Key Ways You Can Support a Family Member Recently Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

Has your loved one recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease? With this new information, do you understand the implications and what it entails? Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia that impacts memory, cognition, and behavior. Typically, symptoms develop gradually and intensify over time, and in its advanced stages, the disease can become critical.

While a definitive cure remains elusive, early detection provides the best opportunity for effective treatment and an enhanced quality of life. The most commonly recognized early symptom is memory loss. Being informed and proactive about it can significantly influence the treatment outcomes. National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month offers a poignant reminder of the many lives touched by this condition, not only the individuals diagnosed but also their families, friends, and caregivers. 

This month also serves as an opportunity to increase public awareness, encourage early detection, and promote supportive resources available to those affected. But the dedication to understanding, preventing, and treating Alzheimer’s shouldn’t be confined to just one month; it's a year-round commitment. Let us share three key ways you can support a family member recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

  1. Assess the situation early. What are the changes in memory, thinking, or behavior that you have observed?  Are you concerned that your loved one is doing, or not doing something?  Has anyone else noticed the same changes that you are seeing? Be sure to write down your concerns because over time it can help establish the difference between what could be Alzheimer’s Disease and the normal aging process. Be aware that as we age a certain amount of memory loss and confusion is to be expected, and other factors may affect older adults as well, such as prescription medications, stress, and other health conditions.

Do not be afraid to proactively speak with a medical professional or qualified health care provider.  Researching memory loss, especially as it relates to Alzheimer’s Disease, is helpful.

  1. Talk about it together. The first step is to acknowledge your concerns. This is easier said than done when confronting a loved one about his or her mental health. Meet with other family members and decide who should begin the conversation. Often, it is best to raise such concerns in a face-to-face talk and to include several family members when raising the issue. Never forget to act with compassion, understanding and support.
  2. Reach out for help. Another critical first step is scheduling a doctor’s evaluation. Next reach out to the many support organizations, for Alzheimer’s Disease, and memory loss assistance programs, and caring professionals.  These groups and professionals can help with daily challenges, getting to medical appointments, and important legal and financial planning items. 

Law firms like ours are uniquely situated to help you plan for the future to determine what type of long-term care may be needed in the future and how you may be able to afford it. Keep in mind one of the most proactive steps you can take during National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, and throughout the year, is to consult with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. Taking charge of your legal affairs while you are in good health is crucial as you cannot make many of the important estate planning documents you need when you are incapacitated. In addition to estate planning, it's equally important to discuss elder law needs, which focus on long-term care. Florida elder law attorneys specialize in the unique needs of Older Americans and Sandwich Generation Caregivers, particularly when it comes to navigating the complexities of care planning and associated issues that arise from long-term care needs.

We know how difficult this conversation can be and want to help. Do not wait to contact our law practice to learn more today. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting to get your ducks in a row. To learn more about Meloro Law and how we can help you when you need legal representation for estate planning or elder law issues do not wait to call us today.