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Care planning a necessity in case of Alzheimer's or dementia

The unfortunate reality for many Georgia residents is that either they or a loved will suffer from some form of dementia during the aging process. Studies show that Alzheimer's is an increasing problem for the aging population. In light of the problems associated with these illnesses and the probability of developing one, advanced care planning can be critical is meeting the individual's needs and desires.

As Alzheimer's and other dementia-related diseases take over, the individual gradually loses the ability to make rational decisions. Then, as the disease progresses, the ability to care for oneself, feed oneself and even chew and swallow can be lost. At this point, the family is often left with difficult decisions regarding the best way to care for their loved one.

In some cases, the individual has created a living will that addresses medical care if the individual becomes incapacitated and the likelihood of survival is minimal. However, in many cases, these directives do not address the long-term care issues that an Alzheimer's or other dementia patient will require. At some point in time, the individual will lose the ability to swallow. Thus, the question of a feeding tube becomes an issue.

At this point in the disease, the Georgia patient's quality of life may also be minimal, and the patient is probably not able to state his or her desires. However, by recognizing the possibility that one may develop such a disease and the possible life-saving measures that may be required to sustain life as the disease progresses, the individual can make an informed decision and communicate this decision to loved ones and medical professionals through appropriate care planning. An experienced attorney can assist in walking the individual through the appropriate steps and paperwork so that one's desires can be made known and carried out.

Source: thenewstribune.com, "'Long overdue' Alzheimer's planner helps anyone figure out next steps", Debbie Cockrell, Jan. 27, 2018

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At Hodges Law Firm, we handle a wide range of legal issues for clients throughout the Atlanta area, including elder law, estate planning, probate, Medicaid planning and protection, asset protection, litigation, and business law and services. We are knowledgeable in the law and understand the real life implications of legal actions.