How to Ensure Legal Protection for a Loved One With Dementia

Everything gets turned upside down and inside out when you, or a loved one, is hit with Alzheimer’s Disease. Unlike many diseases with physical effects, Alzheimer’s impacts the mind and the patient’s ability to function mentally. As the disease progresses, an Alzheimer’s patient may be more or less physically healthy, but increasingly less able to take care of themselves in even the most basic ways.

When it comes to matters of consent and the ability to make legal decisions, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive decline conditions can be far more difficult for both patients and their loved ones to deal with. If someone is in a coma, legally that is fairly cut and dried when it comes to whether or not they could make decisions for themselves. When a person is able to be awake and semi-functional, it’s much stickier of a question when, or whether to at all, they should not be allowed to make important binding decisions for themselves and their care.

Patients facing Alzheimer’s should plan for the time when their condition advances to the point where they can no longer safely or effectively make decisions for themselves. Their loved ones should not be put in a place where they want to help, but legally can’t. Or where they know they are helping, but feel guilty for needing to step in without having been assured this is what the patient truly wants. With Alzheimer’s, the clock is ticking on consent.

Key Points:

  • 1Someone with Alzheimer’s will reach a point where they can’t make informed decisions about their health care.
  • 2Even with a living will in place, there are potential health care issues that can arise once your loved one’s dementia sets in that won’t be covered.
  • 3When you have a written plan in place, you have something to refer back to when checking in on the care your loved one is receiving.

While it may be difficult for your loved one to give up some of the legal and financial independence and power they have, making sure they put those powers into the hands of people they love and trust now is crucial to avoid someone else being able to take advantage of them later.

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Do you need help in the area of Dementia Care?   Check out this available resource:   Fit Minds Family Caregiver Program


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