Did you know that there is probably no adversary more formidable than Alzheimer’s Disease? It is a disease characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and various behavioral changes. Then, as the disease progresses, individuals may reach a point where living alone is no longer safe or feasible, needing more proactive care and thus reducing the risk of accidents or significant health issues. So it is important to recognize the key indicators that your loved one with Alzheimer’s may need additional support outside the home.
In addition to assessing these signs, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Florida elder law attorney who can be invaluable in helping your family navigate the complexities of finding and funding suitable care. During November, when Alzheimer’s Disease is recognized nationally with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, we want to help you better understand what you are facing. Know that you are not alone. Today, research tells us that there are over 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease with 3 million new cases diagnosed each year. There are also over 11 million Americans who act as unpaid caregivers for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The following are some key indicators for you and your family to be aware of.
- There will be memory gaps that will impact your loved one’s daily activities. One of the first and most obvious signs is when your loved one starts forgetting essential daily tasks. This can include missing medications, neglecting personal hygiene, or being unable to prepare meals.
- Your loved one’s mobility may decrease and there may be an increase in falls. A sudden increase in bruises, scratches, or more severe injuries can indicate frequent falls or mobility challenges.
- There may be signs of poor nutrition or dehydration. Weight loss, lethargy, or signs of malnutrition could mean your loved one is forgetting to eat or drink regularly.
- Look for a lack of home maintenance. A previously tidy home that is now consistently unkempt, or household bills piling up unpaid, can signify that daily responsibilities are becoming overwhelming.
- Your loved one may experience an increase in confusion and disorientation. If your loved one gets lost in familiar places, cannot recognize close family members, or is confused about time and place, it may be unsafe for them to live alone.
- Check your loved one’s car, there may be unexplained dents or scratches. This could be a sign that they are struggling with driving and may have had minor accidents or near misses.
- Has your loved one started withdrawing socially? Isolation or a sudden lack of interest in hobbies and social activities can be a red flag. Emotional and behavioral changes, including apathy, can be a symptom of advancing Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Your loved one has started having more mood swings and aggressive behavior. Drastic mood changes, unexplained irritability, or aggressive behavior can indicate heightened frustration or confusion due to the disease’s progression.
Working through the complexities of Alzheimer’s Disease can be overwhelming, but you do not have to do it alone. An experienced Florida elder law attorney can be instrumental in this journey by helping you with identifying and securing the right care for your loved one’s unique situation. You need to know in advance that memory care and assisted living facilities can be expensive. Your Florida elder law attorney can guide you through potential financial aid options, Medicaid planning, and other resources to help alleviate the financial burden. Your Florida elder law attorney can also ensure your loved one’s estate and healthcare directives are in order which may help guarantee that their wishes are upheld and possibly prevent potential legal issues down the road.
Watching your loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease is difficult and challenging, but recognizing the key indicators that they may no longer live alone is crucial for their safety and well-being. With the support of a Florida elder law attorney, families can ensure their loved ones receive the care they need while also finding feasible ways to manage the associated costs.
We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We provide expert service to guide you through the medical, financial, and emotional stress of caring for an aging parent or spouse. Our law firm was born out of the personal journey of Attorney H. Frances Reaves as she cared for her own parents. This experience taught her that most seniors in the United States are ignored by society, the government, business and, sadly, their children. Most children of elderly parents don’t know how many benefits and resources are available for their parents or ailing family members. Let us help you. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.