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Dementia and conservatorship

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Estate planning |

As you age, it’s common to become more forgetful. In fact, if you’re age 50 or beyond, you’ve likely already made jokes from time to time about walking into a room and forgetting why you entered it or not being able to find your car keys. Cognitive decline is a natural part of the aging process, except when it’s not. Dementia is a degenerative neurological condition that can occur in younger adults as well as elders.

Dementia is a loss of cognitive function to such an extent as to impede quality of life or ability to function. There are various types of dementia, as well as numerous symptoms that may accompany the condition. As for treatment, there is no cure, although there are various steps that people can reportedly take to reduce symptoms and help a person suffering from dementia to cope with the effects.

Symptoms that merit cognitive examination for dementia

The following list includes symptoms that suggest a person might be suffering from dementia:

  • Loss of memory, especially when accompanied by distress and confusion
  • Repetitiveness, such as asking the same question over and over again
  • Wandering off and getting lost
  • Difficulty speaking, reading or writing
  • Hallucination, paranoia or delusional thinking
  • Problems with balance and movement

There are numerous other symptoms that are also often present in a person suffering from dementia.

The court may appoint a conservator to make decisions on a patient’s behalf

Dementia can cause incapacitation, meaning a person with this condition may lose his or her ability to be able to make decisions regarding health care, finances and other important matters. In such cases, the court may appoint a conservator, which is someone given the authority to act on behalf of a patient suffering from dementia or another incapacitating condition. This type of situation often leads to litigation, in which case it helps to rely on an attorney who is well-versed in elder law issues.