The senior years are supposed to be the golden years. All too often, though, they come with serious illnesses, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Life goes by swiftly and it is easy to let certain things go by without giving them the attention they need. This can be said both of healthcare and legal issues.
All too often, getting a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia takes the patient and their family members by surprise. They simply weren’t expecting it. Time flew by and they didn’t have time to plan.
This can lead to some sticky situations in terms of legal ramifications. Instead of being caught unprepared, it’s vital to start making provisions early, just in case issues like dementia arise. The better prepared you and your family are, the more likely your loved one’s needs – including senior home care – and desires are fulfilled.
Legal Provisions for Senior Home Care
While your loved one is still in good health, physically and mentally, plans should be made for the future. A medical directive and/or living trust can be created in an effort to protect the senior and help them live a happy, healthy life in their older years.
If your loved one is adamant that they don’t want to be put into a senior care facility when they’re older, having that down in writing will help protect them legally.
Granted, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients need special care. If this is even a possibility, you and your loved one need to have a conversation – and put down in writing – what is an acceptable level of care. If they don’t want to be in a care facility, would they welcome senior helpers like a home caregiver?
Home care would allow your loved one to be well cared for while giving you and other caretakers a break.
If senior home care is desired over being placed in a healthcare facility, this needs to be outlined in the medical directive or living trust.
Legal Planning for Alzheimer’s and Dementia – What You Need to Know
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, a patient can still make important legal decisions. Not only will these decisions protect their interests, their health, and their money – it’s a great way for them to feel empowered while dealing with the unknowns of their disease.
When considering their legal needs, you and your loved one should consider the following.
- Naming Someone to Make Decisions: When dementia or Alzheimer’s have progressed, the patient will not be capable of making sound decisions. They need someone who can make decisions for them. Choosing this person should not be taken lightly. Not only should it be someone that’s trusted, it should be someone who is familiar with and willing to put into practice the patient’s wishes.
- Medical Needs: The patient needs to decide what type of medical procedures they’re willing to have later in life. Some patients don’t want to have surgery after a certain age. Others do not want to be resuscitated. It’s vital to get clear on these decisions and put them down in writing.
- Money and Property: A large portion of the time spent on legal matters will be spent deciding how to protect property and wealth. These things should be well-protected while your loved one is still alive and be distributed according to their wishes.
- End of Life Decisions: These decisions include burial decisions and who will be beneficiaries of their estate.
How to Provide Your Loved Ones with the Very Best
As your loved one gets older, it’s imperative to start legal conversations while they’re still healthy. There’s no greater stress than having to deal with legal issues when someone is not 100% well.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients experience a lot of confusion and anxiety. You can help reduce their anxiety by helping them reach legal decisions early.
Another way you can help them is by having a discussion regarding senior home care. Having senior helpers – like a home caregiver – come to their home regularly will ease their mind and yours. And it is one way you can ensure they’re receiving the best possible home care during their senior years.