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Life in an Alzheimer’s Disease Hot Zone


Retiring to Florida is not for everyone.  No matter the season, it is obvious that Maryland is home.  The beach isn’t far away, but neither is the Kennedy Center.  A hurricane or tropical storm comes our way approximately once per decade, whereas in Florida, people are boarding up their windows and evacuating from multiple named storms per year.  No matter where you go, though, time follows you, and age, not geography, is the main risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, which is perhaps the scariest disease for old age.  Worrying about the unknown will not help you cope with Alzheimer’s disease if and when it happens in your family, but an airtight estate plan will.  A Washington DC estate planning lawyer can help you think past your fears and plan for a future that gives you the greatest possible access to resources for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

A New Study on the Prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease

The current issue of Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association includes a study by a team of researchers from Rush University Medical Center.  In the study, the researchers documented the prevalence of diagnosed cases of Alzheimer’s disease among people aged 65 and older in every county in the United States.  These are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Of all the areas studied, Baltimore City, Maryland has the second highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s cases, with more than 16 percent of seniors affected.
  • Nationwide, one in 10 people aged at least 65 has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Many more are probably affected but have not received a formal diagnosis.
  • Black and Latino seniors have about twice the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease as White seniors.
  • Urban areas on the East Coast and in the South have the highest prevalence of Alzheimer’s diagnoses. Rural areas have the lowest prevalence.  Of the ten counties with the lowest prevalence, four are in Alaska, four in Colorado, one in Texas, and one in South Dakota.

Hope for the Best but Plan for the Worst

You might get Alzheimer’s in Maryland, and you might get it in Florida, but you can’t run away from it by moving to Alaska.  You can reduce your risk by living a healthy lifestyle and staying socially and intellectually connected and by visiting your doctor regularly.  Several treatments are available, including those involving two monoclonal antibodies that have shown promise in slowing the progression of the disease.  You can also protect yourself by buying long-term care insurance, which will pay for memory care facilities as well as for assisted living facilities for seniors whose memories are just fine.  While you are healthy, you should also write a will and a power-of-attorney, so no one can question whether you really meant what you wrote.

Contact Us About Planning for the Unknown

A Washington, D.C. estate planning attorney can help you live your best life while planning for the worst.  Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing in Washington, D.C. or call 202-362-5900.




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