Massachusetts Estate Planning & Asset Protection Blog

Happy Thanksgiving From Dennis Sullivan & Associates | Massachusetts Alzheimer's Attorney

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Tue, Nov 26, 2013


Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!  

Turkey Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. This year we thought we would mention a concern that may affect some families and friends whose loved ones are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  In an article by CNN, it was reported that “Alzheimer’s ‘will become the defining disease of the Baby Boomer Generation.’” This is a difficult disease to live with and watch people live with. Below are some facts about the disease and some tips on how to celebrate this joyous holiday with the ones you love.


The Facts:
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for those 65 and older. This disease is the only one in the top ten causes of death in America that has no way to prevent it, cure it, or even slow its progression.
Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll not only on those with the disease, but also on their caregivers. In 2012, 15.4 million family and friends provided 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias; this care valuing at $216.3 billion... 

Thanksgiving Tips:

  • While preparing the food, reminisce about past Thanksgivings. But don’t ask, “Do you remember when…” something happened, since you don’t know how much has been forgotten. Instead, try starting your memories with “Wasn’t it fun when we…”

  • Limit the number of people you invite this year. Too many people may overwhelm someone with Alzheimer’s. Also make sure that there is a place for them to rest when things get to be a little too hectic.

  • Fill your home with familiar holiday scents, such as vanilla, which is considered to be calming. The smell of cooking food may also trigger memories and put them at ease.

  • Allow the person with Alzheimer’s to participate in cooking, but make sure that it is in a safe environment. Maybe stirring batter or mashing potatoes (See recipe below) at the kitchen table would be a good idea.

  • Sing or play familiar music. Music has a unique place in the human memory.

  • Watch TV or a movie together. You could watch a Football game, a Thanksgiving Day parade, or the Westminster National Dog Show.  

Family Thanksgiving

Recipe:

Kraft’s Whipped Sweet Potato Bake

what you need:
3 cans  (15 oz. each) sweet potatoes, drained
¼ cup  butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
1 tsp.  ground ginger
¼ tsp.  ground nutmeg
3 cups  JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows  
make it:
HEAT oven to 350°F.
BEAT potatoes, butter and spices with mixer until blended.
SPOON into 1-1/2-qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; top with marshmallows.
BAKE 15 to 20 min. or until potato mixture is heated through and marshmallows are lightly browned.
kraft kitchens tips:
SIZE-WISE
Enjoy this classic side dish on special occasions, but keep portion size in mind.
USE YOUR MICROWAVE
Mix all ingredients; spoon into microwaveable 1-1/2-qt. dish sprayed with cooking spray. Do not top with marshmallows. Microwave on HIGH 8 to 10 min. or until heated through, stirring after 5 min. Top with marshmallows; let stand 2 to 3 min. or until marshmallows begin to melt.
SUBSTITUTE
Substitute 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates, we help people and their families concerned with losing their homes and life savings to increasing medical and nursing home costs, taxes and the costs and time delays of probate. We also protect clients from losing control of their own health and financial decisions.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops to learn more about our process and what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy. To register for a seat at an upcoming workshop call (800) 964-4295 (24/7) or register online 

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

CNN Artcle: Here Tips: Here Recipe: Here

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimers Disease, alzheimer's activities, Alzheimer's, Alzheimers Disease. Massachusetts, Thanksgiving, Recipes, family

Massachusetts Elder Law Lawyer | Alzheimer's vs. Dementia: Do You Know the Difference?

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Fri, Feb 15, 2013

Alzheimer's, Dementia, Lawyer, Massachusetts, Elder LawWe recently saw a large-type headline about a woman who was supposedly "cured" of Alzheimer's. There is of course, no cure for Alzheimer's. As it turns out that this woman had been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's.  She actually had a rare thyroid condition that can sometimes mimic the characteristics of Alzheimer's.  

Alzheimer's now affects nearly 6 million Americans, some of them at surprisingly-young ages (like University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summit, who was diagnosed at 59). And experts are saying that, by the year 2030, the number of people with the disease will double.  

Did you know, Alzheimer's accounts for only 70% of dementias...not all of them!  

Some forms of dementia, believe it or not, can be caused by physical illness, such as vascular dementia, strokes, Parkinson's, medications that don't interact well together, urinary tract infections, fluid on the brain, thyroid or other endocrine illnesses, or metabolic problems.  There may also be other hidden villains as well, that only a series of extensive and invasive medical tests can reveal. If a doctor diagnoses you or a loved one with dementia, perhaps you should consider a having battery of tests conducted just to make sure. Misdiagnoses can result in tragedy, especially for seniors.  

For more information on Alzheimer’s and Dementia, we encourage you to visit

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

Alzheimer's Care, Demetia Care, Lawyer, Elder LawTo gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.com.  We also invite you to visit (insert domain name from list below) for more information on (pick one of three topics).

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique education and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

 

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

 

Nursing home care is more than $140,000 per year! Attend this FREE educational seminar to learn:

  • How to protect your home and assets from the costs of long-term care

  • How to stay out of the nursing home and access in-home care

  • How to make sure your spouse is not left financially ruined if you need nursing home care

  • How to access Veterans benefits to pay for long-term care

Tags: Elder Law, Medicaid, dementia, Alzheimers Disease, Alzheimer's, Alzheimers Disease. Massachusetts, adult day center

Massachusetts Elder Law Attorney | Is Art Therapy The Answer for Dementia?

Posted by Massachusetts Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney, Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq., CPA, LLM on Thu, Nov 29, 2012

Medications can’t stop the disease’s inexorable damage to the mind, and stress and agitation often remain challenging despite drug treatment. But a growing number of Alzheimer’s institutions and caregivers are realizing that a musical walk down memory lane — a dance class, storytelling session, art project, or museum tour — can do more than offer pleasant diversions. They can improve a number of disease symptoms as well as quality of life.Alzheimer's, art, therapy

The basic idea is to use art to engage and connect with people with dementia. No matter how many memories they’ve lost, an essential piece of who they always were still remains.

Even people who were not artistic or music lovers in their youth can be inspired by the sound of a song they heard on their first date, or by a painting that evokes an emotion. Writers and poets also see their art as a way to reach people, regardless of age or prognosis.

One of the key benefits of doing or appreciating art is that it challenges people who are usually doted on.When you are cared for, you lose your sense of who you are. Everybody with dementia has a lot going for them. They can experience, they can be present, and they can develop.

Robert Stern, a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Boston University, said a growing body of research is confirming the anecdotal evidence that the arts can improve quality of life, reduce stress, and allow the person to better connect to the world. Recent research suggests music can boost recall of personal memories.

Whether it be fine arts, music, listening to music, going to museums. All those things do not have an impact on the disease per se. What they do most likely is they get through to the person with Alzheimer’s by exploiting the areas of the brain which are least impaired. Anything that can touch the patient through that network of brain areas can have a profound impact.

Medications such as cholinesterase inhibitors may be able to slow some of the memory loss of Alzheimer’s and allow people to live independently longer. But all of the efforts to develop drugs to reverse memory loss and the behavioral changes of Alzheimer’s have failed so far. Researchers think that’s because the damage of Alzheimer’s begins years, if not decades before symptoms become obvious. They are now testing drugs in people likely to develop the disease, to see if they are more effective.

Instead of just warehousing dementia patients until more effective medications are discovered or patients die, our present challenge is to provide people with a life worth living while they’re alive.

Using music and art and movements that don’t rely on verbal skills allows people to succeed. The primary language is emotion with this disease.

To gain free online access to the Complete Alzheimer's Resource Kit, which contains care tips as well as other useful information on Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.BostonMemoryLawyer.com.

At the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we help people and their families learn how to protect their home, spouse, life-savings, and legacy for their loved ones.  We provide clients with a unique educational and counseling approach so they understand where opportunities exist to eliminate problems now as they implement plans for a protected future.

We encourage you to attend one of our free educational workshops, call 800-964-4295 and register to learn more about what you can do to enhance the security of your spouse, home, life savings and legacy.

Click Here to Register For Our Trust, Estate & Asset  Protection Workshop

Tags: Elder Law, dementia, caregiver, Attorney, Alzheimer's, alzheimers, Alzheimers Disease. Massachusetts, art, therapy, music, cargiver

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