Father’s Day is a time for celebration and reflection. For many, it’s an opportunity to express gratitude and admiration for the paternal figures who have shaped our lives. For me, I not only honor the memory of my father but also shed light on his life journey marked by resilience, love, and the importance of financial preparedness, especially in the face of Alzheimer’s disease.

Growing up in Gary, IN, Dad spent his days working in the steel mills. He was passionate about fast cars and motorcycles, often taking them apart and rebuilding them in our garage.

Several years ago, we began to notice he was becoming quieter in social settings. In retrospect, it’s because he couldn’t remember information. As the cruel grip of Alzheimer’s tightened, our family faced the daunting reality of providing the care and support he deserved. Two years ago, we made the difficult decision to transition him to a memory care facility where he could receive specialized attention tailored to his needs.

Since then, the journey has been a mix of sorrow and moments of profound connection. Alzheimer’s has a way of robbing its victims of their memories, but it cannot erase the love that binds families together. Despite the challenges, glimpses of my father’s essence still shine through in moments of clarity, reminding us of the man he was and the love he still holds for us.

One often-unmentioned aspect of this journey is the financial burden of long-term care, especially in the context of Alzheimer’s. The cost of memory care facilities and specialized medical attention can quickly accumulate, placing a significant strain on families already grappling with emotional turmoil. It’s a sobering reminder of the importance of financial preparedness for the later stages of life. This is one of many reasons we help clients develop financial plans and prepare for the unexpected.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.9 million Americans are living with the disease, a number projected to nearly double by 2060. In addition to its emotional toll, Alzheimer’s exacts a staggering financial cost on families and society. As the size of the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to grow, so too will the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease, straining healthcare systems and placing a burden on families who are often unprepared for the financial implications of long-term care.

Life throws unexpected and often serious challenges our way. While we can’t predict what they will be, we know there could be financial repercussions. My sister and I are thankful my parents had the foresight to plan for the future. Long before Alzheimer’s clouded his mind, Dad and my mother took proactive steps to develop a comprehensive financial plan. While no amount of planning can fully alleviate the emotional toll of witnessing a loved one’s decline, it can help provide a sense of security and peace of mind during an otherwise tumultuous time.

In honor of my father and the lessons he taught me, I urge others to consider the importance of financial preparedness for the later stages of life. Whether it’s building a health savings account, securing long-term care insurance, planning to self-fund end-of-life care, or developing an estate plan, taking proactive steps can help alleviate the burden on families.

This Father’s Day, as we pay tribute to the fathers who have shaped our lives, let us also recognize the importance of resilience, love, and the power of preparation in the face of adversity. And though my father may no longer remember the significance of this day, his legacy lives on in the lessons he taught me and the love we share.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Association 2024 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

This is intended for informational purposes only. You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this document serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Savant. Please consult your investment professional regarding your unique situation.

Author Allison A. Alexander Financial Advisor

Allison has been involved in the financial services industry since 1985. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois Certified Public Accountant Society, and the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts.

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