Persons newly diagnosed with either of these horrible diseases are usually advised by their doctor or a support group to get their affairs in order now, while they still can.
It’s important because the day will come when you will not be able to handle your financial affairs or even medical decisions. There’s no getting around it. We sure wish there was but there isn’t. And if it’s not done by the time this dreadful day comes, a guardian may be appointed by the court to take over your care and finances. This person could be a child or relative or a total stranger. It could be an estranged child or relative – someone you would cringe if you knew were making decisions for you. The point is it could be someone you don’t want.
You also don’t want to leave this ordeal for your family or friends to deal with later. They’re having a hard enough time watching you slip away a little every day and they need every ounce of their strength to get through it, because their love for you isn’t going to stop the disease nor relieve their stress and anxiety an ounce. They’d do anything to make you better but there’s nothing they can do. It’s up to you to now make it easier for them. And you can only do it early by properly executing your advance directives as soon as you can after your diagnosis so your wishes are laid out loud and clear of what you want and who you want taking care of you and your estate when you’re not able to.
Alzheimer’s /Dementia support organizations report to NASGA that most people are advised but just don’t take care of this task as if not doing so somehow keeps the disease at bay.
Please don’t be another statistic. The best way to avoid guardianship abuse is to avoid guardianship. Do your best to give your family (or friends) every tool possible to make their burden a little lighter. Show them how much they mean to you by doing a proper Durable Power of Attorney/Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and any other advance directive you may need so they don’t have that worry too. They want the best for you. Help them give it to you.
We saw the video below on a FB page called, Alzheimer’s Inspiration, and wanted to post it for all families who have a loved one or know someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. It’s both painful and joyful to watch. Please remember, your loved one’s heart is always open even though he or she may have lost the ability to speak or be outwardly expressive.
Pray for a cure!