Legal and Financial Planning for People With Alzheimer’s

Unfortunately, people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are at a higher risk of being financially victimized by scammers and other unscrupulous people. Because the stages of Alzheimer’s disease directly impacts the person’s ability to understand what is happening, scammers know how to confuse people even in the early stages. 

While there are legitimate and reputable companies that offer services and products like online payday loans like Eastern Loans, it may be difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease to know who to trust and who not to trust. For that reason, it is vital to help them with legal and financial planning before they become susceptible to scammers.

One of the first steps that need to be taken is the legal forms that allow a trusted, loved one to help make financial and medical decisions. This is often the spouse or adult child of the person with Alzheimer’s. This process will include signing a power of attorney and creating a living will. Having your name added to all financial accounts will also ensure that no money decisions are made without you being informed.

Being a part of their finances will ensure they are not taken advantage of, but it will also ensure they are taking care of themselves. Especially if they are still living independently, you want to ensure their bills are getting paid, and they aren’t at risk of losing their home or getting their utilities shut off.

Once they are no longer living on their own, those needs will change. However, you still need to ensure they are adequately taken care of, and all their expenses are being met. You may need to talk to an attorney that specializes in elderly law to help you determine the best way to take care of your loved one financially. With the way Medicaid and Medicare work, it can be very complicated trying to figure out the best course of action given the income source and income amount the individual has.

For example, there will be different options based on whether the individual is living off social security or a pension. The amount of money your loved one gets each month from either social security or their retirement will also impact their options. There are two things to consider when talking to a lawyer about their options. The first is health insurance; if your loved one needs health insurance, you need to determine what is going to be the better option based on their age and income.

The second factor to consider is living. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities with 24-hour nursing care are expensive. You need to understand what your options are based on your loved one’s income to ensure they are living in a safe place that can accommodate the unique needs of an Alzheimer’s patient within their budget.

Before the individual progresses into the later stages of Alzheimer’s when they will not be capable of making informed decisions, it is vital to have some serious conversations to clarify exactly what they want for themselves and their family members. While it may be uncomfortable to talk about things like Do Not Resuscitate orders, it is better than trying to guess what they would have wanted. 

Being responsible for someone else’s medical decisions is a tremendous task, and it can be mentally and emotionally draining. However, it will be a reality that you must accept early. Your loved one will not be able to make informed decisions, and you need to be ready to step in when that time comes. This may include making decisions about things you never discussed before their disease progressed. You need to rely on what you know about that person and your intuition as someone who loves that person.

Written By
Dominic Olsen
Financial Expert | Contributing Writer
Dominic Olsen

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