The Final Stages of Alzheimer’s
By Rick Law, Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney in Western Chicagoland, IL. Founder of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. Based on final mortality data from 2000 to 2008, death rates have declined for most major diseases—heart disease (-13 percent), breast cancer (-3 percent), prostate cancer (-8 percent), stroke (-20 percent), and HIV/AIDS (-29 percent)—while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have risen 66 percent during the same period. Only about 6 percent of people with Alzheimer’s (and related disorders) actually make it to the end stage of the disease. The most easily identifiable sign that someone is dying from Alzheimer’s and related disorders is when he or she can no longer swallow safely (without aspiration) and has chosen not to use a feeding tube (often a legal issue unto itself!). If clients are not allowed to take oral nutrition or hydration safely, they are unlikely to survive for a long period of time. It is not uncommon for people in the final stages of Alzheimer’s to reach the point where they do not want to go to the hospital again. When that happens, hospice can help them achieve a “wonderful death.” According to one hospice nurse: “The three essential elements to providing a wonderful death are the collaborative efforts of the family, the assisted-living staff, and the hospice personnel -which then allows our residents to stay in their home environment with friends and familiar caregivers and peacefully live out the end of their lives. I have been part of several end-of-life decisions with our residents. I am richer for it and tremendously grateful to have shared with the resident and his or her family some wonderful deaths.” If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now. Sincerely, Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees. Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now! .