By Melanie Hasty-Grant
In Sickness & In Health
Practical steps for helping loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia
Retirement is an exciting time—traveling, spending time with family and learning new hobbies are a few possibilities. Unfortunately, there are challenging realities too. One of those challenges,dementia, can be devastating both emotionally and financially. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 9 people over the age of 65 will get some form of dementia. These steps can help caregivers prepare financially for the challenges of dementia:
In 2016, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia cost approximately 236 billion dollars nationally. Often as dementia progresses, caregivers find themselves unable to care for their loved one at home. Medicare does not cover assisted living or nursing home care. Unless your loved one has long-term care insurance, these expenses must be paid for out of pocket. This is often a devastating blow as the average cost of nursing home care in Oklahoma is $4500 per month. Medicaid will not kick in until the couples assets are “spent down” to $199,220.
This means that the “community spouse” is left with minimal assets to live the remainder of their life. Although expenses related to aging cannot be avoided, with proper knowledge, it can be less of an obstacle. For more information about this visit www.seniorplanning.org/long-term-care. Choose the options that work best for your family and start working the financial plan NOW.
One reason dementia is so challenging is because many times, our loved ones’ bodies are still healthy, but their minds are not. Before the disease progresses, meet with them with their financial advisor and estate planning attorney so that you can simplify and clarify a plan for their financial future.
It’s important that your loved one has someone they can trust looking over their money. Make sure that either you or another trusted person is listed as your loved one’s Power of Attorney. Also, check to see who their Health Care Power of Attorney is and that they have a Health Care Directive in place. This will help ease the transition and allow a caring, mentally capable individual to legally make decisions on your loved one’s behalf, when the time comes.
Coping with dementia is a tragic, stressful process for all involved; although it will never be easy these tips can ensure it has the least devastating impact on your finances as possible. For more information about dementia and how you can help your loved ones, visit https://www.alz.org.
If you would like some help with financial planning and/or long term care, please give Waterstone Private Wealth Management a call at 918.272.1120 or visit our website at www.waterstonewealth.com 9500 N. 129th E. Ave Suite 106 Owasso, OK 74055
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