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Watch for early signs of dementia

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Estate Planning

Dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s and other diseases, is a serious medical condition that involves the slow decline of a person’s brain functioning. Dementia is not the same as normal aging, which can also involve some age-appropriate memory loss and cognitive decline.

Eventually, a person with dementia will require help with even the most basic of tasks.

There are some early warning signs of dementia that residents of the greater Cincinnati area should know. That way, they can help themselves or a loved one early in case they are in the first stages of dementia:

  • It is normal to forget things from time to time, especially as a person gets older. However, the frequent forgetting of basic information that a person used to know is a sign of dementia.
  • Occasional confusion about the time of day or the day of the week is not necessarily concerning. However, when a person is consistently losing track of the time and not able to keep it straight, it is a sign of dementia.
  • Many people who are experiencing dementia will no longer be able to do even basic mental tasks, like playing a game or following a recipe, even though they used to be able to do so easily.
  • People with dementia will develop issues with remembering even basic words or may have trouble participating in a conversation.
  • They also may forget where they put things to the point of believing that others are stealing from them.
  • People with dementia may experience emotional issues or significant lapses in judgment.

Legally, what should I do to protect myself or a loved one with early dementia?

The good news is that Ohioans who are in the early stages of dementia usually will be able to live independently for the most part. Dementia is a progressive condition, so Butler County residents can and are encouraged to continue with as many of their usual activities as possible.

They can use this time to prepare themselves legally for when they are no longer able to care for themselves easily.

For example, while they still legally can, those with dementia should consider creating appropriate estate planning documents.

In addition to a will or trust, they can execute a power of attorney and healthcare directives so that a trusted person can make decisions for them when they are no longer able to do so.