Early-stage Alzheimer’s and dementia can take years to progress and is a unique experience for every individual. Your loved one will need a caregiver to ensure their safety as their health declines and someone to help make decisions about the future. These decisions involve long-term care planning to figure out how to pay for the health care services needed at each stage of the disease. Discuss powers of attorney, advance directives, and end-of-life wishes with your parent before they are unable to make important decisions on their own.
Becoming a Caregiver or Using In-Home Care Services
With preparation, it may be sufficient to have in-home care services for a few years. Search online for senior services in your area. You can also find out more about paying for long-term care expenses with Medicaid. It takes time to apply, and there are complex rules in the process. Seek the help of an elder law attorney to get answers before you begin. Eventually, professional memory care in a facility will become necessary.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
If money is not a concern (your loved one has long-term care insurance, valuable property, or retirement accounts that can manage these expenses), continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) have different levels of care in one location beginning with independent living and moving to assistance, skilled nursing care, and finally memory care. This may be a great option.
Speak with an elder law attorney to discuss all your options based on your family’s specific circumstances.
These conversations are difficult for adult children and their parents, so read more about how to approach the conversation and 14 essential questions you can ask.
Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of ElderLawAnswers.com and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at AskHarry.info.