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Conservatorships may be needed if dementia sets in

Many Massachusetts residents have older family members who are still in good health. Still, they may understand that mental capacity often declines as individuals age, and the possibility exists that dementia could easily affect any older loved one. When that happens, it may be time for other family to consider the possibility of conservatorships.

While no one wants to think of a loved one suffering from mental deterioration, it is a considerable possibility. People are more likely to begin showing signs of Alzheimer's disease around the age of 60, and every five years after 65, the possibility of developing the disease doubles. Individuals with a family history of the condition and who have poor heart health could also be more at risk.

Of course, some people may not realize when their loved ones begin to suffer. Some signs that could point to this condition are making poor decisions, forgetfulness that interferes with daily life, personality changes and paranoia. If these or other symptoms present themselves, it may be wise to take the loved one to the doctor for an evaluation and diagnosis.

If a loved one is diagnosed with a form of dementia, it could mean that he or she no longer has the mental capacity to handle financial affairs. Massachusetts residents who want to take over their loved ones' financial responsibilities may want to look into conservatorships. Becoming a conservator gives an individual the authority to make financial transactions on behalf of another person. However, legal steps must be taken to be appointed to this role. Interested parties may find it helpful to consult with elder law attorneys about this possible option.

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