DAYTON — Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is never easy — it’s life changing. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, especially after a recent diagnosis, most people are trying to figure out how to manage day to day. However, putting financial and legal plans in place allows the person with dementia to express their wishes for future care and decisions.
Here are some tips for financial and legal planning: diagnosis:
As the disease progresses, so will a person’s care needs. While medical insurance covers some costs of care, there are many things insurance may not cover. Here are some common costs to consider:
• Safety-related expenses, such as home safety modifications or safety services for a person who wanders
• Personal care supplies
• Adult day care services
• In-home care services
In addition to planning for the cost of care, there are many ongoing financial duties to discuss, including paying bills, making investment decisions and preparing tax returns. Financial planners and estate planning attorneys are valuable sources of information and assistance.
Legal planning is another essential piece of planning for the future. In order to ensure that a person’s wishes are met, legal assistance may be needed. This early planning prevents families from struggling to make medical and financial decisions before their loved ones are no longer able to participate in those decisions.
The Alzheimer’s Association recommends that every legal plan should include the following:
• Plans for health care and long-term care
• Plans for finances and property
• Identification of another person to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia (i.e. Power of Attorney)
These strategies will ensure that a person’s medical wishes and plans for finances and property are followed or that a designated person has the authority to make those decisions.
An Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is not something that anyone is prepared for, but the sooner plans for the future are established, the better prepared the caregiver and the person with dementia will be.