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Legal/Financial Affairs

Legal and financial issues are critical during this disease. At a certain point the patient can no longer be counted on to make informed decisions. Someone will need to be empowered to do this when the time comes. Many couples assume they will be able to step in for their loved one, write checks, sell property, obtain medical records, etc.. This is not the case in most states.

Early planning is needed to prepare for when this type of care is needed. An attorney who specializes in elder law, family law, or probate law should be consulted. Standby durable powers of attorney for health care and finances should be developed for when the person is not able to make informed decisions. Such documents require careful thought and planning. There may be additional decision-makers that need to be appointed for the patient in complex family of financial situations. These vary widely from state to state. Seek legal counsel at your earliest convenience to assure that your wishes are recorded and your estate preserved.

Recognize that caring for a loved one with memory loss is often frustrating. Not everything works all the time. Copy the learning guide and try a few things each week. Some will work. Some won't. Those that don't work, may work tomorrow...and those that work today might be ineffective tomorrow. Use the professionals available to you at the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale and at the Alzheimer's Association nearest you for help and support. Remember we are here for you and want to help however we can to lighten your burden.

Please copy this booklet so you can use it as a constant reference, and share it with your family and fellow caregivers.

Supported by: Iowa Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation,
National Caregiving Training Project,
University of Iowa College of Nursing,
Gerontology Nursing Intervention Center
Research Development and intervention Core

Developed by: Geri R. Hall, Ph.D., ARNP, CNS
Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Mayo Clinic Scottsdale
13400 E. Shea Boulvard
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259
Phone: 602-301-8111


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