Archive for July, 2010
July 26th, 2010
For the first time in 25 years experts in Alzheimer’s disease have proposed new guidelines regarding the criteria used for diagnosing the disease.
The new guidelines would allow special tests that use brain scans, biomarkers and other new technologies to clinically diagnose the disease even before any symptoms appear. These tests would replace the way Alzheimer’s is currently diagnosed, which is based solely on the detection of symptoms.
Experts are seeking to create three different stages of Alzheimer’s disease: pre-clinical; mild cognitive impairment; and dementia. These distinctions are being viewed as a major advancement in diagnosis because detecting the disease in its early stages will allow doctors to treat and monitor their patients as the disease develops.
The number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is expected to double, or even triple, under these new diagnostic guidelines; and some are concerned that efforts to diagnose the disease too early may lead to mistaken diagnoses. Despite such concerns, most Alzheimer’s experts agree that the guidelines are a great leap forward in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and many are optimistic that the new guidelines will likely move researchers closer to the discovering the cause of the disease. The guidelines are expected to be adopted this coming Fall.
Given these new developments, the need for long-term care planning will become even more important. In order to educate yourself on planning techniques designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses, call 1 (866) 524-1818, today to speak with an Elder Law attorney at Lamson & Cutner, P.C. and request our latest publication The Top Ten Elder Law Strategies for Alzheimer’s Patients and Their Families: Ten Absolutely Essential Principles for Preserving Quality-of-Life When Dealing with a Medical Diagnosis of Dementia. The attorneys at Lamson & Cutner, P.C., have significant experience planning for the long-term care needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and are available to provide their services immediately.
July 7th, 2010
Prosecutors in Queens County, New York, have developed a creative legal theory to enhance the punishments that might be imposed against criminals who prey on the elderly by committing thefts and frauds.
In several recent cases, they have charged criminal defendants with “hate crimes” based on these defendants having singled out elderly victims “because of a belief or perception regarding…[their] age…” Of course, hate crime prosecutions are typically brought in cases involving persons victimized because of race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. However, the Queens prosecutors’ novel approach is already resulting in guilty pleas and enhanced sentences.
This new legal theory has not yet been tested in the appellate courts, and prosecutors around the state and elsewhere will no doubt be watching closely before deciding if this new weapon should be put to broader use.
Of course, the first line of defense against thefts and financial crimes against the elderly is to make sure that they are properly cared for and looked after. Friends and family should be alert to the possibility that their loved ones could become crime victims when their health and mental capacity begins to decline. This may be the right time to consult an Elder Law Attorney about planning for long-term care.
July 4th, 2010
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia create memory loss and affect cognitive functioning and behaviors. For many people with dementia, there is often a strong desire to wander off on their own. The urge to walk out the door is often driven by memories of previous jobs or homes where they might have lived decades in the past. Wanderers usually depart in a confused state and are often difficult to find due to paranoia and fear. Caretakers and local authorities are frequently left with no clear indication of where the individual might be.
This phenomenon is increasing rapidly, and authorities around the country are taking notice. In many states, local law enforcement agencies have instated training sessions to help find wanderers. Other groups are using new technologies, including tracking wristbands.
Caring for an individual with dementia can be a difficult task, especially if your loved one is prone to wandering. If you or someone you know has Alzheimer’s or dementia and needs assistance with daily activities, there is help available, often at little or no personal expense. Call an Elder Law attorney today to discuss options for individuals living with dementia.