The cover of the current Alzheimer’s Association report, 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures reads,
“Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for individuals with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Payments for health care are estimated to be $226 billion in 2015. Fewer than 50 percent of people WITH ALZHEIMER’S disease report being told of their diagnosis.”
It is concerning that doctors are hesitating to reveal a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease to their patients. At Tully & Winkelman, P.C. we have witnessed firsthand the implications of a doctor’s discomfort with speaking about the disease. Just this week we had a client express that she was experiencing great difficulty sharing an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis with her father as the doctor himself didn’t tell the parent. We know that communication about Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stages, is crucial. With the rising prevalence of the disease as the older generation grows, the need to comfortably speak about Alzheimer’s disease and communicate with professionals is more important than ever. The best way our readers can combat this issue is to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and be assertive when speaking with medical professionals. We urge our readers to ask as many questions as possible and initiate the conversation about Alzheimer’s even if the doctor appears hesitant to do so.
It is imperative that individuals are informed of the diagnosis and a dialogue is established as Alzheimer’s disease requires extensive planning and preparation before the progression of the disease. Brian Andrew Tully is on the Board of Directors for the Alzheimer’s Association LI Chapter and serves on the legal and financial advisory committee for the LI chapter. Tully Law, P.C truly understands the importance of this issue and is available to help families as they navigate through the process of planning.