When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is as if the bottom falls in their life and in the lives of their loved ones.
It’s hard enough to understand that progressive neurological disease has no cure, but then there are all the legal, logistical, and emotional details that require careful attention.
In 2015, when my husband was diagnosed early with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 57, we heard the words no one ever wants to hear: “Get your house in order.
Before they even have a chance to fully understand the path they are forced to take, there are decisions that need to be made.
Fortunately, there are resources to help you. We caregivers just need to know where to find them.
That’s why I’m happy to pass on information about an upcoming educational conference on Alzheimer’s disease for Illinois residents, hosted by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
This free virtual program will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on May 4 as part of the foundation’s Educating America Tour.
Here are the sessions:
· Testamentary capacity and delirium: the the presence of delirium can complicate the assessment of an older person’s testamentary capacity, that is, their legal and mental capacity to make or modify a valid will. It also complicates the assessment of their susceptibility to undue influence. Dr. Sanford Finkel will discuss research to assess a person’s testamentary capacity and identify questions that should be asked in cases where someone changes their will or estate plan late in life in the presence of delirium. Finkel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago School of Medicine and a member of the Medical, Scientific and Memory Screening Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
· A Dementia Diagnosis – Now What? When a loved one is diagnosed with a dementia-related illness, it’s important to make sure you have the right legal documents in place. Amy Delaney, Founding Partner of Delaney, Delaney & Voorn Ltd., will advise on legal strategies that should be considered following a diagnosis of dementia, including the levels of ability required to execute certain estate planning documents, how members of family can help with the estate planning process, obtaining medical evidence to support jurisdiction and what to do if the window of opportunity for estate planning has closed. Delaney is a board member and president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in Illinois, is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, and Professor Emeritus of John Marshall Law School.
· Testimonial from a caregiver: When a dementia-related illness enters your life, it can be overwhelming. Luisa Echevarria, from Chicago, will talk about her own experiences as a caregiver to her mother and grandmother, who both lived with Alzheimer’s disease. She will discuss strategies that have worked for her and offer tips for caregivers to help improve quality of life. Echevarria serves on the board of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and is involved in many community organizations in the Chicago area. She is the former Director of Community Empowerment for Univision Communications Inc. in Chicago.
“Knowledge is a useful and powerful tool that can help make it easier to navigate any situation, especially something difficult like caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Charles J Fuschillo Jr., president and CEO of Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Release. “Connecting families with useful and practical information and support that can help them now and be better prepared for the future is what this conference is about. Whether Alzheimer’s disease affects your family, you’re a caregiver, or you just want to learn more, you can join this free virtual conference from the comfort of your home or office.
For more information or to register, go to www.alzfdn.org/tour.
• Joan Oliver is the former deputy editor of the Northwest Herald. She has been associated with the Northwest Herald since 1990. She can be reached at [email protected].