Many elderly people who are diagnosed with dementia are unprepared for future care. If you or someone you love has received a dementia diagnosis, it is imperative that you seek guidance. Elder law attorneys can be great resources in the process of implementing a plan to deal with care expenses. In order to prepare for future care, we suggest performing the following steps:
1. Take steps to understand the diagnosis. Go to appointments with the doctors who are testing and diagnosing and ask questions concerning the long-term care needs of your loved one. If the doctors cannot completely answer all of your concerns, seek resources from reputable sources, such as Dementia Action Alliance. Having this understanding can help with legally planning for your loved one’s care.
2. Assemble family members and discuss how to proceed with care planning. It is important to be unified as a family in order to best meet the needs of your loved one with dementia. Make plans together for how these care needs are going to be met.
3. Get legal and financial plans in place. Deciding on a person who will be authorized to make health care and financial decisions for the dementia patient is one major part of the plan. In addition, plans for how long-term care will be executed and paid for should be put into place. This is where an elder law attorney can be beneficial. The attorney can assess resources, find the best way to pay for long term care, and help the family to get all the necessary documents in place.
4. Understand and explore options for long-term care. In the beginning stages of dementia, in-home respite or companion care, home health services, and adult day cares may provide for your loved one’s care needs. However, care needs increase as the disease progresses. This is when facility care may become necessary. It is important to understand the differences between the various types of facilities and what is best for your family’s needs.
Once a dementia diagnosis has been given to your loved one, seek proper guidance from attorneys and organizations who have experience with planning for care. Most importantly, support, love, and respect your loved one with dementia.
The attorneys at Pearson Bollman Law practice in the areas of estate planning, probate/trust administration and in elder law which includes Medicaid and VA Pension Planning. If you have any questions or would like to register for one of our free workshops on “Asset Protection for Seniors,” please feel free to contact us at (515) 727-0986.