Alzheimer's Care: Making Legal Plans for a Senior after Diagnosis

Making Legal Plans for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

By Will Reid, 8:00 am on

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is often a devastating experience for both the senior affected and their family. Despite the heavy emotional toll the disease can place on family members, it is important that certain issues are not ignored, particularly where legal planning is concerned. This is a sensitive topic for many families, however is one that must be discussed to ensure future finances, comfort and quality of life for the senior loved one.

As a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care in Cincinnati, we work with many families who have loved ones with some level of cognitive impairment. We understand how difficult this time can be, and wanted to offer a list of steps for how to make legal plans for a loved one in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.

Step 1: Determine Your Loved One’s Level of Involvement

Under the best of circumstances, your loved one can fully participate in planning of future arrangements. This includes who should make medical and financial decisions once they cannot. Unfortunately, this may not always be an option. When this is the case, the family should discuss what mom or dad may have wanted and attempt to respect these wishes as much as possible. Even if everyone is in agreement on these matters, this alone is not enough, formal documents will be required.

Step 2: Making Decisions Requiring Legal Intervention

When a senior is living with Alzheimer’s, there are certain decisions that must be made which include, but are not limited to financial matters such as how to pay for long-term care, whether at an outside living facility or through an in-home care agency in Cincinnati, and medical decisions such as end-of-life care and planning after death.

Step 3: Completing Proper Legal Documentation

Although the family attorney may be able to assist in these matters, the family may want to work with a legal professional who is experienced in elder care laws. If the aging parent is able to express their wishes and designate those whom they wish to act on their behalf, the attorney will likely be able to draw up the proper paperwork fairly easily. If there is any disagreement among family, the parent is unable to consent or there are other special circumstances, a court hearing may be required.

If you have an aging parent or loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s, find out what their options are for long-term care and contact Home Care Assistance of Centennial. Along with part-time care, we also offer 24 hour home care in Centennial which promotes maximum safety and comfort at home. Call 513-891-2273 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule a free in-home consultation.