Disability Benefits For Alzheimer


After the initial diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, there are several legal issues that should be taken care of as soon as possible.  After all, the longer you wait, the more difficult the decisions will be, as the victims of Alzheimer’s may soon lose the capacity to even participate in the decisions that will affect their life dramatically.

The first thing you should do after the diagnosis, is get a group of people together to begin planning for all the possible legal issues that could come up.  Start by looking around the family for people suitable to come in and help with those decisions.  Ideally, this group of people shouldn’t be too large, or there may be too much conflict to be productive.  To start with, the person afflicted with Alzheimer’s should be present, as well as their significant other.  The main caregivers and those closest should also be present.  Anyone who is either a distant relative, or isn’t directly involved with the victim’s life should probably be kept on the outside of this meeting.

To begin the meeting, start talking about advance directives.  Advance directives are essentially documents that will speak for you, if you are unable to speak at anytime.  These documents usually specify which type of healthcare you would prefer, and who you would want to make decisions for you.  Using advance directives, you can designate someone to make decisions regarding the type of healthcare you want for you.  This can be an incredible amount of pressure onto whoever is chosen, so choose carefully.

The first type of advance directive that should be discussed is the “Power of Attorney”.  Essentially what the power of attorney does is it gives one person the power to act on the behalf of another.  These can be either general, or very specific.  For example, you could decide that one person should have total control.  In that case, that person would make all decisions regarding the victim’s future. This is done in the event that the victim was unable to speak for him or herself.  On the other hand, the power of attorney can be as specific as managing the sales of the victim’s home, or just deal with the healthcare of the person.  Many arguments may come up over who should do what, but its best if everyone works together to decide on a small group of people, rather than everyone being included.

Obviously, a will, a living will, and a living trust should be created.  The first document that you’ll deal with, a living will, essentially discusses what should be done regarding to life support.  Do you keep the person on life support, or do you pull the plug, to break it down to layman’s terms.  Next, a living trust determines who will manage the victim’s assets when they are unable to manage them themselves.  This includes both money and any property they may have.  Finally, a will, the most common, determines how assets will be distributed upon death.

After you’ve decided everything as clear as you can, it is time to find a lawyer who can finalize everything.  It may not be cheap, but it will avoid any major family struggles in the long run.  Look specifically for a lawyer who specializes in elder care.  Most states have a directory specifically for them.  After you’ve found your lawyer, send two people from the aforementioned meeting to go and meet with them.  Make sure to bring copies of whatever agreement it was that was arranged, so that the lawyer can review them and draw them up into a contract.

Dealing with Alzheimer’s can be extremely difficult.  That’s why it is in your best interest to deal with any legal possibilities as soon as possible, while the afflicted one can still communicate what they would prefer to happen.  Always make sure that you listen to them, and follow their wishes as well as you possibly can.  Many family members may fight over what is wrong and what is right, but if the person who has Alzheimer’s is there, he or she can be the voice of reason.  After all, you are there to help them do what is best for them – according to their beliefs.  Make sure that you do that.