The Alzheimer's Association's virtual conference will include discussions on long-term...

The Alzheimer's Association's virtual conference will include discussions on long-term care and legal planning. Credit: Alzheimer’s Association

The Long Island Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is hosting a free e-conference on legal and financial planning in mid-March.

The event will include discussions on long-term care and legal planning, tax strategies and government programs that may cover some of these costs, according to the local chapter of a national nonprofit that funds research and provides care and support for those affected by Alzheimer's and other dementia. Estate planning and elder law experts will lead programs in English on March 15 and 16, as well as in Spanish on March 17.

The conference is particularly important since the state is changing eligibility requirements on April 1 for community Medicaid, which provides home health aides, said Kate Anastasia, director of programs at the Long Island Chapter.

It’s [about] making sure that people understand the disease, and how it’s going to impact them, and then they can start planning," Anastasia said. "Planning for the future is something everyone should do, but it’s more important when you have a diagnosis of dementia … Due to the cognitive decline, you’re not going to be able to weigh in, come a certain point."

The Alzheimer's Association estimates there were 410,000 senior citizens in New York with Alzheimer's disease in 2020. Across the state, $5.45 billion in Medicaid payments went toward caring for older New Yorkers with dementia that year, the association said.

Anastasia said the conference may benefit anyone with dementia, their loved ones or others who have concerns about developing dementia.

To RSVP or learn more, contact the Long Island Chapter's helpline, at 800-272-3900. The hotline operates at all hours and can help people coping with isolation or stress during COVID, as well as put callers in touch with dementia specialists and community resources.

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