Tag Archive for: alzheimer’s

It begins. Maybe with your husband. Your wife. Could be Mom. Or Dad. Sister. Brother. Best friend. You, yourself. Little things. No big deal. But you wonder. It goes on. Stranger things. You notice. Routine changes. You adapt. You do more. It gets worse. You think. It becomes obvious to others. It becomes apparent to you. You must name it. Could it be Parkinson’s? Alzheimer’s? Lewy Body Dementia? Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)? Vascular Dementia?

Like most Americans, you know the devastation of dementia from family or friends. Many of us feel at a loss to provide help or comfort. Look for the following stages. Help your loved one and yourself.

Denial: This Is Not Happening!

Everyone at this age has some memory trouble. Strong as ever, except for the years. Absolutely nothing wrong! Anyone could have mislaid their keys, left the water running, put the laundry in the pantry. Those people do not know what they are talking about. Fit as a fiddle! Just shut up about it, will you…

Anger: How Could This Happen To Me? So Unfair!

This is the worst. How dare they say such things? About their very own father/mother! About me! All I/we have done for them! And this is our reward? Rotten ingrates. How could God let this happen?! Simply, blindly furious. Rage rage against the dying of the light.

Bargaining: Exercise, Prayer, Diet

Follow doctor’s orders. Eat more fish. Exercise more. Go to church every day. Be nicer. Pray. Pray more. Do everything you are supposed to do. Then do more. It will go away if we are/I am
worthy. Please. Only say the word and I shall be healed. Let’s make a deal!


No way out. Overwhelming grief. Powerless. So sad. Life comes to this? No solution. Cannot fix it. Blank wall. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


No, it is not getting better. This is it. Not what anyone wanted, expected, hoped. It is what it is. Terrible beauty in sacrifice. Praiseworthy endurance. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. No fault. No regrets. Satisfaction. Content.


So many folks get stuck on the first stage, Denial. Baffling behaviors, confusion in common place activities, mood swings. After a diagnosis, nothing is more common than for family and friends to realize that “this” had been going on for months, years. It becomes clear as all the explanations and excuses fall away. Why didn’t we act sooner?

Dementia is insidious and destructive. Nothing is easy. We must be on guard, but sensitive. Vigilant, but not insulting. Concerned, but not condescending. It is a difficult, narrow path to tread.

But we do it for love. Love of parent, spouse, sibling, friend. We do it for the best.

Ten Warning Signs Of Dementia

Here is some advice from the Alzheimer’s Association, people just like you. Ten Warning Signs:

If you notice any of these signs, take action

If you notice any of these signs, take action. Note your concerns so you can address them with a friend, family member or doctor.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks.
4. Confusion with time or place.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
8. Decreased or poor judgment.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
10. Changes in mood and personality.
Alzheimer’s Association ©2019 Alzheimer’s Association®. All rights reserved. Rev. Jun19TS-0066

No list is comprehensive. Nothing substitutes for professional evaluation and judgment. But, guided by your genuine care and concern, these ten signs point the way to early detection and effective care.

What’s Any Of This Got To Do With Elder Law?

Elder Law, I believe, is all about recognizing the reality. Dementia happens. You can ignore the possibility or prepare. You can let your lifesavings evaporate or use them to supplement available benefits. LifePlanning™ means we reject denial, overcome anger, give up on bargaining, sweep away depression. We accept life as it is, doing the best we can with what we have, never giving up, always looking for and committed to the good. Accepting life as it is. Accepting that our role is to always make it better. For ourselves, our loved ones, our families and friends. Planning that gets results.

Get Knowledge Now! Call (800) 317-2812.
There’s a LifePlan™ Workshop near you.

Seventeen years ago

Springtime in Michigan. Sunny, warm breezes, promise of summer. But a cold winter for Lansing Car Assembly. For 120 years, the factory churned out REO Speedwagons, tank cannons, aircraft machineguns, millions of artillery shells, muscle cars, and the last Oldsmobile convertible. GM’s most efficient plant. But the last Olds, a sporty Alero, drove off the line on April 29, 2004. It was over.

Fred and Barney walked away. Friends since their Lansing Technical High School days. They hired into the plant soon after graduation in the 60’s. Married to Wilma and Betty, Lansing Central girls they met at a Junior ROTC dance. The girls joined the steno pool soon after the boys went to work.

Many years later, the two men retired from the plant Ransom E. Olds founded so long ago. Pure Michigan. These older gentlemen were very much alike. Team players. They got the job done. Both had better-than-average careers. Personable, well-respected, and secure. Revered members of their church. Paid-for home in a nice neighborhood: $175,000. Savings of $200,000 from the days before 401(k) plans. Life insurance: $75,000. No debt. Conservative investments. Three kids. Three grandchildren. No bad habits (except spoiling the grandkids).

As new retirees so often are, both were filled with dreams for the future. Time to spend more time with the important people. Wives, kids, grandchildren. Tinkering in the shop. Volunteering at church. Traveling. Enjoying the retirement freedom and security they worked for, looked forward to, earned.

Last week. Still the same…

Every year, when the weather begins to turn, Fred and Barney return to visit. Nothing to see, really. Just memories.

They were still very much alike. Both healthy. Still devoted to their wives. Not all marriages thrive for fifty years. Both primary caregivers for their high school sweethearts. At home. Sadly, just a few short years into retirement, Wilma and Betty were stricken with Alzheimer’s.

But there are enormous differences.

Barney struggles to make ends meet. Living in subsidized senior housing. “On duty” 24 hours per day until his health broke. Exhausted. Retirement savings, Life insurance, Comfortable home – all gone. Betty went to memory care first. Now, the nursing home. Bank account emptied, retirement benefits cut, Barney needs every penny of social security.

Fred recently hosted his favorite (his only!) granddaughter’s wedding. “Uncle” Barney was an honored guest. Nothing high society, but really nice. One hundred and twenty close family and friends. Life savings intact. Independent, secure. Yes, he is Wilma’s primary caregiver. But she still lives at their home. And he has plenty of help.

Fred’s superpower is the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). PACE is the Medicaid program that provides services at home. No worries. COVID emergency rules let him keep the home, workshop, life savings.

Why Is One Desperate And The Other Secure?

Have you ever wondered, as I have, what makes this kind of difference in a person’s life? It does not seem to be natural intelligence or talent or dedication. I do not believe that Fred wants security, and that Barney does not.

Doesn’t the difference lie in what each person knows and how he or she uses that knowledge?

Every week we offer LifePlan™ Workshops and Webinars. Each week you are given a precious opportunity. You can say “Yes.” Yes to planning, security, choice. Middle class folks do not have to go broke. But traditional estate planning is broken. And that is the difference.

What is knowledge without action?

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.

Calvin Coolidge

Years ago, Fred and Wilma invited Barney and Betty to join them at a LifePlan™ Workshop. Barney and Betty were too busy. Fred and Wilma made the time. Learned the lessons. Established their LifePlan™. It cost money. And effort. But Fred and Wilma (to be honest, it was mostly Wilma) persisted. And those law firm people made sure Fred and Wilma understood every step along the way.

When Alzheimer’s struck Wilma, Fred was ready. Health Care documents: Patient Advocate, Advance Directive, HIPPA releases. Even a funeral representative paper. Locked and loaded. Financial documents: Pantry Trust, Protection Trust, Financial Power of Attorney, Assignments, Deeds. Fort Knox safety.

Trusted professionals who do not charge by the hour. Everything quoted in advance. Friendly, reliable paralegals and attorneys. They sure seem willing to help. They say, “Always a free phone call. Always a free visit.” Maybe it is all just an act! But it is a pretty convincing act. Over all these years. And they have been darn helpful. Like with that wedding planner’s contract… Maybe they mean it…

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose” — Janis Joplin

Barney and Betty’s son-in-law told them about free fill-in-the-blank estate planning forms and cheap on-line services. A dedicated helpful son-in-law, he even printed them out on his own computer.

Free. Except for the $200,000 of life savings. Free. Except the $175,000 home. Free. Except the $75,000 life insurance. Yes. Free. Except for a lifetime’s worth of work and savings. Free. Except for that.
Maybe Janis was right. The most expensive things in the world are “free”.

LifePlanning™ works for you, your loved ones, your greater circle of friends. Have you heard about PACE or the new COVID emergency rules anywhere else?

Heartfelt Thanks To Geraldine T. Richardson – Special Contributor

I wish to recognize Geraldine T. Richardson (not to be confused with the other Geraldine Richardson who is a fine person but has no middle initial) for her inspiration. Geraldine has personally experienced, in her own family, the difference LifePlanning™ can make. I think it is fair to say that she is a little frustrated that more folks do not take advantage of these opportunities. (Hey, I’m doing the best I can!) When I asked Geraldine what more we could do, she said “Tell them, David! Tell them!” “How?” I replied. “Tell them about real families! But change the names…”

Call The Lifeplan™ Hotline Today at (800) 317-2812

Are you concerned about your memory?

Carrier Law is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Alliance at Michigan State University to offer FREE memory screenings.

A memory screening is conducted by a trained memory screening administrator and can help determine if further evaluation is needed. A screening cannot diagnose a disease and is not recommended for persons already under a physician’s care for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The screening is free, confidential, and takes approximately 45 minutes. We will be offering memory screenings by appointment from 11:00am-2:00pm on the dates listed.

Tuesday: March 10
Tuesday: April 14
Tuesday: May 12
Tuesday: June 9
Tuesday: July 14
Tuesday: August 11
Tuesday: September 8
Tuesday: October 13
Tuesday: November 10
Tuesday: December 8

4965 E Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

To make an appointment, contact Christin Carpenter at (616) 234-2844 or carpe374@msu.edu.

The fight to end Alzheimer’s is a cause particularly dear to Carrier Law. We’ve seen firsthand the devastating effects of this disease, and we’re dedicated to doing our part to get closer to a cure.

Every September, we participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s as the “Carrier’s Calvary” team. Each year, we raise the fundraising bar to a new goal, and so far, we’ve hit or surpassed our goal every year!

4th Annual Classic Car Cruise-In

On a August 9, we held our annual outdoor event to admire cool cars, dine on local eats, and raise money for our Walk to End Alzheimer’s team.

  • Over 350 people in attendance
  • Over 50 cars on display
  • 7-piece jazz band
  • Over $2,000 raised for Carrier’s Calvary

Thank you to Andi B Photography for capturing the event!

Evening at Buffalo Wild Wings

On August 21, Buffalo Wild Wings donated 20% of their profits from the entire day to Carrier Law’s team for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Carrier Takeover of Culver’s

On September 9, the Carrier Law team became honorary employees at the Culver’s on Alpine. In return, Culver’s donated 10% of their profits from 5-8pm!

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

On September 14 in Grand Rapids and September 21 in Holland, the Carrier Law team and their family members joined hundreds of people from West Michigan to “walk the walk” in the fight to end Alzheimer’s.

  • 1,867 walkers
  • 199 teams
  • $296k raised, with Carrier’s Calvary contributing almost $12,000

Special thanks to:

  • Our clients, partners, and vendors who sponsored our events and participated in our silent auctions
  • Our Carrier Law team members who contributed their time and talents to the success of our various events
  • Kris Cleary, our Director of Professional Relations, who leads the charge in Carrier Law’s involvement in ALZ awareness and prevention, and is an active member of the committee for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

We look forward to reaching a new goal in 2020!

Vintage car Carrier Law Entrance Vintage trucks Jazz band Vintage cars Car trophies Dog at the event Carrier employees at Culvers Employees at Culvers Carrier employees Dogs on laps  David Carrier and Wood TV8 Walk to end alzheimers attendees Crowd at the end to walk alzheimers People at the walk to end alzheimers sign