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Advance planning can be critically important in dementia cases

"[G]ood planning while the parent is still of sound mind can minimize the damage."

That is a statement that fairly jumps out of a recent article focusing on dementia, a disease that reportedly affects more than five million Americans across the country.

Dementia, which incorporates Alzheimer's disease, is a top-shelf medical concern in the United States, for myriad reasons. A loved one's receipt of competent and loving care is an obvious concern of family members. In many cases, so, too, is the cost of that care, which can be staggeringly high.

And this third concern also emerges as notable in many instances: family bickering over how care should be administered and financial resources marshaled and allocated.

"Nothing brings out the greed and conflict more than aging parents in need of care," notes the founder of one care-focused organization.

That assessment seems firmly buttressed by recently emerging stories regarding singer Glen Campbell, who has Alzheimer's. Some of Campbell's children from an earlier marriage are locking horns with his current wife regarding his medical care.

That state of affairs is quite common, say commentators on aging and health care provision. The requisite level and type of care needed for an aging parent can be an acrimony-inducing subject for many families in Texas and nationally.

That reality underscores the importance of the words uttered above in the initial paragraph of this post. The bottom line: Good planning can go far toward promoting unity in a family's understanding of the care needed for a loved one, as well as dampen disagreement on financially related aspects of care delivery.

An experienced elder law attorney can provide further information.

Source: NBC News, "Glen Campbell family feud: Dementia divides many clans," Susan Donaldson James, March 10, 2015

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