In yet another sad example of the pervasiveness of debilitating mental health issues, earlier this week it was announced that famed Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with dementia.
Summitt, 59, went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. earlier this year where a battery of tests revealed she had early onset dementia. In a university statement, the Hall of Fame coach, who has spent 37 seasons at Tennessee, winning eight national championships, said she still plans to coach this coming season, but may have some “limitations.” She told newspapers she plans to turn to medication and mental exercises to manage her dementia.
Summitt is the all-time leader in D-I coaching wins, male or female, with 1,071 career victories. Her determination and endurance are legendary in the basketball world, so I hope she will be able to stave off the more drastic effects of dementia for some time. However, the example of such a health and strong-willed person succumbing to a potentially debilitating disease must give one pause.
Dementia and its associated diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease do not discriminate, nor is there currently a viable cure. What is available is effective planning so that should this disease affect your family you are prepared. If someone you love is suffering from early onset dementia, the time to act is now. With MassHealth’s aggressive five-year look-back period, planning before long-term care is necessary is essential to maintaining the assets you and your family have worked so hard to achieve.
Don’t let illness take your health and your family’s future. Call the Heritage Law Center today so we can start planning for your family’s continued financial health.