Dealing With Dementia
Legal Matters that Caregivers Should Address
When someone you love is diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or any other progressive brain disorder, the effects can be profound and devastating. Family members and close friends often experience a great deal of grief, anger and even guilt. The silver lining is that, with the right support, it’s possible for people with dementia to live well for many years to come.
Recognize the situation for what it is.
Taking care of someone with dementia is a difficult and often stressful job. No one should try to do it alone. Find ways to pull together as a family and lean on each other for support. The National Institute on Aging is a wonderful resource for caregivers. Also, there are several ways your Legal Resources plan can help.
Talk with your loved ones about their wishes.
Ideally, the difficult conversations happen early – before a crisis occurs. Make sure you know what plans and legal documents are already in place, where and how to access them, and who should be making financial and medical decisions.
Be prepared with legal documents.
While some advance directives may be handwritten or created online, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney in your state who specializes in estate planning or elder care law. Your Legal Resources Plan includes will preparation, advance medical directives, financial powers of attorney and contingent trusts for minor children – all fully covered. We encourage you to contact your Plan Law Firm if you have any questions or would like to set up a meeting.
Don’t give up hope.
Dementia is not a death sentence. A person with dementia can continue to be a loved and valued family member for years to come. As Maryanne Noon of Alzheimer’s Australia said, “Enjoyment does not require memory.” Time spent together is still worthwhile, even if it’s soon forgotten.