The Father had Alzheimer’s and had lost nearly all his speech and ability to interact with them. But when the family dog picked up the chew toy and dropped it in his lap, he came alive. The video showed him to slowly start petting the dog, and playing with the chew toy and finally he said in slurred speech, “Well, there you are. This is all we’ve got. You and me. I’ll take care of you. You take me.” As the dog lay down at his feet, he leaned over and gently rubbed his belly. The last captions said, “If your parents are still talking to you, make time to listen. You don’t know when they won’t be able to tell you another thing.”
Today, we know that if Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia) are caught and treated early, generally we can slow the progression and in some cases halt it altogether. But the secret frequently is early detection and intervention. This link from the Alzheimer’s Association gives you a check list to do an at-home screening. It doesn’t have to be obvious or intrusive – just down-load the list and while you are home for the holidays see if your parent or senior relative exhibits any of these signs. If they do, encourage them (or even go with them) to see the doc and get formal screening done.
The facts are sobering (source: Alzheimer’s Organization):
- The number of people with dementia is growing
- 5.3 million Americans live with the disease now and 200,000 of them are under age 65
- Nearly 2/3 of those with Alzheimer’s are women
- Over the next 10 years, they estimate close to a 40% growth in person’s with the disease
- The disease has a known genetic marker – but studies have yet to fully identify what turns the gene on or leaves it off.
- Alzheimer’s is not (yet) preventable or curable – at best the progression can only be slowed.
Everyone with a brain is a candidate for dementia, possibly even the type of dementia called “Alzheimer’s.” This is a family disease – skipping the genetics of it, families always pay the price of long term care and care giving for seniors with dementia. If you and your family are going to face this “monster,” it is best to know early and have strategies in place to tackle the emotional, financial, legal and physical demands it carries (see other blogs on our site on “Care Giving for Seniors,” “help with long term care insurance claimsc” and “how to handle financing of care”).
Finally, if you haven’t already done so, we highly recommend you purchase the inexpensive book called Handing Down the Kingdom from Amazon as it gives you a map of all that should be in place for the senior years to go smoothly.
LINKS ABOUT BUYING LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE
- FAQ’s for Buying Long Term Care Insurance
- Why Do I Need A Long Term Care Insurance Policy?
- Buy Young
- Hybrid vs Traditional Long Term Care Policies
- How Do I Pick A Long Term Care Insurance Carrier?
- Consequences Ahead
- It Ain’t Your Grandma’s Medicaid
- Affordable Health Care Act vs Long Term Care Insurance
- Federal Veteran Benefits for Long Term Care
- State VA Benefits for Long Term Care
- Glossary of Terms for Long Term Care