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LEGAL PLANNING before Dementia
I go to 2 group meeting for Dementia caregivers every month...and today was a very enlightening one. There are so many problems ,so much respect to consider with a loved one and more so with a man. Not that woman are less, in fact women understand things (in my opinion) better. They have had to take care of babies, husbands, cooking, well you know what we do as women.
I feel so proud of these men I have come to know who care for their wives with dementia. When you think about it, men had very little to do with the actual care of their children when they were babies. I know it is so different today, I so commend the modern Fathers, but I also am so lovingly proud of these men that had no idea what it really entailed years ago, but they have come through as the trooper's (I feel) a real Man is.
It is true that men are stronger, physically ,then women and they can bare the weight of their loving wife's, but the women of men who have this disease have a much tougher time. Not being strong enough to bare the weight of their man, and they try very hard, but usually end up turning it over to a facility, IF they have the Insurances or money to do this.
Which brings me to the real reason I wanted to type this . Do Not wait till a loved one is too far into this disease to get the proper things taken care of... I know it is a tough thing to deal with. I know we all think we won't need this, I know sometimes we just do not have the money to pay for the insurance's we may need for when we get old, but believe me it is one of the most important things we can do for our children, as well as ourselves. None of us want to burden our children, to make them give up their time for us, or even loose their house, but that is foolish pride, and in my humble opinion they will happily help us as we grow older and need their help, as long as we have tried to make it possible.
In that I mean by having the necessary things done before we become unable to do them.
In other words LEGAL PLANNING.
POA "Power of Attorney" Is handy for checking accounts where Social Security checks can be deposited, and you can write the necessary checks, but this needs the approval of your loved one.
POD "payable on death", is good too so you can write checks, pay bills with no problems. House, checking, savings, CD's, which means they have the rights to care for the things you have always had in your control once you are not capable to understand, or sign for these things, before it is too late.
With the new Privacy Laws today you absolutely need these things taken care of before hand.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care,
A living will it may be called, this enables you to make decisions for care of your loved one. This is in case that they are unable to communicate.
My mom has dementia and cannot make these decisions, but before she became unable to respond we set this up and she informed me of what she wanted, in case of death or injury and just plain healthwise. Believe me it has come in handy many times.
Is putting into writing what type of medical care, or decisions you want made if you can not speak for yourself. In an emergency this is handy for the hospitals and doctors.
I personally have one and a copy of it is with the hospital and my regular doctor, as is my mom's. It saves those you love from the heavy burden that comes when something un-thinkable happens, they are upset enough.
All this is important to speak about and know what they would want, along with having it written.
A will is a legal document that outlines what happens to your property after you die. You need a lawyer for this and you need to appoint an "executor" who is someone you trust to handle property and other things when you die, until the estate is settled. A will can be changed during time, but only if the person is able to comprehend these things, and the lawyer will make the changes. Time changes how you feel, my mom changed her's 10 different times. Now it stays as she last changed it an NO ONE can change it.
Also it is wise to know where legal documents are kept, before a crisis occurs. Things like, Social security numbers, deeds, passbooks, passports ,checkbooks,military papers,funeral plans, and insurance policies. Even death certificates can be needed, and in some cases the orginal is necessary.
This is a very deep subject and I am no authority, but know a few things.
My parent's had "Long Term Care " policies for them both. We used them till they were gone. (there is a limit in $ establised when you start one).
They had IRA's which are also established amounts, and you must take a % out each year and it is taxable.
They also had Annuity policies, which I am using now to pay the $7,000 a month it costs to have her taken care of.
The orginal amount to start is not taxable, but any interest earned is taxable. At maturity you can surrender the policy tax free, if you have used the interest earned. (Right now we are working solely on the interest earned, so her orginal amount is still gaining interest).
I will add; they both worked extremely hard and had the funds to do this, but you can still find ways to help yourself before it is too late.
Even at my age and my low income I do have Funeral Insurance, a small Life Insurance, and a "Short Term Care" policy, which will come in handy some day, and if not I rest at night.
Each state has different rules so you need to explore them...I learned that the hard way.
I have just touched the surface in Insurance, and speak of what I am experiencing, and have done. so make sure you research it carefully and fully.
With the Privacy Act it can be impossible to even get information on your own husband or wife from a doctor.
All these things need to be learned , understood, and read about, talked about and action taken when, and before it is too late.
If this helps anyone I will be happy, because I learned this through experience, stress and worry.
"In God We Trust" U.S.A.