Dementia doesn’t announce its arrival; it creeps in quietly. Being vigilant about its early signs can offer your loved one a better shot at managing the symptoms. What should you keep an eye out for?
Memory Lapses Impacting Routine
While occasional forgetfulness is common, if your loved one begins to forget important information or events, you should be concerned. It’s one of the early indicators of dementia.
Challenges in Day-to-day Planning
If daily tasks that involve planning, such as preparing a meal from a recipe, become a struggle, take this as another red flag.
Struggling With Regular Activities
If simple, everyday activities like using household gadgets become confusing, this could be a cause for concern.
Loss of Track of Time and Place
Losing a sense of time or forgetting familiar places are early signs of dementia that you shouldn’t overlook.
If you find that your loved one is making questionable choices – like wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather – it’s another early sign of dementia.
If forming sentences or finding the right words becomes a consistent struggle, consider it a warning.
Pay attention if your loved one keeps retelling the same stories. Repetition can be an early sign of dementia.
Rapid Mood Changes
Dramatic mood swings can indicate cognitive decline. Watch out for any changes in their emotional state.
A sudden lack of interest in social activities can be an early warning sign.
Next Steps for Concerned Families
Start a Dialogue
Talk about these symptoms with your loved one. Opt for a compassionate tone, focusing on a shared concern for their well-being.
Consult a Professional
Don’t hesitate to seek medical guidance. Early diagnosis can pave the way for better treatment options.
Preparing for the Road Ahead with Medicaid Planning
The Reality of Nursing Home Care
Dementia often leads to the need for specialized care. Nursing homes can provide this but at a steep cost. Medicaid planning serves as a financial lifeline.
The Medicare Myth
Contrary to popular belief, Medicare will not cover long-term care. However, Medicaid can provide the financial assistance required for long-term nursing home care.
The Importance of Medicaid Planning
To meet Medicaid’s asset limitations, consider an irrevocable Medicaid trust. Remember, transfers have a five-year look-back, so plan early to avoid penalties.
Setting Up an Irrevocable Medicaid Trust
An irrevocable Medicaid trust can help you both qualify for Medicaid and preserve your estate for your heirs. The trust must be set up and funded at least five years before applying for Medicaid to be effective.
Summing It Up
Recognizing the early signs of dementia can provide more time for planning and treatment. It’s a tough journey, but early detection and planning, especially with financial options like Medicaid, can make it more manageable for everyone involved.
Let’s Get Started!
It is important to note that over 30 percent of people who are 85 years of age and older have contracted Alzheimer’s disease according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Once you reach the age of 67, your life expectancy is at least 85 years depending on your gender.
When you consider this, and you add in the fact that people reside in nursing homes for reasons other than dementia, a clear picture emerges. When you plan ahead with Medicaid eligibility in mind, you can rest assured that the financial part of the equation will be largely painless.
If you’re ready to get started, you can schedule a consultation at our Warren, New Jersey elder care planning office if you call us at 908-222-8803. We also have a contact form on this site you can use if you would rather send us a message.
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