Knowing the best way to offer support, compassion and financial help to a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease can be challenging. Life Happens Radio host, and founder of Pierro, Connor & Associates, Lou Pierro, spoke on this topic during the August 26th edition of the show. He was joined by Beth Bovin, CEO of the Northeastern New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Dealing with a family member with [Alzheimer’s Dementia] is devastating because it effects every element of your life” said Pierro, whose late mother suffered from the disease. He credits her with the decision to become so involved with the Association. He spoke on the devastating feelings so many people experience when they realize roles have reversed, and now they are the care givers for their parents.
Planning for Alzheimer's Disease
One of the most important and utilized services at the Alzheimer’s Association is its Help Line. An operator is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, should an emergency or question about the disease arise. Bovin explained how beneficial this is, because so many emergencies arrive after typical business hours.
Bovin spoke about the positive changes that have been made in recent years regarding the funding for people with Alzheimer’s. In 2015 New York Governor Cuomo made a significant increase in funding for people with Alzheimer’s. The Northeastern NY Association went from receiving $107,000 in grant money to $538,000. This allowed her to grow her staff from 4 to 14, which was much needed as they cover 17 counties.
One of the most crucial things that can be done when with Alzheimer’s is to plan. It is important to do this not only for financial reasons, but also to minimize the amount of stress associated with the disease. Both Bovin and Pierro encouraged listeners to take charge when planning, as government assistance and Medicare are often not as helpful as people assume.