Given the fact that dementia strikes upwards of half of all Americans who are 85 years of age and older, incapacity planning is really a must for serious minded individuals. If you fail to take action in advance and become incapacitated, a conservatorship proceeding could take place and your affairs could wind up being conducted by an individual who is not of your choosing.
On the other hand, if you are proactive about executing the appropriate documents, your own hand-picked decision-makers would be empowered to make decisions on your behalf with knowledge of how you would proceed if you could communicate.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Most people are aware of the fact that Alzheimer’s causes memory loss, and in fact it is deadly. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is among the top 10 killers and it is the only one that cannot be cured or even slowed down with medical treatments.
Research is ongoing however, and there has been some good news to report. There has not been any way to diagnose Alzheimer’s via physical symptoms, but researchers have recently discovered that shorter strides and a slower gait are indicators. Alzheimer’s shrinks the brain and brain shrinkage leads to this behavior.
Hopefully more good news is around the corner with regard to Alzheimer’s, but as it stands it is certainly a looming threat to all of us. If you have not yet executed the appropriate incapacity planning documents, right now would be a good time to take action to arrange for a consultation with a highly qualified San Jose CA elder law attorney.