Attorney Sandy Ard, of the Ard Law Firm, PLLC, writes about Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Veterans Benefits Planning, Wills, Trusts, Living Trusts, Pet Trusts, Special Needs Planning, Asset Protection, Elder Law, Farm Trusts and Non-citizen Spouse Estate Planning, Probate & Estate Administration, Business Succession, and Family Business Planning in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas.
When you have an elderly loved one, it’s wise to keep abreast on the ever-evolving medical world and all the new findings for mental health as a person ages. One committee with which you should become most familiar is the American Psychiatric Association and their upcoming best-seller, the DSM5. The book may usher in new ways of approaching elders and depression, and some are apprehensive about the book’s impact.
The concern over the DSM5 has come to a slow boil. The conversation about DSM5 has begun seeping out from the academic literature and into the public square with articles like a recent piece in The New York Times titled “Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder?”
The DSM5 will be the sequel to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder IV (DSM-IV), the utterly necessary reference book and dust-gatherer of psychologists, doctors, insurance companies, bureaucrats, and lawyers alike. DSM-IV chronicles known and diagnosable psychological disorders.
For seniors, the new disorder making the rounds is “mild cognitive disorder.” This diagnosis is an attempt to bring to psychiatry the same awareness to levels of cognitive senility that medical doctors know all too well and yet still understand too little. If the DSM5 is published as is, and becomes the go-to reference, then we’re likely to see many more elderly diagnosed into categories that have only just now been created.
It’s useful to understand the basis for any diagnosis made by doctors when it comes to our elderly loved ones or even ourselves as we age. Don’t forget – proper planning now can give you peace of mind for any future diagnosis concerning your healthcare needs.
Reference: The New York Times – The New Old Age Blog (January 25, 2013) “Time to Recognize Mild Cognitive Disorder?”
The mind/body relationship is a complex one. It is hard to deny the overall health effects of depression, perhaps even more so among the elderly. However, contrary to popular opinion, the elderly are not statistically more prone to depression than the general population.
On the other hand, the elderly are more prone to types of system-wide health difficulties that may be exacerbated by depression. To make matters worse, people of the elder generations are generally less trusting of psychology and associate a social stigma with mental illness or any admission thereof. The combination of these two factors often, and unfortunately, complicates the lives of elderly persons and their families.
Medicare now covers the cost of annual depression screening in primary-care settings with no cost sharing for beneficiaries. Medicare also covers 60 percent of the treatment for mental health problems, including depression. (Under a 2008 law, that figure is scheduled to rise to 80 percent in 2014.) If you or an elderly loved one may be suffering from depression, taking advantage of Medicare’s annual screening benefit may be a good idea and can greatly improve quality of life.
Ard Law Firm is eager to work with your family to offer the best holistic plan for you and your family. Give us a call for a free consultation personalized to your needs. 713-429-0218 or visit us at www.ArdLawFirm.com