As we age, our mind and body changes. We become slower when walking, we may develop health concerns, and more. We often get our first glimpse of these changes when we look at our grandparents and parents as they grow older. However, of all that can go wrong, health wise, nothing can be more devastating than mental illnesses. Alzheimer's is a scary word, but there is another that can be just as bad. Dementia can leave a person confused and it can change your loved one's life more than you will ever imagine.
Dementia is a very common illness that affects more than three-million senior citizens. It is often diagnosed before Alzheimer's, but will become Alzheimer's for more around 60-80% of dementia patients. There are many reasons a person may develop dementia. They may have a vitamin deficiency, drink too much alcohol, or may have some other underlying medical issue. You should know that dementia does not happen to everyone and it is not simply a part of aging, but it can cause major problems for someone who is unprepared for it.
Preparing for Dementia
Dementia progresses differently in all patients. However, a diagnosis of confusion, can affect more than their mental well-being. It has been proven statistically that dementia patients are at a greater risk of someone taking advantage of them. Approximately 50% of people with dementia will be abused in some way and more often than not, it is because they give too much trust. They may even trust someone that they normally wouldn't consider trusting. Therefore, if your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia; it is important that you protect them as soon as possible from all types of abuse.
Protecting Your Loved One
Most of our senior citizens do not go from normal one day to total dementia the next. Dementia is an illness that will leave them confused one day, but not the next. Therefore, at the first diagnosis, you should start working to protect your loved one from potential financial abuse. On a good day, have them fill out a will if they do not have one. Talk to them about entrusting you or someone you trust to help them manage their finances. You may consider having them sign over personal property to you. Talk about estate planning and more. As the dementia progresses, you may also want to talk about gaining a power of attorney over them to ensure that their best interests are protected.
There are things you can do to ensure your loved one doesn't become another statistic, but you cannot do it alone. We are here to help you make the difficult decisions and understand what it will take to help your loved one live the rest of their life knowing they are safe. Simply contact us to talk about your situation.