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The front-page article in today’s New York Times focuses on a study which predicts that both the costs and the number of people with dementia will more than double within the next 30 years as the Baby Boomers age. While we wait and hope for medical advances which will slow or eliminate Alzheimers and other dementia-related diseases, there are steps that families can take to reduce the tremendous financial burden associated with dementia.
First, everyone should have the basic estate planning documents such as wills, durable financial powers of attorney and advance medical directive. For those afflicted with dementia who are unable to make their own financial and medical decisions, the failure to have durable powers of attorney and advance medical directives will likely lead to expensive court proceedings called guardianships.
Also, people should consider purchasing long-term care insurance which is designed to pay for dementia-related care.