“Aging can be re-imagined as a vivid and enlivening process that presents us with extraordinary risks and rewards.” That was the concept behind last October’s national tour, Disrupt Dementia, hosted by the University of Indianapolis. The first-of-its-kind event featured a physician (Dr. Bill Thomas) and a musician (Nate Silas Richardson), presenting original music, storytelling, poetry, and lobby discussions, all focused on changing perceptions and engaging the community with a more rewarding vision of aging.
At the conference, people living with dementia and their allies were invited to experience a new vision for living with cognitive change, posing the following “What if?”: What if we all lived in a world that saw aging not as a process of decline, but rather as the entrée to life’s most dangerous game?
As elder law attorneys in Indiana, we’re dealing with the issues and opportunities surrounding the aging process on a daily basis. The very definition of elder law is planning for complex health, long term care, and other issues faced by elderly individuals and their families. While the Disrupt Dementia focuses on ways to preserve quality of life for the mentally incapacitated, by definition, people with dementia no longer have the ability to make legal decisions for themselves.
That is precisely why advance directives (written documents stating a person’s wishes regarding healthcare choices, plus the designation of another person to make healthcare decisions in the event you someday become impaired) is such crucial a part of estate planning, the Alzheimer’s Association explains..
Life's journey is fraught with change, and changes require careful planning to protect the people most important to you and the assets you worked a lifetime to achieve, we explain to Geyer Law estate planning clients. Loss of independence is one of the hardest issues facing older adults, to be sure. For aging to be re-imagined, in Dr. Thomas’ words, as a vivid and enlivening process, legal preparedness is certainly one key realizing that vision.
- by Ronnie of the Rebecca W. Geyer blog team