, the person diagnosed with dementia, becomes incapacitated.
The best time to prepare for a diagnosis of dementia can be before it happens. Give us a call today to help you plan now, so you can be ready if you or someone you love is diagnosed.