Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

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Alzheimer’s: Are You Prepared?


By Beth Cooper Ingle, Certified Senior Advisor(R)


Summer is a great time to visit relatives. The next time you have an extended family gathering; look around the table at several generations eating and laughing, telling stories of the good old days, discussing the latest sports and political news, or disagreeing on the likeability of current music trends. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimer’s disease. This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060. By that time almost all families will be impacted, either through disease progression or caregiver stress. ARE YOU PREPARED?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and fatal condition in which certain brain cells are destroyed, negatively impacting memory, judgment, organization, and speech. Although there is currently no cure or any medication that reliably works for everyone, most people survive an average of 4–8 years after their initial diagnosis. As the disease progresses, loved ones will require high levels of care to maintain safety and quality of life. This caregiving often falls to family members in the family home, typically a spouse or an adult child. Research says that the typical caregiver is a woman in her mid-forties who provides more than 20 hours of care to an elderly family member each week. She is more than likely part of the “sandwich generation,” still raising children while also caring for aging parents. Because of the demands on their time, over a third of caregivers for someone 50 years or older had to reduce their work hours or quit their jobs to care for their loved ones. Therefore, caregiving itself can add to the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of a family experiencing Alzheimer’s.




Prepare legal documents now:

  • Get a will written that includes advance directive wishes.
  • Include POA (powers of attorney) for healthcare and finances.


Align insurance with future needs:

  • Look carefully at long-term care policies and read the fine print.
  • Living By Your Design can help you sort through your options to find the one best suited to your budget and future needs.




Communicate now about elder care and end-of-life wishes:

Start the conversation with family members now. Who will take care of them?  Where will they live?  What happens if they fall?  When will they have to stop driving?  Safety and health concerns will trigger the need for more care and supervision so talk now so your loved ones’ wishes can be honored.

Investigate home health care to ease the family caregiver stress.  Are they comfortable having someone come into their home?  What types of home health care are available?  Who pays for it?


Make visits to several types of senior communities to see what is available. Not all communities are alike. Do they want to move once into a place where they have a range of living options: independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing? Or do they want to stay at home or with family as long as possible, and only move when they require a specialized memory care community as their health and cognitive skills decline?  Consider palliative and/or hospice services to support the patient and family in the last stages of the disease.




Ask your medical personnel what to expect. Visit if you have concerns about yourself or a loved one. Contact Central Illinois Alzheimer’s Association, (309) 681-1100 or visit for a personalized appointment or for family education seminars on this disease.


For more information, contact Living By Your Design, Inc. We focus on the issues of the elderly: legal, financial, free guidance for residential referrals, and related healthcare issues. Living By Your Design has a free senior community referral service that can help them match their needs and wishes with available communities in the area. Call: 309-285-8088. Website: Location: 809 W. Detweiller Dr., Peoria, IL 61615.