Ever notice that, as we age, we hear those two words – “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” – more and more?
“Did you hear? Betty’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s!”
“If you ask me, Dave’s got a mild form of dementia.”
The fact is – and there’s no escaping this – the older we get, the more we’re going to hear it. And there’s no escaping this, either: We may well have to hear it about one of our own family members.
Since the disease we now call Alzheimer’s was first named, it’s often seemed somewhat interchangeable with “dementia.” And, to some extent, they’re branches of the same tree. But they are still, nonetheless, different branches.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines dementia as “deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, resulting from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain.”
The leading cause of dementia? It’s Alzheimer’s disease. But that doesn’t mean that everyone with dementia also has Alzheimer’s; there are a number of “members” within the dementia family. Many types of dementia, in fact, can actually be reversed, such as those caused by some diseases, such as Parkinson’s, stroke, AIDS, or MS, as well as conditions like depression, drug or alcohol problems, nutritional deficiencies, syphilis, and certain metabolic conditions. As we all know, however, the same, tragically, can’t be said of Alzheimer’s: it can’t – yet! – be reversed.
But that doesn’t mean Alzheimer’s can’t often be managed, at least somewhat successfully. And a good Elder Law attorney will have a whole arsenal of weapons with which to wage the good fight – not only for the patient, but also for the caregivers.
At the Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been working with families dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia for 33 years. In fact, it’s one of our chief areas of practice. And we’ve helped thousands of South Florida families through this process. With professionalism. With understanding. And with a fierce determination to ensure their legal rights.
We even have our own resource library filled with information on dementia and Alzheimer’s.
If you have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, give us a call. We’ll get you through it.