Managing dementia has many aspects to it. There’s managing cognitive changes, as well as physical, while also navigating changes socially. As changes start happening, you’ll need to start making plans.
Here are 3 things to immediately consider when dementia impacts your loved one:
1) One of the first plans to consider is establishing a Power of Attorney (POA). An individual can assign someone to be their financial POA, it should be someone they trust to make financial decisions on their behalf when they’re no longer able to make good decisions on their own.
What is often misunderstood is that the only person who can assign themselves a POA is the individual himself/herself. A family member doesn’t decide for the individual, so it’s imperative to do this in the earlier stages when the person can clearly and indisputably make the decision.
2) Have a financial plan. As dementia progresses, oftentimes the individual diagnosed with dementia can become paranoid about their money. Is someone trying to steal their money?
Do they have enough money? It can be helpful to already have financial matters and overseers established.
3) Establish Advance Directives. This is paperwork that gives an individual the ability to say what they do or don’t want medically at end of life and who makes medical decisions on their behalf when they can’t. This can be an especially difficult conversation to have but it’s so important.
What type of life-saving interventions does the Individual want when their body is struggling to maintain stability? This is an important piece to remember when discussing Advance Directives; you’re not making the decision for this moment in time when you’re healthy and strong but for down the road when healthcare professionals are offering difficult options of prolonging life and keeping a person comfortable.
How does one establish POA and Advance Directives? There are free forms provided by the State of Alabama that can be printed. The POA must be signed in front of a notary. The Advance Directives require 2 Witnesses that are not related to the Individual. However, an attorney, especially an elder law attorney, is recommended to advise and explain these forms.
The Day Place is a community-engaged organization that understands and supports the needs of Individuals with Memory Disorders and their Caregivers! We provide respite, education, resources, and tools that help you live your best life. Let’s chat to see how we can help, 205-285-9245.
As seen in: Gardendale Health
Written by Angela Hammond
Licensed Masters Social Worker & The Day Place/Owner
Find it here: https://www.gardendalehealth.com/considering-advance-directives-for-loved-ones-with-dementia/