The numbers are staggering, but the reality can be even more so. Alzheimer's and dementia are on the rise throughout Colorado as well as the rest of the nation. The emotional and financial costs associated with a progressive disease such as these can be overwhelming.
Just a few years ago, approximately five million Americans suffered from Alzheimer's or other such dementia-related illnesses. This represented over 1.5 percent of the country's population. Research indicates that by 2060, almost 14 million Americans will be diagnosed with these types of diseases.
Alzheimer's and dementia-related diseases cause individuals to lose their memory as well as their abilities to perform simple everyday tasks. As a result, the need to provide care for these individuals will continue to increase. Unfortunately, the care required is often beyond the scope of what family members are able to provide, thus requiring skilled nursing care.
Unfortunately, the costs associated with such care can be prohibitive. As the disease progresses, the individual is no longer able to care for him or herself. Within a short period of time it becomes dangerous to leave the individual unsupervised. This often results in the need for either in-home assistance or placement in a nursing home facility.
The costs associated with either option are astronomical. However, by planning ahead, it is possible for the Colorado family to meet these challenges without sacrificing the estate that one worked so hard to create. A progressive disease diagnosis can be emotionally devastating, but with proper planning, it does not have to be financially devastating as well.