Justonemore wrote: My main goal with my family is trying to get them to accept the very real possibility and making plans ahead of time just in case it is needed. The last thing I want to be is a financial and emotional burden. Loosing a number of my family members makes me very well aware of those things. I thank you very much for you kind words and support
I feel like I know you already! If I were nearby, I'm sure we'd meet, hug, sit down for some coffee (and maybe something to go with it) and share stories about our 3 kids and 2 grandkids (yup, same numbers here). I'm a little older (66) and ApoE 4/4, and my kids are a little younger, but I know the feeling of wanting to keep the ship sailing smoothly as long as possible and make plans for any contingencies.
I have wonderful, vivid memories of people like your 38 year old son from a long career in special education. We are all "people first", who all happen to also have other ranges of challenges. I have spent time in the homes of more than one happy, "nosy" and sweet person, and know how parents often feel a special blessing to have an angel in their lives who can make them laugh, and who will always love and be loved. So give him an extra hug from someone who also loves those special souls.
I am guessing that you have some specific questions about how to plan for what he, and you and your husband, might need if you do have more cognitive challenges. That's a good idea for anyone with a special needs family member as we get older. If I'm right, then for your son you might want to contact The ARC of Indian River County
. Although I am not familiar with them specifically, I have found other ARCs to be great resources for knowing how to get in-home supports, respite services (if you have to be at appointments, or just would like a day or two off once in a blue moon) as well as having discussions about having your son begin to spend time with other young adults with similar needs. (He may be doing that already, of course.) Most states have greatly expanded their focus on consumer-directed services, meaning they are far more open to listening to what YOU want for your son and meeting to come up with "person-centered planning". So if your son likes to listen to music and have dogs around, for example, they can help to develop both short and long-term plans to be sure that is part of his life.
For yourself, you may want to talk with your husband and firefighter/EMT son (who I assume is nearby) about meeting with a lawyer for things like a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy, and help with online banking and automatic payment of most bills. (I have most bills paid automatically from our checking account and love not having to write checks and lick stamps every month!) Plus, most insurance companies and health care providers will let you designate someone to be notified if you forget a payment so that you don't accidentally let coverage lapse.
BUT--I also think you should be proactive for yourself! As our helpful SRBogert noted, there are recommendations in Dr. Bredesen's book on ways to make some changes in your diet, sleep, exercise and supplements that may help. Even better, our own Dr. Stavia, who is also 4/4, has written the Primer
which is easy to browse and has topic headings that help you take small steps. For example, I bet your family doctor already has a good history of your blood pressure readings; if those have been tracking higher, getting them down to closer to 120 as the top number may be helpful, according to a recent study called "SPRINT". Switching from saturated fats (heavy cheese and cream, butter, margarine, peanut butter) to "healthy" fats (almond butter, almond milk, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts) and having a variety of vegetables and fewer processed or smoked foods may help your brain and heart. Your doctor could also check your fasting insulin, thyroid and Vitamin D and B-12. Some studies suggest that women our age often don't get as much protein as we need, or enough B-12 to get our level up to the recommended "500" on a blood test. (I'm in a clinical trial and got word of this from them after a test, so now take as an easy melt-in-your-mouth pill in a form called methylcobalamin B-12.)
If you and your husband have the ability to travel an hour or so, there are research centers that could do some testing to give you more information about your current levels. There are also a number of clinical trials using drugs and other treatments that may slow down changes in people who do have some memory issues. If you're interested in that, let me know and I can send you some specifics through our Private Messages.
And since you also scuba dive, ride horses and care for rescue dogs, according to your profile--keep doing all of what you love! It sounds like a great way to have fun and exercise and feel alive above and under the water!