How to Prepare for Dementia and Alzheimer’s

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Dementia and Alzheimer’s require proactive retirement planning.

Getting older often involves declining cognitive functioning.

For some, this involves a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

These diagnoses can tend to derail retirement.

According to a recent Barron’s article titled “Cognitive Decline Shouldn’t Derail Retirement Planning. Here Are Some Tips to Prepare Your Finances,” this makes proactive financial, estate, and retirement planning essential.

How do you do this?

Dementia and Alzheimer’s require careful planning.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are hard realities.

Take inventory.

It is important to know what your financial resources are when it comes to budgeting and estate planning.

Create a list of your property and any debts.

These include online checking accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, savings accounts, insurance, government assistance, veterans benefits, and retirement accounts.

You also should identify who has access to each account.

This is important information to gather before your loved one can no longer recall this information.

Calculate future costs.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are costly in terms of both health care and long-term care.

Your loved one may require in-home care, adult day care, or full-time medical care.

These can be quite expensive.

Estimating out-of-pocket costs not covered by insurance will help in creating a budget.

Work with an experienced elder law attorney who can can guide you through the legal and financial labyrinth that is Medicaid planning.

She can even help with advance health care directives, powers of attorney, titling of assets, and trusts.

Automate finances.

Those with dementia or Alzheimer’s tend to forget important things like paying bills.

To protect your loved ones from having the electricity or water shut off, you should set up automatic payments for theses bills.

Consider establishing online banking so a “trustworthy” adult child can help monitor the account to provide another layer of protection.

Unfortunately, the financial abuse of seniors is too common, with many of the abusers being members of one’s own family!

Organize important documents.

Appoint a healthcare agent without delay when there has been a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Execute financial powers of attorney and share them right now with each relevant financial institution, so they will be sure to honor them when needed.

These fundamental legal documents allow a trusted individual to make medical and financial decisions when the diagnosed loved one becomes incapacitated.

A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s requires proactive planning today to prepare for an uncertain tomorrow.

Reference: Barron’s (Jan. 11, 2020) “Cognitive Decline Shouldn’t Derail Retirement Planning. Here Are Some Tips to Prepare Your Finances.”