Anytime that a loved one is diagnosed with any cognitive condition, including Alzheimer’s disease, it can be very overwhelming for family members to figure out next steps. This is particularly true if the loved one did not have any plans in place regarding his or her estate or healthcare documents to be managed while they were still alive. Long term travel and long distance caregiving can both be challenges for family members who need to assist a loved one who is struggling in the wake of a cognitive diagnosis or decline. Planning ahead always carries a lot of benefits for those who may be involved in the caregiving process as well as those who are too far away to help on hand.
Consulting with an experienced elder law attorney at the outset of apparent cognitive issues can help to direct necessary documents while the individual still has relatively good cognitive ability. One of the greatest challenges associated with documents put together after someone is deeply affected by Alzheimer’s disease is that it could be argued that he or she was not in the right frame of mind in order to put together and sign these documents. Addressing these early on while a doctor can still testify to the patient’s relative understanding of his or her surroundings and ability to comprehend what is happening can minimize challenges for loved ones and make things easier for everyone.
Speaking with a knowledgeable elder law attorney can help to address many of the most pertinent issues associated with long term care, including planning ahead for Medicaid, having the appropriate documents in place to address a sudden disabling event, and planning ahead for long term estate planning issues. Do not hesitate to reach out to a knowledgeable elder law planning attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.