As some of our West Caldwell readers may know from personal experience, a diagnosis of dementia means that you or a loved one has any one of a number of brain conditions that affect a person's memory and thought processes. Depending on the underlying disease, dementia symptoms could progress slowly, giving a patient and their family more time to put their affairs in order, or the disease could progress quickly, leaving little time to even figure out effective treatments.
Because typical symptoms of dementia include changes to the brain and its cognitive processes, loved ones should watch out for changes in a family member's mood or personality, memory issues, problems thinking or speaking, and trouble recognizing places or faces that used to be familiar, just to name a few. If a loved one shows any of these symptoms, it may be necessary to take these next steps.
The first step loved ones should take is to schedule an appointment with a doctor or family physician. With their help, you can get your loved one a proper diagnosis that can lead to proper treatments. Next, you may want to consider moving your loved one to a health care facility that give your loved one the care and attention they will need as the disease progresses. In addition to this, you may want to also consider putting your loved one's affairs in order sooner rather than later, as it will become increasingly difficult to do if the dementia progresses too far.
Finally, you may also want to consider applying for Social Security Disability Insurance for your loved one. Because many forms of dementia are listed as Compassionate Allowances, your loved one could be approved for benefits that could be used to offset health care costs and treatments associated with their condition.
If you're not sure if you are able enough to file for these benefits on your own, experienced attorneys are available to help with the application process in the West Caldwell area, including our law firm, The Law Office of Sheryl Gandel Mazur.
Source: WebMD, "Types of Dementia," Accessed Nov. 5, 2015