If you’ve exhausted your options trying to care with a loved one with dementia in the comfort of their home or yours, you may have come to a difficult but necessary decision: to find long-term dementia care. There are a number of key steps that you should take — and a particular order in which to take them — to ease the process. A call to Princeton Health Care Center can take care of many questions, but there are other things you can do as well.
Start here, since many of the steps that follow will be much easier if all of your legal bases are covered. If someone is still in the early stages of dementia, you may still be able to enlist their cooperation. If that isn’t possible, each of the steps that follow will be more complicated.
There are a few key documents that you should address with the help of an attorney specializing in elder care law.
Durable Power of Attorney
This differs from traditional power of attorney in that a durable power of attorney is designed to help you in the event that the person issuing the power of attorney becomes physically or mentally incapacitated. It will let you administer an individual’s finances in order to pay bills, pay taxes, and sell property.
Bear in mind that financial institutions may have their own power of attorney requirements and paperwork. These may also come into play if the initial power of attorney was executed a long time ago.
Health Care Proxy
Think of this as power of attorney for medical decisions, since it lets you make health-related decisions on your loved one’s behalf.
A living will or advance directive for health care allows your loved one a say in the kind of care they want (or would refuse) near the end of life.
This will dictate the handling of your family member’s estate and assets after they have passed.
This is optional, but can prove helpful if your loved one has considerable assets. Aside from assets that can only be owned by an individual (like a 401(k) or IRA), it allows a designated agent or trustee to manage assets per the instructions of the person who created the trust. It can be especially helpful in states with stringent probate rules.
Determine What You Can Afford
Another reason to take care of legalities first is that they’ll have a significant impact on the level of dementia care you can afford. There are a number of considerations that go into the financial planning of long-term dementia care, which we’ve covered in a series that starts with Health Insurance & Financial Implications of Long-Term Care.
Choose the Right Memory Care Facility
Once your legal and financial picture is clear, it’s time to choose the right memory care facility in West Virginia. There are a number of factors to take into consideration, covered in our recent article titled How to Choose a Skilled Nursing Facility for Your Loved One.
Draft a Professional Care Plan
The final step is to sit down with key staff members at the care facility of your choice and draft a dementia care plan. You’ll have questions, and so will our staff. The things to remember are that you’re there to advocate for your loved one, and that you’re a key member of the care team. Everyone wants the same thing, after all: the health and happiness of someone you love.
Reach Out For Help
The last reminder is perhaps the most important. We know that you want the best for your loved one, and we also know that this is a difficult time for everyone involved for precisely that reason. You are not alone. Our expert and caring staff has many years’ experience in helping families navigate the myriad challenges of finding professional dementia care for their loved ones, and we’re always here to help. Contact Princeton Health Care Center today with your questions.