It's difficult to imagine losing oneself to such a disease that steadily erodes your cognition and the essence of who you are. And as if that weren't frightening enough, there's the financial devastation that it can wreck.
The statistics are staggering.
Dementia care, including Alzheimer's care, can range from 4 to 8 years after diagnosis, to as long as 20 years! The average length of care is 8 years.
The Alzheimer's Association reports that the total lifetime cost of care with someone with dementia is $350,174 in 2018 dollars and that figure continues to climb.
A significant amount of caregiving being provided by unpaid family members that take time away from their careers and other family responsibilities. A 2011 MetLife study estimated that the average impact of caregiving for a family caregiver is $303,880 between lost wages, lost Social Security benefits, lost pension benefits, and out-of-pocket expenses. And unfortunately, that study was for general long-term caregiving, rather than being specific to Alzheimer's and dementia care, which has a longer average length of care.
Whether you have a family history or you or your loved one have been diagnosed with cognitive impairment, it's something none of us want to think about. It can be overwhelming to consider.
The good news is that we can help. The Alzheimer's Planning Center is a special division of Carolina Family Estate Planning devoted to helping individuals and families impacted by cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease live the best lives possible through our unique Memory Safeguard Planning.
For far too long, traditional estate planning and elder law has been failing to address these issues. Traditional estate planning still focuses primarily on what happens when you die, but generally does an inadequate job of addressing quality of life and long-term care concerns. Meanwhile, traditional elder law planning has primarily been focused on nursing home planning and government benefits such as Medicaid. We believe that good planning can and should be so much more than this. (See below for our founder's journey to creating The Alzheimer's Planning Center.)
The mission of the Alzheimer's Planning Center at Carolina Family Estate Planning is to empower individuals and their families to maximize quality time with their loved ones and live the best lives possible by providing comfort, security, and confidence as their trusted source for vetted, reliable legal and financial information for Memory Safeguard Planning.
Our Memory Safeguard Planning options are specifically designed for:
- Healthy individuals concerned about the possibility of cognitive impairment in the future (e.g. family history, high-risk factors, etc.)
- Individuals recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment
- Individuals (or their family members) in progressed stages of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
We help people live better lives by building a plan to:
- Maintain your safety and dignity
- Maximize your input and control over your quality of life
- Strengthen your financial security during retirement
- Reduce family stress and discord and preserve family harmony
Call our office at 919-443-3035 to discuss the best way for you to get started. The earlier you begin planning, the more powerful this planning will be in terms of available planning options and the amount of peace and security we can provide.
Alzheimer's Planning Series
Long-Term Care Planning Series
This article series explores how a well-rounded long-term care plan can help protect and preserve your independence and dignity while avoiding financial devastation and unnecessary stress to your family. This article series explores long-term care planning options beyond government assistance planning such as planning for eligibility for Medicaid or Veteran's Benefits.
Related Links--Series on Health Care Directives:
Durable Power of Attorney, Incapacity, & Adult Guardianship Series: