The number of people being diagnosed with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s Disease each year is increasing. Honestly, the statistics released by the Alzheimer’s Association are startling. When a woman reaches her 60s, her lifetime risk for an Alzheimer’s diagnosis increases to 1 in 6, greater than the chances of a breast cancer diagnosis. In 2014, estimates show 5.2 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, the number of people younger than 65 who are being diagnosed with early onset of the disease is increasing with estimates indicating as many as 200,000 Americans prematurely suffer from the disease.
With statistics like this, it becomes obvious that Estate Planning is essential. We never know when dementia can strike, so it is imperative to be prepared in the event that it does impact our families. I know firsthand, as I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s disease two years ago. It was a long road from diagnosis to the end stages and it is better to prepared in advance, so your family doesn’t have to face difficult decisions at a very emotionally charged time.
Dementia has a stressful impact on your family and caregivers as well, but you have the opportunity to reduce some of that stress by being prepared with a basic estate planning package in place. With proper guidance, your family has the opportunity have a plan in place.
Take the time to remember those who suffer from Alzheimer’s on The Longest Day, which is June 21 this year. It is a team fundraising event that enables people around the world to honor those who are facing the disease. Also, don’t put off planning ahead for your family. Now is the time.