There has been a narrative around Alzheimer’s disease that goes something like this: a person gets Alzheimer’s and they quickly become immersed in a state of confusion and despondency.
The problem is that it’s not true. And recent research suggests there is a lot more life to live after the initial Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
It’s unsurprising that post-diagnosis, those with Alzheimer’s can continue to lead fairly normal lives with meaning and purpose for a long time. Of course, the final stages are another matter. But to a great extent the same is true of those with a cancer diagnosis.
The problem is that because the reality is so different to the conventional dark narrative about Alzheimer’s few consider positive life possibilities for their loved ones.
There was a rather wonderful quote in an article I read from Dr. Peter Rabins, a professor from the University of Maryland.
He confessed that before reading the research he would have considered a loss to his memory and ability to think the very worst thing that could happen to him.
“But,” he notes, “I’ve seen that you can be a wonderful grandparent and not remember the name of the grandchild you adore. You can be with people you love and enjoy them, even if you’re not following the whole conversation.”
In short, life goes on. And while there will have to be concessions, it is still a life worth living long after the diagnosis.
Quality of life is one our the main focuses when we work with clients on their estate planning. And a life with chronic illness is part of that work. If you want to talk about your plan, please contact us.