Dealing with dementia can be quite daunting, and apart from dealing with the shock of the diagnosis, you have to deal with the fact that your loved one may begin exhibiting more symptoms of the condition as the disease progresses. Dementia is a progressive condition, after all, and over time, the symptoms can become worse. That is a sad reality, but it is all too true, and it is best to be prepared for it from the start. But once you have found out that your family member has dementia, what steps should you take? How can you help them – and yourself as well – when it comes to dealing with legal and financial matters? Here’s how to properly deal with legal and financial concerns when your family member has dementia.
Managing legal and financial concerns
Whilst your family member still has the ability to help, it would be a good idea to make decisions regarding their future, especially concerning legal and financial concerns. This way, they can still feel a semblance of control over their lives and you will avoid having to deal with tedious legal and financial concerns later on.
When it comes to managing bills, if your family member still has the ability to manage their bills and other basic financial needs, they may want to set up a direct debit account for regular bills. If they do not want to do this, you can contact the utility companies and provide them with an alternative number so someone else or you can take care of it.
Find all the essential documents, including insurance policies, bank statements, pension details and will details and put them in a place where they are safe yet can be easily found when necessary. Your family member also has the option to arrange a third-party mandate so you or another family member have permission to handle their bank account(s).
Planning for your loved one’s future is crucial. Ask them about their will and make sure that it is up-to-date with their wishes. You should also encourage your family member to arrange an LPA or Lasting Power of Attorney, so another person will be able to make decisions for them if they no longer can.
Another important detail which it would benefit everyone to take care of whilst still early on is making a decision in advance about refusing particular kinds of medical care or treatment in particular situations. This will, of course, only be taken into consideration when your family member cannot make a decision or communicate their wishes any longer.
If your family member who is diagnosed with dementia drives, they are required by law to inform DVLA that they have a diagnosis. An early diagnosis does not mean, of course, that the person cannot drive anymore – what is important is that they can drive in a safe manner. It would be a good idea to talk to your loved one about this topic, so they will understand the importance of refraining from it.
It would also be in everyone’s best interest if you can arrange live in care for your loved one, which can be provided by an expert caregiver from agencies such as www.coriniumcare.com. Live in care can be a big help, especially if you cannot be with your loved one all the time or would like your loved one to get the proper care and assistance.