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Aging Archives - Morris Hall, PLLC

Important Health Care Considerations for the Elderly

By | Elder Care | No Comments

There are common considerations that every elderly individual should follow, or they will lead to the “common mistakes” that are often made by the elderly.  As we age, it is important that we plan for changes in our life – we may have impaired abilities, we may not be able to cover our care expenses, perhaps we will need to rely on the assistance of others or we may be one of the lucky few that face very few complications as they age.  Because we do not have a crystal ball to tell us what our future holds, it is important that we prepare in advance.

Should you still be driving?
It can be difficult to give up the independence of driving, however, if you are no longer competent to drive, you are putting others’ lives at risk.  As you age, you should have your driving evaluated about every 5-7 years to ensure you are not endangering yourself or others.

Don’t be stubborn
Many elderly individuals choose not to use resources that could provide them special relief and assistance.  There is often a strong resistance to medical devises like walkers or hearing aids which could significantly help, but are refused due to an unwillingness to accept aging and its effects.

Accept help that’s offered and ask for help when needed
In most every case, family and friends are very willing to assist, but often simply do not know what to do.  Do not hesitate to ask for assistance and to accept help when offered.  You have spent your life helping to care for others, let them return the favor.

See your doctor regularly
Avoiding the doctor will not make medical conditions go away, in fact, it will generally cause a more rapid decline in health.  Make certain that you see your doctor(s) regularly and listen closely to any advice.  By going in regularly and at the first sign of any medical concerns, you can catch problems early, usually assuring a quicker and easier treatment path.  If you have difficulty remembering the details, have a loved one attend with you and ask them to take notes.

Make adjustments
If you are struggling with mobility, memory or illness as you age, you may have to make adjustments to your lifestyle and your home to make things easier for you.  Make these changes as needed to ensure you are able to function at your best by minimizing distractions and hazards.

Plan for the inevitable
While death can come at any time, the possibility grows as we age.  In your elder years, if you have yet to create a Living Trust and set your affairs in order, it is time that you do.  If you have already created a plan, make sure to review it every 3-5 years to ensure it is still current with the law and your situation.  Speak with your loved ones and discover if there are items that they find particularly sentimental and make a record of who will receive those items.  By doing this, you can avoid putting your family and friends through even greater strain after your death.

Contact MH today to meet with a qualified estate planning attorney to create or review your Living Trust.  We can also help you with varying aging concerns through our Life Care Consultants specialists, VA assistance experts and Medicaid qualification guidance.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328.

About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years.  Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects.  We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

Dementia - What It Is and What To Do About It

By | Healthcare documents | No Comments

 

Dementia diseases are one of the most common and debilitating diseases for those over 60 years of age. In general, dementia is an irreversible and degenerative disease - meaning that it gets worse over time.

Dementia can lessen one's ability to process and retain information, problem-solve, complete multi-step tasks and can even cause changes in personality and unusual behavior. The risk of Dementia increases with age and is rarely seen in people under 60 years old.

There are various types of Dementia, with the most common being Alzheimer's disease. Other forms include Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Frontotemporal Dementia, Creutz-Jakob disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and a few others that are less common.

Common Signs and Symptoms

- Memory loss, especially affecting short-term memory
- Difficulties with language and communication
- Deteriorating cognitive skills (such as calculation, abstract thought, judgment)
- Getting lost at familiar places or on familiar routes
- Personality changes and diminishing social skills
- Loss of interest in favorite hobbies and activities
- Difficulty with common and familiar tasks
- Poor judgment, especially worrisome in dangerous situations

Prevention and Treatment

So far, knowledge on the treatment, cause and prevention of dementia is very limited. Currently there is no cure and no definitive known cause. Some treatments are available which target the specific symptoms of dementia, but most have shown minimal results. Treatments can also vary depending on the type of dementia.

As there is no known cause, methods of prevention are highly speculative. It is always recommended that one eat healthy, exercise and avoid habits that negatively affect ones health in order to lesson the odds of later developing a wide variety of diseases, including Dementia.

What to Do Now?

If you or a loved one are suffering from any form of Dementia, there are some important steps to take.

1. See your physician for an official diagnosis. Be sure to ask questions and get as much information as you can from your practitioner.

2. Make a plan for the future that entails who will serve as a caretaker; would in-home assistance or a nursing home be preferred; how to pay for care; who to designate for important legal, financial and healthcare decisions.

3. Get all legal affairs in order.

Getting Legal Affairs in Order

During the course of Dementia, mental functioning continues to deteriorate, creating an ever increasing need for support and assistance. It is imperative that one or more persons are selected to handle financial, medical, healthcare and other important decisions on the behalf of the individual suffering from dementia.

Setting up a Power of Attorney (POA), Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) a Living Will and a HIPAA document are imperative. For superior protection of a loved one and their assets a living trust should also be created. These various documents are crucial for ensuring that your loved one is taken care of and that trustworthy individuals are legally designated to handle important affairs.

Morris Hall (MH) has focused on estate planning for forty years and can help guide you and your loved one in the direction that will best help you prepare for the road ahead. Our attorneys and our life care specialists can help you with everything from legal planning, financial assistance, help for caregivers, additional resources and more.

Find out more information and schedule a free consultation by calling 888.222.1328 or visiting us online at Morristrust.com.

 

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

 

Alzheimer's Disease - What It Is and What Can Be Done About It

By | Life Care Consultants, Life Care Planning | No Comments

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and degenerative disease which affects the brain, causing difficulties with memory, behavior and the gradual loss of multiple mental functions and abilities. It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million American's currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The disease is the result of the destruction and death of nerve cells, causing memory failure, personality changes, problems carrying out daily activities and other symptoms. Biopsies of those who have died from Alzheimer's show amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain as well as the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) - all of which explain the degeneration of the brain's capabilities to function properly during the course of Alzheimer's disease.

Common Signs and Symptoms

- Memory Loss

- Difficulties with language and communication

- Misplacing items

- Getting lost at familiar places or on familiar routes

- Personality changes and diminishing social skills

- Loss of interest in favorite hobbies and activities

- Difficulty with common and familiar tasks

- Poor judgment

- Difficulty with daily activities

Prevention and Treatment

So far, knowledge on the treatment, cause and prevention of Alzheimer's disease is very limited. Currently there is no cure and no definitive known cause. Generally treatments focus on attempting to slow the progression of the disease, manage behavior problems and symptoms such as confusion, sleep problems and agitation.

As there is no known cause, methods of prevention are highly speculative. It is always recommended that one eat healthy, exercise and avoid habits that negatively affect ones health in order to lesson the odds of later developing Alzheimer's. However, there is no concrete proof that these methods or any other methods will prevent the disease.

What to Do Now?

If you or a loved one are suffering from Alzheimer's, there are some important steps to take.

1. See your physician for an official diagnosis. Be sure to ask questions and get as much information as you can from your practitioner.

2. Make a plan for the future that entails who will serve as a caretaker; would in-home assistance or a nursing home be preferred; how to pay for care; who to designate for important legal, financial and healthcare decisions.

3. Get all legal affairs in order.

Getting Legal Affairs in Order

During the course of Alzheimer's, mental functioning continues to deteriorate, creating an ever increasing need for support and assistance. It is imperative that one or more persons are selected to handle financial, medical, healthcare and other important decisions on the behalf of the individual suffering from Alzheimer's.

Setting up a Power of Attorney (POA), Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) a Living Will and a HIPAA document are imperative. For superior protection of a loved one and their assets, a living trust should also be created. These various documents are crucial for ensuring that your loved one is taken care of and that trustworthy individuals are legally designated to handle important affairs.

Morris Hall (MH) has focused on estate planning for forty years and can help guide you and your loved one in the direction that will best help you prepare for the road ahead. Our attorneys and our life care specialists can help you with everything from legal planning, financial assistance, help for caregivers, additional resources and more.

Find out more information and schedule a free consultation by calling 888.222.1328 or visiting us online at morristrust.com.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.