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Legal Services Provides Free Help For Lower Income People With Dementia

The American Bar Association

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that this year alone, Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias will cost the United States $305 billion dollars. Those costs are primarily in health care, and they are projected to climb.

But there can be legal expenses, too. 

If there’s one thing experts agree on, it’s that it’s best to be prepared and know what’s available in your region.

So in this segment of our Sense of Community series, Dementia in the Ozarks, we’re looking at legal resources for lower-income and elderly residents with dementia.

Legal Services helps both patients and family members draw up powers of attorney—in which the patient willingly concedes rights to a loved one—and more complicated guardianship cases, in which the patient doesn’t have the capacity to do so, or declines. 

KSMU's Jennifer Moore spoke with attorney Amanda Pearl of Legal Services of Southern Missouri, which provides legal help across 43 counties in southern Missouri.

Hear the interview by clicking the "Play" icon above.

Legal Services of Southern Missouri has offices in Springfield, West Plains, Rolla, Sikeston and Cape Girardeau.You may apply for legal aid by contacting LSSM and completing an application either in-person, by telephone or online by clicking here.  The number in Springfield is (417) 881-1397 and the address is 809 North Campbell Avenue in Springfield.

The Missouri Bar also has a section on personal planning in its Senior Citizens Handbook.  For those who don’t qualify for Legal Services, you can find an elder law attorney on the Missouri Bar’s website, – and you can search by county or city.

As News Director, Jennifer oversees news gathering and production for KSMU-Ozarks Public Radio; in her role as Content Coordinator, she makes sure all programs on KSMU, including those produced locally, nationally, and internationally, flow seamlessly over the air. She trains the student reporters and announcers and hosts the monthly program Engaging the Community. Follow her on Twitter @jennwritesmoore.