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Alzheimer’s Can Create Unique Situations

| Feb 28, 2018 | Advanced Medical Directives |

Couple in New Zealand find “new” love and second marriage.

A New Zealand couple held a second wedding ceremony after an Alzheimer’s patient rediscovered his wife, according to the Washington Post in “Husband with Alzheimer’s forgot he was married to his wife of 38 years. He proposed, and they married again.

Michael Joyce of New Zealand suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He had been married to his wife for 38 years and eventually the disease progressed enough that he forgot he was married. In most cases, this would be a cause of deep pain for Joyce’s wife.

It is not easy for family members, when patients forget something that important. In this case, Joyce remembered that he still loved his wife and he asked her to marry him for what he thought was the first time.

While this story ends on a heartwarming note, there is an important lesson here about how Alzheimer’s disease works. People who get the disease cannot know what memories they will lose and when they will lose them, so they cannot afford to wait to make plans for dealing with the disease. Otherwise, they may forget something important before they fully plan.

People who are concerned that Alzheimer’s may be in their future should consider visiting with an estate planning attorney, who can advise them on an estate plan that meets their unique circumstances as they exist now and may exist in the future.