Did you know that June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month? Were you aware that Alzheimer’s Disease impacts millions of senior adults and is a form of dementia that causes memory loss and diminished problem-solving abilities? Do you have an elderly loved one in your family with a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s? You need to be sensitive to the degenerative nature of Alzheimer’s and realize that it is not only difficult for those suffering from it, but also for those who care about them.

Are you providing care for your elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s? How can you provide your elderly loved one with the best possible support? Be mindful that part of helping your elderly loved one will involve educating others in understanding what he or she is going through. We would like to share with you some ways you can assist others in recognizing the impact of Alzheimer’s on your elderly loved one and what he or she is facing in the future.

• Communication. After an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis, there may be a lot of uncertainty and emotion. While your elderly loved one may be trying to adjust and come to terms with his or her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, he or she may not want other people to know about the diagnosis. In fact, he or she may never want to talk about it with others, even though family and friends probably have a sense that something is wrong. It is important for you to discuss with your elderly loved one how he or she would like to proceed. If your elderly one is unable to make his or her own decisions, ask his or her legal decision-maker about thoughts on how to proceed communicating with family and friends.

• Information. Now that the decision to communicate the diagnosis has been reached, there should be differing degrees of information for family, friends, and others. Close family and friends should be encouraged to educate themselves about Alzheimer’s Disease and the impact it will have on their elderly loved one. You should talk about the symptoms, dispel myths, and let them know your elderly loved one is going through changes he or she cannot control. Be sure to answer questions and share any educational resources you may have to help family and friends to better understand. Now in regard to others, information that helps explain your elderly loved one’s behavior is enough.

• Education. As the caregiver of your elderly loved one you, of course, are very aware of what he or she can and cannot manage, especially as the disease progresses. Teaching family and friends, who want to interact with your loved one, how to interact appropriately is key. For example, ask family and friends to reintroduce themselves periodically and to refrain from correcting the elder loved one. Let family and friends know that social stimulation is healthy because it provides mental exercise and helps reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Take time to model how to interact with your loved one.

Remember, because June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and advocates across the health care, nonprofit, and legal communities are offering support for Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers, and families impacted by the disease. If you or someone you know would like more information or guidance about related legal matters, schedule a meeting with our firm.

At the Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.