Many people approaching retirement age create estate plans that can help them in the event they are ever diagnosed with a mind-altering medical condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Because many people believe that such diseases don’t affect younger people, they also tend to wait to create an estate plan until they are older.
But waiting to make your plan is never a good idea. Not only can emergencies arise while you are younger, but there are some forms of dementia that commonly emerge in middle-aged people.
As discussed in a recent NBC News story, frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, is a disease that affects young and old alike. Though it is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, it affects completely different part’s of a person’s brain. This type of dementia affects the part of the brain responsible for personality, language, and behavior. Early symptoms include growing apathy, a lack of inhibition or judgment, a decline in personal hygiene, overeating, as well as a lack of awareness that these behavioral changes are taking place.
In many situations the early symptoms of FTD can be easily mistaken for signs of a psychiatric disorder, commonly leading to a misdiagnosis.
Until recently the scientific community believed that frontotemporal dementia was relatively rare. However, more doctors are coming to realize that it is not only more common, but it is more common in people under the age of 60 than Alzheimer’s disease.
The possibility that you or a loved one could face such as disease makes getting started on your estate plan all the more important.