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I’ve been replying to a lot of Public Relations (PR) requests on (HARO) Help A Reporter Out for my shop, Affordable Coin Shop. I want to open the dialog and hear what others think. Please feel free to comment, reply and post your own responses. I want to know. Sheyna Steiner was looking for…
What steps need to be taken for financial planning after a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s?
At our shop, many of our patrons are elderly the discussion of financial planning comes up frequently. I understand the thought of financial planning once they are diagnosed it is considered too late, but there are steps that can be taken. My mom ended up with Chemo Brain which many refer to as a form of Dementia although it is not considered Dementia. My father had a cognitive disorder that is also similar to dementia, but it was brought on due to long term use of Opioids. I hope that what my parents & I went through will be of use to you and look forward to reading your article. I would like to keep it short, but it’s kind of hard. If you need to contact me for additional details please feel free to reply to this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at (316) 323-3859 which is my cell phone.
I was the caregiver for both my parents when they got sick. I wish we had pre-planned but didn’t and now facing the consequences I hope others will learn from my misfortune and avoid my mistakes.
In 2012, both my parents Bob & Bea became sick. Prior to being hospitalized neither one had drawn up a will or made any plans for what was to occur over the next 2 years. Bea was hospitalized due to Cancer and Bob ended up hospitalized due to side effects of long-term use of opioids for arthritis pain. Luckily I was able to get my mom a will done before Chemo. I tried to get a will drawn up for my father. Although he was medically clear to draw up a will he refused to do so. Since your loved one is diagnosed with a disorder that diminishes their mental capacity having a Dr. clear them to be mentally fit for a will is a must. As a lawyer told me, “Just because the law says you can write them a will doesn’t mean it was done responsibly with the individuals best interest at heart.” (Philip Adrian Elder Law).
The will that was originally drawn up for our mother stated that the properties should go into a trust. Sadly, most lawyers do not help set this up nor do they tell you that you can do this ahead of time and should. Although I found this out too late for my parents but for about $1500 you can not only have a will drawn up but have a living trust set up. Being a caregiver is one of the hardest jobs. It seems like every time someone gets sick the vultures come out to feed. By having the living trusts set up in advance, it can help thwart the vultures from just glomming finances and help avoid probate. Having a living trust allows you to mechanicalize payments for expenses automatically. In my case, my parents’ finances were a mess. It’s been 2 years and still don’t know where money and some other stuff are. Everyone thinks an accountant is expensive and yes in our case it would be, but having the finances kept straight and in balance. Keeping financial & other bills record straight helps any caregiver’s stress levels.
Make sure you get POA’s (Power of Attorney). Many think POA gives them control over everything and that’s not entirely true. Family can also fight your POA and get it revoked. In my mom’s case, I originally had medical POA and another family member had financial. some think that POA allows them to act without question. This is not true. When a POA is requested, your word is not law and you must show proof of POA.
If the person you’re caring for doesn’t already have insurance, make sure you get them some. You will also need to get extra coverage. I learned the hard way that Medicaid doesn’t cover all the bills if the individual is in an assisted living facility. The average cost per a year for a living assistance facility is $60,000 – $70,000. If you are on a budget. It may sound horrible, but Clark Howard once mentioned “Outsourcing” elderly to India for assisted living as a way to save them money and live comfortably. Granted your loved one can live out the rest of their days at home like my uncle who did have Dementia did. Getting the extra coverage will help cover some if not all of these extra care. expenses.
The unfortunate outcome of this story has caused a lot of pain emotionally and financially. The point of many of these posts is to raise awareness of how badly things can go wrong for our parents as they get older. I am not asking for help for myself but to help set things straight. If you can help donate great & thank you! It’s ok if you can’t. Please like, comment & share.