The Red Flag of Alzheimer’s: A Change of Character
By Rick Law, senior advocate, co-founder of Alzheimer’s Hope, and estate planning elder law attorney in Aurora, Illinois in Western Chicagoland. Dr. William Thies is the chief medical and scientific officer for the Alzheimer’s Association. Before joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. Thies worked at the American Heart Association. Prior to that, he held faculty positions at Indiana University in Bloomington and the University of Pittsburgh. Q: Dr. Thies, From your point of view, what are some of the most important things that we need to understand? A: The worst part of Alzheimer’s disease is the later stages of the disease, and if we actually found ways to keep people from getting into those late stages, we would save an immense amount of human suffering, because people’s quality of life goes to zero, plus the fact that their family is devastated by it and it can rob them of all of their resources at the same time. This disease is costing billions of dollars, and it’s one of the major cost drivers in a health-care system that is becoming a major cost driver for our whole economy—and we’ve got to find ways to lighten the load or it’s going to wreck the whole economy. Q: What factors are observable to be able to say, “I think Chris or Mary may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease”? A: Changes in behavior—that is the biggest thing to look for. For example, losing interest in hobbies—the guy who always got the newspaper first thing in the morning so he could do the crossword, and now he doesn’t do it anymore. Look for changes in sleeping patterns. The person who was always up early and worked all day in one way or the other, and now all of a sudden they’re sleeping a lot during the day. Drinking—certainly whether that’s a cause or an effect, I think is open to debate—but somebody who never drank and all of a sudden is drinking a significant amount. Those sorts of changes are markers of something different going on. If they have a spouse, they’re going to be driving that spouse crazy because they have become totally undependable. They’re driving them crazy asking them about 150 times from about 3:30 to 5:30, “What’s for dinner?” That’s really significant. 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!