Don't let dementia threaten your finances - Plan ahead!
By Susanne Mitschke
Recent studies found that Alzheimer’s and other dementias can have a significant financial impact on families, which is why it is important to be prepared, emotionally as well as financially.
After diagnosis, it is important to make a financial plan. This can not only help the families to reduce stress, but can also include the individual living with dementia in the decision making.
Often, people living with the condition as well as families are unprepared and don’t know the additional costs that can occur after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. To get an overview, it might help to create a long-term budget that also considers the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s. Also important to mention is that families should not rely 100% on insurance: they might cover some of the costs, but in many cases, they don’t cover all.
Which kind of costs are likely to occur after diagnosis?
Additional Care supplies (e.g. senior remote controls, door alarm, activity muffs, day clocks etc.)
Professional Care Services (in-home)
Adult day care services
Full-time residential care services
What can family-members do?
After diagnosis, it is important to speak to your loved-one about a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). With this, your loved-one can choose a person they trust to make decisions on their behalf, about things such as collecting income, paying bills etc., should they become unable take those decisions. As a family-member, make sure that your loved-one is receiving all benefits to which they are entitled. If you are a carer, you might also be entitled to certain benefits. All in all, it is important that people with dementia organise their financials and legal affairs while they are still able to make decisions. We recommend to get professional advice about wills, pensions, and how to manage financial assets.