Estate Planning

Planning for Special Circumstances

The Risks of Living in Denial of Early Alzheimer’s Symptoms

by Rania Combs

Last week, I discussed the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and the fact that because symptoms progress slowly, many family members live in denial until an event happens that is so uncharacteristic or bizarre that the symptoms become undeniable.

However, denial of these early symptoms is risky.

  1. The longer symptoms go untreated, the less likely treatment will be effective. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends seeing a doctor right away if you or someone you love experiences any of these symptoms because early diagnosis and treatment can delay the progression of Alzheimer’s.
  2. Because Alzheimer’s robs its victims of their memory and judgment, those who suffer from it are more prone to injury, accidents, overdosing on medications. The Alzheimer’s Association has a Home Safety Checklist, which contains recommendations on how to create a safe environment for those diagnosed with Alzheimers’s.
  3. From a legal perspective, denial of symptoms delays those diagnosed with the disease from preparing for their cognitive decline by signing appropriate documents to ensure trusted family members or friends can act on their behalf. If you or someone you love is experiencing early symptoms of Alzheimer’s, please see a lawyer right away.
  4. Unscrupulous individuals prey on those who are experiencing cognitive decline, making them vulnerable to financial exploitation. Early diagnosis allows for the implementation of safeguards to financially protect those diagnosed with the disease.

Early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease allows those diagnosed with the disease to maximize the effectiveness of available treatment, maintain their independence for longer, and implement safeguards to protect themselves physically, legally and financially.

For more information about planning for the future after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.


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