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Horizon Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

Monday, March 22, 2021

Alzheimer’s Disease Is A Lot More than Just Forgetfulness

As we watch our loved ones age, it’s not uncommon to see them struggle with their memory. Given the frightening prospect of Alzheimer's, this may incite worry in many.

California elder law attorneys often encounter clients and families rushing to prepare or amend estate planning documents at the first signs of differences in their physical and mental health.

However, while it’s good to be alert and responsive to our loved ones’ physical and mental changes, forgetfulness may not be cause for immediate alarm.

Alzheimer’s disease is a lot more than just forgetfulness.

What Is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease affecting an estimated 5.5 million people of all ages in the United States.

While memory loss is a symptom of the disease, Alzheimer’s is about much more than forgetfulness. Alzheimer's causes a slow decline in the brain's memory, thinking, and reasoning skills.v

Alzheimer's disease results in a progressive decline of cognitive reasoning skills. Eventually, ordinary daily tasks become increasingly difficult and social engagement more limited.

The progression of the disease may be a slow or rapid decline and varies by individual.

7 Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's sufferers will often exhibit one or more of the following symptoms. While these symptoms may be present to some degree even in healthy individuals, an Alzheimer's victim will suffer these symptoms with ongoing regularity and increasing severity.

  1. Memory loss that impairs daily life is generally an early symptom of Alzheimer's. This type of memory loss is characterized by extreme forgetfulness of newly learned information or long-standing important dates, names, and places.
  2. Confusion about time and place is common among those living with Alzheimer’s. They often forget where they are, the time of day, or confuse the time of regular activities.
  3. Difficulty solving problems and increased concentration may indicate cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s. The inability to solve simple problems or follow directions are examples of this type of decline.
  4. Inability to complete familiar tasks such as tying shoes, driving to standard locations, or cooking a simple meal may indicate the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. Problems speaking, writing, or following a conversation are common signs of someone struggling with the onset of Alzheimer’s. The inability to recognize or form words, or a frequent loss of thought, may all be early symptoms of the disease.
  6. Misplacing things frequently could be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, particularly if the person is unable to retrace their steps and locate the object.
  7. Withdrawing from social activities due to frustration with other Alzheimer’s symptoms. For example, an Alzheimer's victim who can't follow a conversation or recall names, dates, or words may slowly withdraw from situations requiring such contributions.

Legal Help when Alzheimer’s Sets Takes Hold

A proactive approach to estate planning is essential for anyone battling a chronic, debilitating disease like Alzheimer's.

An experienced California estate planning attorney can outline the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family in the face of this progressive, incapacitating condition.

Contact our law firm today to meet with a highly qualified estate planning attorney. Together we will develop a holistic approach to securing your estate, including advanced care directives, financial and special powers of attorney, a will, and living trust.


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