While it is certainly not healthy to go through life expecting the worst, it is prudent to be aware of the challenges that you may face as you reach an advanced age and take the appropriate precautionary steps. With this in mind it is a good idea to understand the fact that people are living longer than ever, and when you reach an advanced age the possibility of contracting dementia exists.
The most widespread cause of dementia among our nation’s senior citizens is Alzheimer’s disease. Just about everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s, but when you look into the facts just how common it has become is rather surprising.
If you are interested in obtaining information about Alzheimer’s disease a good resource that exists online is the Alzheimer’s Association website. When you visit the site you will see statistics, and one of the figures that is especially relevant here is the fact that some 13% of people who reach the age of 65 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
This figure continues to rise as you get older, and it is estimated that perhaps 40% of people who are 85 years of age and older suffer from Alzheimer’s.
If you were to experience dementia as a senior citizen you may not be able to make your own decisions. For this reason you must empower individuals of your own choosing to make decisions in your behalf should it become necessary. For financial matters, this is done through the execution of durable powers of attorney and/or an incapacity provision within a revocable living trust. For heath care related matters, in California, this is done through an Advance Health Care Directive.
To best plan for your future, consult with an experienced and qualified Northern California estate planning lawyer.