Alzheimer's disease affects Californians on an ever greater scale, and Baby Boomers are now at risk. According to the Alzheimer's Assocation, one in eight will develop Alzheimer's disease, while one in six will develop dementia. Stunningly, only half of Alzheimer's cases in America are diagnosed. That means half of all seniors suffering from Alzheimer's aren't getting the care and protection they deserve. Non-diagnosis multiplies the dangers a patient faces, from lack of proper medical treatment to vulnerability to elder financial abuse.
"Just one more thing..."
If you have an elderly loved one with Alzheimer's, you'll know how important it is to look after their safety. It's easy to worry. Maybe your parent or grandparent has left the stove on while cooking, unintentionally causing a fire hazard. Maybe they've wandered off in the neighborhood, only to be found and returned hours later by a good Samaritan. In the same way, a senior suffering from Alzheimer's, dementia or Lewy body dementia is especially vulnerable to elder financial abuse.
"Honor thy father and thy mother." This commandment, deeply embedded in our Judeo-Christian heritage, is a fabric of our daily lives. A fabric that draws little reflection, that is until an event or circumstance occurs and unnerves us.
Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60% to 80% of dementia.
A parent's dementia and attendant short-term memory loss can be heartbreaking. It is common for children to have feelings of loss and grief as they see their family life changed by Alzheimer's. Children may go through the grieving process while their parent is alive - a process that may be hard to describe to those who have not encountered it themselves.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America trains healthcare professionals in dementia-specific care, provides free and confidential memory screenings to over 3 million people and provides support, counseling, and education to thousands of people.
Our babies are born utterly dependent on their parents or caregivers to feed, shelter, clothe and protect them. Our society, communities and families share a focus on the protection of the young and innocent. This protection is extended to those disabled adults with conditions that require continuing help for physical and medical care.
Hello, I'm Mike Hackard. I'm the chair of Hackard Law, a law firm focusing on estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation in California's major urban areas. I'm the author of The Wolf at The Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. The book will come out in early autumn. This is episode 12, where I discuss ways lawyers can mitigate the risks Alzheimer's disease or dementia can pose to an estate or trust.