Barbara Elaine Smith, more commonly known as B. Smith, passed away at the age of 70 after an eight-year struggle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. B. Smith was a renowned lifestyle guru, who, among other things, modeled, owned restaurants, designed decorations and authored several cookbooks. She also wrote a book on her Alzheimer’s Disease, titled Before I Forget, with her husband Dan Gatsby, which was published in 2016.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia and involves the gradual loss of memory, language, concentration and overall cognitive ability. Most people afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease are over the age of 65, and typically live four to eight years after their initial diagnosis. However, in some rare cases, Alzheimer’s Disease will appear in people younger than 65, in what is known as Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Early Onset cases not only appear when people are younger, but also tend to progress more quickly and involve more severe symptoms than when it appears in more elderly people.
Smith was first diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2013, at the age of 64. She had reportedly been having difficulty with her memory and ability to concentrate for several years prior, but only sought medical treatment after she lost her train of thought during a cooking demonstration on TV. Her case, while tragic, demonstrates the importance of planning for your estate, even if you are relatively young and healthy. Misfortune can strike at any time, and only careful planning will ensure that you and your family are taken care of when you are no longer capable of caring for them yourself.
If you or a loved one are dealing with legal issues related to aging, it is best to contact an experienced New York elder law attorney who can guide you and help you plan for your future. The attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. are skilled in all aspects of elder law, and are dedicated to representing clients with diligence and compassion. To speak to an attorney or to schedule a consultation, call 866-825-1LAW.