Coping with Alzheimer’s is difficult for patients and for families. Vitt Law Offices, PLC is here to help. Whether you have just received a diagnosis or whether Alzheimer’s has advanced to a more debilitating stage, we provide assistance in understanding and addressing legal and financial issues.
Our compassionate Charlottesville elder law attorneys understand how life-changing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be, and we work hard to make life easier for patients and caregivers by taking care of the technical issues that you now face. Give us a call at (434) 971-3025 to find out about the specific assistance we can offer in your situation and to get answers to questions that you may have including:
- What should I do after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s?
- How can patients and caregivers protect themselves?
- How can a Charlottesville elder law attorney help families coping with Alzheimer’s?
What Should You Do After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, decisions need to be made right away and affairs need to be put in order right away. Ideally, plans should be made and steps should be taken before the patient who has been diagnosed has progressed to the point when he can no longer speak up for himself. As long as the patient is still of sound mind and body, he can make an estate and legacy plan and can provide instructions related to end-of-life issues.
Plans also need to be made to try to achieve a secure financial future for the patient as well as for family members. It is very common for people with Alzheimer’s to eventually require care in a nursing home. This can be costly, but steps can be taken to try to protect some assets while getting Medicaid to pay for nursing home care.
Finally, while the patient’s needs are a top priority, it is important to realize that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can have a profound impact on the lives of caregivers as well. In some cases, respite care may be available at a subsidized cost or for free. Exploring options for caregiver support can be essential to make sure that spouses, children, and other loved ones of the patient have the help they need to be there for their loved one with Alzheimer’s.
How Can Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers Protect Themselves?
When an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is given, the first steps to take involve ensuring that the patient has made provisions for end of life issues and for his legacy. As long as the patient is still of sound mind, some of the different steps to take may include:
- Creating or updating a last will and testament to determine who will inherit.
- Creating trusts to try to reduce estate taxes, to facilitate the transfer of assets outside of probate, and to provide for the management of assets when future incapacity occurs.
- Creating a living will, advanced directive, and power of attorney for healthcare to name someone to make healthcare decisions once the Alzheimer’s progresses. A living will and advanced directive can allow a patient to make clear what kinds of life-saving or life-extending care should be provided.
- Creating a Medicaid plan to try to prevent assets from counting when determining Medicaid eligibility. To provide the broadest asset protection, a Medicaid plan needs to be completed at least five years before trying to get Medicaid to pay for nursing home care. However, some assets could still be protected if nursing home care is needed sooner.
It may also be important to consider what type of home healthcare or nursing care the patient will need both now and in the future, and to explore different options for care providers. Reviewing nursing home paperwork is essential so you do not end up waiving important rights, and having a plan for nursing care in place before it is needed can ensure you have the time to find the right environment and carefully review admission contracts.
How Can a Charlottesville Elder Law Attorney Help Families Coping with Alzheimer’s?
Vitt Law Offices, PLC has extensive experience helping families coping with the life-changing diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. When you are ready to take control over an uncertain future for yourself and your family, give us a call at (434) 971-3025 or contact us online. Our legal team will advocate for you, advise you of the best ways to protect your money and your rights, and provide the type of personalized advice you need to help cope with a diagnosis.