We often work with clients who are in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease to protect each one from exploitation and make sure everything is in place for a good death. The normal progression of Alzheimer’s disease from onset to death is approximately 10 years. In the process of working with these clients and their families, we have gained invaluable perspective: It is possible for clients with Alzheimer’s to live full productive lives with dignity and joy while making important contributions to family and friends during the journey.
None of us want to consider the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease in ourselves or our loved ones, but when we do consider it, we likely fathom stereotypical images of depressing, lonely, empty lives without love and joy. But there is a new face of Alzheimer’s which offers an open, frank, and fearless window on the disease.
When we came across this story “The Heartbreaking And Beautiful Faces Of People Living With Alzheimer’s Disease” in the Huffington Post, it was the perfect opportunity to present the many faces of Alzheimer’s to break the stereotype. Read the story and view the photo gallery at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/10/alex-ten-napel_n_5955594.html?ir=Art. The more stories we share with one another of our positive Alzheimer’s experiences, the more we can help those who face the long road ahead, and the more we can work together to improve the experience.
People with dementia and Alzheimer’s are no different than anyone suffering from a debilitating disease– they still have their personalities, their wisdom and their history. Many times, we see a sharp clarity of the early years of the Alzheimer’s patient shine through. They may not be able to remember what they ate for breakfast, but they do remember their favorite teacher and their high school prom! Some of our greatest joys are working with those clients with Alzheimer’s and their families in sharing these experiences.
Shannon Miller, ESQ of Miller Elder Law Firm is the only Florida Board Certified Elder Law attorney in Gainesville. The firm specializes in probate, estate planning, and exploitation, and other elder law areas.