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Updated Alzheimer’s Disease Resources for Families

A Family Lifetime Protection Program workshop was held on July 7, 2010 at the Estate Planning Conference Center, Wellesley, MA, featuring expert speakers on:

  • Coping and Living with Alzheimer’s
  • Home Safety for Seniors
  • How to Find and Pay For In-Home Care

The opportunity to attend informative workshops is just one of the unique benefits provided to clients at Dennis Sullivan & Associates.  Our role does not end with the production of a book of documents; we continue to help clients through the Family Lifetime Protection Program and we serve as a continuing resource for clients and their families.

Education and advance planning are the keys to securing your legacy!  Take action NOW to protect your spouse, your home, your life savings and avoid nursing home poverty!  Attend a free Trust, Estate and Asset Protection Workshop at the Estate Planning Conference Center, Worcester Street, Wellesley, MA.  Seating is limited.  Click here or call (800) 964-4295 to register!  Your attendance will also entitle you to a free, confidential, 19-Point asset protection and estate planning review with our experienced attorneys.

Learning to Speak Alzheimers

It was our great pleasure to host Joanne Koenig Coste, Alzheimer’s speaker and renowned author.  Ms. Coste is the author of Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease.  She provided tips for caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, followed by a Question/Answer session.  She also emphasized the importance of getting affairs in order at the first sign of dementia, including estate planning and asset protection planning, as well as Power of Attorney and Health Care documents.  Nursing home poverty is a critical issue for Alzheimer’s patients and their families.  The cost of nursing home care is approaching $12,000 a month of $144,000 a year, and it is essential to plan especially for Alzheimer’s where an extended nursing home stay of 5 to 10 years is possible.

Ms. Coste also detailed the importance of “COPE” for the caregiver from Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s:

C:  Communicate not only with the person you are caring for…but also with the doctor, your attorney, other helpers, family members and supporters.  Let them know how you are feeling, not just the patient.

O:  Organize the bits and pieces of your life – such as your paperwork, both medical and legal; simplify both your life and the caregiver’s.  Organize your drawers, closets, attic and cellar and your important documents throwing away anything no longer needed.

P:  Prioritize what needs to happen next.  Can some matters be done at another time?  Make a timeline of how you need to proceed so that things happening all at once will not overwhelm you.  Have you visited your attorney?  Adult Day Health programs?  The Alzheimer’s Association?

E:  Exercise your body and brain.  Fit a regular exercise plan into your routine.  This can be done with the person for whom you are caring, of after he or she has gone to sleep.  The exercise depends on what works for the care partner.  Investigate Neurobic Exercises and contact the Alzheimer’s Association for more Brain Games. (Alz.org/MANH)

In addition, Ms. Coste discussed what she calls “The Domains of Habilitation” or what the goals of the caretaker should be, including:

  • To reduce fear and disorientation
  • Maximizing morale
  • Do no create excess disability
  • Continue communication after words have failed
  • Link memory to the senses

We highly recommend Joanne’s book to anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s.  To purchase Leaning to Speak Alzheimer’s visit your local bookstore or Amazon.com.

Additional free resources are available through Dennis Sullivan & Associates:

  1. Consumer Guide: “9 Steps to Peace of Mind for the Alzheimer’s Family”
  2. Video: Information to avoid nursing home poverty
  3. Alzheimer’s Care Resource: “A Guide to Alzheimer’s Care” (Contact our office at 781-237-2815 to receive this guide.)

Ted Bickoff, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist discussed the many solutions available to enjoy living safely at home for as long as possible.  The use of cutting-edge technology, home modifications and innovative equipment allows you to safely “age-in-place.”  Ted also spoke about the available opportunities to help clients and their families live safely in their home and guard against the possibility of a fall and prevent the high costs associated with hospital stays, rehabilitation and doctors (which can be as high as $100,000 in addition to pain, discomfort and disruption of lifestyle.)  Keeping the home a safe place allows families to stay at home longer, feel better and preserve their assets.  We encourage you to obtain a FREE HOME SAFETY AUDIT, please contact our office for more details.

For those concerned about paying for in-home and long term care, CLU and insurance expert, David Isaacson explained that Long Term Care insurance is a vital aspect of planning to avoid nursing home poverty for many clients.  Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other illness can be devastating to families, wiping them out financially and emotionally.  A long term care insurance policy can help in both areas – by easing the financial burdens for in-home care and assisted living help and by providing a Care Coordinator. A Care Coordinator manages many different aspects of care, from arranging visiting nurses to making sure that the home is clean and the bills are paid.

Did you miss the workshop?  Please contact our office for a review of your planning to make sure you avoid nursing home poverty and increasing costs, as well as to receive a home safety audit or information on in-home care planning with long term care insurance.