Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are conditions that will eventually render a person in New Jersey unable to care for themselves. While this is a position no one wants to find themselves in, it is a fact that many people will develop these types of illnesses over time and these conditions can persist for years before a person passes away. Therefore, it can help to be prepared in the event that dementia or a related disorder robs a person of their ability to make choices on their own and take care of their daily needs.
There are a number of documents a person can execute while they are still of sound mind, to address the long-term care they’ll need if they become incapacitated. One of these is an advanced care directive, which will address the person’s preferred choices for care. Another document is a medical power of attorney. This document allows a person to designate someone to make decisions for the person if the person is unable to express what their wishes would be. Not to be confused with a medical power of attorney is power of attorney. Power of attorney addresses financial decisions and how long-term care will be paid.
When a person first develops dementia or a related disorder, they may be able to live in their own home, at least for a while. However, eventually, the person may need more help. For example, they could live in an assisted living facility with a memory care unit. These facilities offer more help than traditional assisted living facilities. Nursing homes may also be an option.
Caring for a loved one with dementia or a related disorder can be taxing, even if it is an act of love. Eventually, a person may realize their loved one needs more care than they can provide. When this happens, a person with dementia or a related disorder may need to be placed in the care of a professional facility. However, with advanced long-term care planning, a person can dictate how they’d like to be cared for and where, should they become incapacitated. An elder law attorney can help people draft the necessary documents to make their wishes known.
Source: longtermcare.acl.gov, “Alzheimer’s,” accessed Dec. 19, 2017