According to a recent study discussed in MedCity News, the rates of dementia in people older than 65 have dropped sharply since 2000. The decrease in dementia is excellent news, as the condition is one of the most distressing and difficult to manage of all health problems. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, and there is still no known cure. The decrease in dementia is also not tied to a specific medication used in treating the illness. Instead, it appears that education and improvements in overall health have driven the change.
A massive problem
Despite the dropping rates, dementia is still a huge problem. An estimated 5 million Americans are dealing with dementia now. That number is expected rise sharply in the next few decades. While no one wants to contemplate the possibility that they may someday suffer from dementia, it is always best to be prepared. Proper estate planning can ease the burden on you and your family. Important options include:
- Advance medical directives
- Living wills
- Health care proxies
- Powers of attorney
At the very least, having a plan in place will give you peace of mind knowing that your choices will be respected and your legacy will be protected.
Long-term care planning
It is important to plan ahead when it comes to your health and your legacy. The earlier you start planning, the better your chances of getting the medical assistance you need when you get older. Even better, early planning can allow you to provide for your loved ones while still maintaining access to vital benefits that can help you cover medical expenses.
Living conditions matter
Dementia is a condition that is more likely to exist when living conditions are poor. It can be difficult to maintain your standard of care as you get older. Medical problems can become unmanageable if they are not addressed quickly and correctly. Choosing the wrong nursing home or care situation can cause many problems, including an increase potential for dementia. You should seek experienced advice when analyzing your elder care options.