Creating an action plan for Alzheimer’s after being diagnosed is imperative. Early planning allows the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia to express his or her wishes for future care. Additionally, early planning allows time to work through the complex legal and financial issues involved with caring for someone in long-term care. While emotionally coming to terms with the disease can be a lengthy process.
The two initial steps to take include deciding on a caregiver or care services and evaluating you or your loved ones financial assets to ensure a solid plan is in place as the disease continues to develop.
1. WHERE TO START, WHO CAN HELP?
Receiving a diagnosis that you or your loved one has Alzheimer’s is never easy. The person who has been diagnosed, along with their family and friends can experience a challenging range of emotions in reference to the diagnosis. Emotions include those of Anger, Relief, Denial, Depression, Resentment, Fear, Isolation and Sense of Loss. Coming to terms with the diagnosis and those emotions will be different for everyone. Many people begin to feel alone, disconnected, isolated or abandoned from others during this time and it’s imperative to remember that nobody is alone on this journey.
Being socially connected and supported whether it’s through support groups, doctors, counselors, clergy, etc. can help put the disease into perspective and provide the support and encouragement necessary to move forward. Your doctor is an important member of your care team, they’re able to answer all of the questions that you may have regarding the diagnosis, the disease, treatment, clinical trials, care and support as well as your care team moving forward.
2. FINANCIAL PLANNING
Financially planning for Alzheimer’s is a necessary ‘next step’ in the process to take with family, friends, a financial appointee and/or lawyer. Putting financial plans and estate planning into place as soon as the diagnosis has been made can help secure a healthy financial future. Taking the time to identify costs of care, reviewing government benefits, long term care insurance policies, Veterans benefits and coming to a conclusion on who will handle financial responsibilities is imperative for you or your loved one to plan for the future.
As Alzheimer’s begins to progress, the tasks of daily life, including financial responsibility can become hard to manage. Having a plan in place can ensure that care needs are met is essential. You and your loved ones will need to consider the costs that might be faced currently and plan for future costs.
CARE COSTS CAN INCLUDE
- – Medical treatments and doctor visits
- – Medical equipment
- – Safety-related expenses
- – Prescription drugs
- – Personal Care supplies
- – In-Home and Daily Care services
- – A full-time Memory Care residence
Resources for financial planning include the National Council on Aging, a Financial Advisor, and Elder Law Attorneys. Make sure to check qualifications such as professional credentials, work experience, educational background and areas of specialty.