Elderly mother in a wheelchair being hugged by her daughter. Article discussing dementia and how to protect loved ones diagnosed.

Life After Diagnosis – Information is Power

March 18 Roseman University Neighborhood Health Series (NHS) presentation on Dementia and how to protect our loved ones, by Eric Farbman, M.D. and Michael Kling, J.D., LL.M., CPA, CFP

On Thursday, March 18, Eric Farbman, M.D. teamed up with attorney and estate planner Michael Kling of Kling Law Offices to deliver a unique presentation on understanding Dementia. Dr. Farbman offered insight and learning on Dementia and associated diseases, detection, prevention, and treatment while Mr. Kling covered the basics in Estate Planning, and how to protect the wishes of loved ones who are healthy or facing illness.  The presentation offered an empathic and empowered perspective for caregivers, family members and those supporting someone who may be newly diagnosed. With deep and different subject matter expertise, Dr. Farbman and Mr. Kling’s presentations were complementary and together offered an information-packed 90 minutes.

Overview of Dementia

As a neurologist, Dr. Farbman often sees patients with Dementia, as does David Ginsburg, M.D., another neurologist in the RMG practice. Dr. Farbman reviewed the tell-tail signs of Dementia, and how physicians come to a Dementia diagnosis. Sadly, roughly 80% of those presenting with Dementia have Alzheimer’s disease for which there is still no cure. While there are clinical trials to advance our understanding of this disease, and medications that can be used to slow the progression of symptoms, families know all too well the devastation of a Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and how it impacts their loved one and family.   There are other diseases for which Dementia is a primary symptom, and among them, those very rare diseases or conditions that may be treatable.  When asked how to prevent Dementia, Dr. Farbman offered the most powerful preventative tool in our healthcare arsenal — a healthy diet, exercise, management of disease like high blood pressure, regular sleep, and reducing stress as much as possible.

Protecting Loves Ones Diagnosed

Mr. Kling offered guests a short list of legal protections that all families should have in place, regardless of whether or not there was an ill member of the family. He also outlined the kinds of authority that can be placed in the hands of an attorney and advised guests to examine these choices carefully and be wary of an attorney suggesting authority meant for family members. On his short list, Mr. Kling reviewed the Will, Living Trust, Power of Attorney for Health and Financial decisions, and Guardianships, and shared options depending on different situations and individual needs. Perhaps most importantly, the discussion underscored the need to have an Estate Plan in place while healthy, while also allowing for periodic review of these documents as life progresses. Also critical was the need for families to have difficult discussions among themselves to allow individuals to make their wishes known to avoid future conflict, disagreements or Probate. Mr. Kling also noted that laws vary state by state. The NHS audience asked many good questions, underscoring the fact that in addition to being sensitive, legal topics may also be intimidating. Mr. Kling’s presentation offered both accessibility and reassurance about a difficult topic while offering some examples of real-life situations that may have been avoided with the proper preparation.

Learn more by viewing the event in its entirety at speakers.roseman.edu.

The NHS Series was designed to offer our community information and insight on important healthcare topics. This event proved that “information is power” and that bringing experts and guests together to learn, share and be inspired benefits everyone and connects us to one another.

Roseman Medical Group is passionate about educating the community on topics of health and well-being. Stay informed by attending one of the free Neighborhood Health Series events or browse our blog for more healthcare topics.

Article by Vanessa Maniago

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