A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can change the life of a patient and of caregivers. At a time of great uncertainty about your future health status, it becomes very important to take control over your life. While you cannot control a medical diagnosis or manage the path that Alzheimer’s will take, you can a and should begin making provisions to make sure the patient and his or her loved ones are as protected as possible in an uncertain future.
The Long Island elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia have extensive experience providing help to Alzheimer’s patients and to their family members. We can assist you with making a plan for the patient’s care to be paid for in the future, in exploring benefits for patients and caregivers, and in addressing key legal issues that the patient should resolve as soon as possible. Give us a call today at 800-295-1917 to learn more about the services we offer to Alzheimer’s patients and to find out answers to general questions including:
- What steps should be taken after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
- When should an Alzheimer’s patient and his family speak with an elder law attorney?
- How can a Long Island elder law attorney help in coping with Alzheimer’s?
What Steps Should You Take After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
When you get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, you should begin planning ahead to make sure that nursing home care will be affordable. It is virtually inevitable that Alzheimer’s patients will end up in a nursing home at some point over the course of the rest of their lives, as home care often becomes too difficult for family members. This can be very costly, but Medicaid planning in advance can help you to qualify for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home.
Medicaid generally pays only after you have spent down assets, but you can protect some or all of your property and possessions if you take action as early as possible before nursing home care becomes necessary.
If the diagnosis comes when the patient is still of sound mind, it also becomes important for the patient to get his affairs in order before the disease progresses. This could mean:
- Creating an incapacity plan. The patient may wish to create a power of attorney and name an agent who will make his decisions and manage his assets when he no longer can. A living trust can also be part of an incapacity plan, with a backup trustee given the authority to take action on behalf of the patient when he becomes unable to manage trust assets.
- Creating an advanced healthcare directive. A patient with Alzheimer’s may wish to make his or her wishes clear on what types of extraordinary measures should be used in the event of a medical emergency. By creating a living will or advanced directive, the patient can opt out of CPR or the use of a feeding tube in case of serious illness. A patient should also name a healthcare proxy to make decisions when he cannot do so.
- Creating an estate plan. While still of sound mind, it is important to update a last will and testament and to consider other estate planning options.
These are just some of the key things that should be considered after a diagnosis with any serious medical condition, including Alzheimer’s. An experienced attorney can provide assistance with these and other legal issues.
When Should an Alzheimer’s Patient and His Family Get Legal Help?
It is important for patients and their families to get legal help as soon as possible so they can make the most informed choices regarding medical care, paying for a nursing home, and planning for the future.
Not only can an attorney assist the patient in making sure he has as much control as possible over his future, but an attorney can also help caregivers to get the support they need. There may be benefits available for respite care or otherwise to provide help and support to family members, and an attorney can exist in exploring all of the help available to families dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s.
How Can a Long Island Elder Law Attorney Help Alzheimer’s Patients?
At the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia, we understand that a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be devastating to both a patient and to his or her loved ones. We will treat your situation with the compassion and empathy that you deserve during this difficult time as we help you to make important legal decisions and create a plan for the future. If you live in Garden City, Hauppauge, Harrison, and surrounding areas in Long Island, give us a call now at 800-295-1917 to learn more about what our Garden City elder law attorneys can do to help you.