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10 Steps in Helping a Loved One Put Their Affairs in Order

memory care sun city west

Helping a Loved One | Memory Care in Sun City West

When a loved one receives a dementia or Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, life shifts into a period of adjustment. It is crucial to know how to help them get their affairs in order, so you don’t feel lost or overwhelmed while making their next few years as comfortable as possible. 

Step 1 – Declare Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney allows you to legally make decisions with their doctor and monitor your loved one’s estate. Suppose a person can’t make decisions regarding their financial situation or health care needs. In that case, their power of attorney can handle things for them. Contact the local county office of the register of deeds to discuss paperwork and filing fees. 

Consider contacting a lawyer, as they are specially trained to know how to help a person with dementia write a will and even arrange medical plans in advance.

Step 2 – Discuss Their Preferred Health Care Directives

Once you can make healthcare decisions on your loved one’s behalf, talk about what they’d prefer to do as their health degrades. End-of-life decisions are crucial for seniors with dementia and their families. You won’t have to bear the burden of what to assume they prefer if you answer these questions while they are still able to communicate their wishes.

Step 3 – Establish a Will

Contact an elder law attorney when you’re ready to work through legal paperwork. They’ll set up a will to distribute assets in the event of your loved one’s death. They can also inform you if your family member needs a trust, which differs from a will. 

Getting legal assistance is crucial for making a will official. An attorney ensures that everything is valid by verifying if your loved one can create a will for themselves.

Step 4 – Talk About Living Options

Your loved one may be able to care for themselves right after their diagnosis, but eventually, they’ll need help. Let them be part of the decision process when it is time to move into memory care. Your family will be at peace knowing that your loved one is receiving the personal care they chose when the time comes.

Step 5 – Adjust Their Environment

Make minor adjustments to your loved one’s home environment to ensure their safety and comfort. Write down their banking passwords and other vital logins. When the decline comes, you can control whether they can make purchases or financial decisions independently. Put their number on the national Do Not Call registry to protect them from falling victim to telephone scams.

Step 6 – Manage Their Bills

Start managing your loved one’s bills as soon as possible. They can clarify purchases or expenses while they remember them before you have to handle them independently. Contact each financial institution to become their legal proxy, and you’ll have the legal right to manage their finances.

Step 7 – Research Memory Care Residences

Sometimes even those who saved for retirement don’t have enough money to cover long-term care costs. Talk with your loved one about their choice in care and research ways to help cover the expenses.

Contact memory care communities to discuss financial support options for memory care programs. Numerous arrangements are available for those who reach out to their health insurance providers or memory care communities.

Step 8 – Look Into Insurance Plans

There are specific long-term care insurances that are separate from health insurance plans. The long-term care plans can include coverage for monthly memory care bills. 

Compare insurance packages to get your loved one the best senior care possible. 

Step 9 – Gather Legal Documents

Gather legal documents while they can still tell you where they keep them. You’ll need all the original forms to file paperwork related to their care. Make sure to get original copies of critical documents like:

  • Their birth certificate
  • Their Social Security card
  • Their will
  • The deed to their house
  • Any stock or bond certificates

Keep these essential documents like the car leases and any additional property they own. An attorney can help you list necessary legal forms and strategize where to keep them. 

Step 10 – Arrange Revoking Certain Privileges

Revoking privilege is an uncomfortable conversation in any situation. No one wants to think about losing autonomy, but it is necessary to help your loved one agree to a specific timeline. Things must go away when they become unsafe for your loved one and others.

Memory Care in Sun City West can Help.

At Avista Sun City West, we are here to guide you on how to help a loved one with dementia with their affairs. Once you know how to work through these issues, you’ll keep them comfortable as their dementia progresses, give them the level of care they need, and give your family peace of mind.

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