Dotty’s Ten Tips for communication with a person living with Dementia

1. Do you know what makes me feel secure? A smile
2. Did you ever consider? When you get uptight it makes me feel tense and uptight.
3. Instead of getting all bent out of shape when I do something that seems perfectly normal to me and perfectly NUTTY to you. Just smile at me it takes the edge off the situation.
4. Please try to understand and remember my short term memory is gone – don’t talk so fast, or use so many words.
5. When you use one of those long winded explanations of me- I’ll say No because I can’t tell what you are asking me to do. Keep your words few and simple so I can follow you.
6. Slow down. Don’t sneak up on me and start talking. Did I mention I like smiles?
7. Make sure you have my attention before you start blabbering away. If you don’t have my attention, I’ll be confused and say NO.
8. My attention span and ability to pay attention are not so good, please make eye contact with me before you start talking. A nice smile always gets my attention. Did I mention that before?
9. Sometimes you talk to me like I’m a child or idiot. How would you like it is I did that to you? Go to your room and think about this. Don’t come back and tell me you are sorry, I won’t know what you are talking about. Just stop doing it and we will get along.
10. You talk too much – instead try taking my hand and leading the way. I need a guide not a person to nag me.

Resource: Alzheimer’s Reading Room


After years of discussion and assumption by many planners that the VA would impose a “lookback” standard for gifts, the US Senate yesterday failed to pass SB 1982. What does that mean? For qualified veterans, the base, housebound, and aid & attendance pensions are still available and gifting prior to application is not a disqualifying event. Does it fit for you? For many, this tax-free benefit has been essential to paying for longterm care. As VA accredited attorneys, we consider care of our veterans a core mission and would welcome the opportunity to see how this fits as a part of your estate plan. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, you earned this by your service to our country – Thank you for that service.


Veteran’s Day has come and passed for another year. But daily, veterans and their surviving spouses deal with the problems of old age in a country that owes them an eternal debt of gratitude. We find often when we work with vets and spouses on estate planning that the tax-free Aid and Attendance benefit from the VA has been overlooked as a resource when medical bills are mounting. In short, in those situations where one has some social security income and some retirement income, the VA benefit can make up the difference so Mom or Dad can stay in a private care facility and avoid or delay a Medicaid spend-down. The paperwork is confusing but the help can be significant.

Does it fit for your family? We would be glad to assess your situation. Please call.
Blessings, Tim (Navy, 1969-1972)