Every September, Alzheimer’s awareness takes center stage around the world. World Alzheimer’s Month is a time to take a closer look at the disease, advocate awareness, and raise much-needed funds to find a cure.
After an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it’s essential that a consultation with an elder law attorney takes place. Certain legal protections are important, and the best way to get these protective measures in place is to do it while cognitive skills haven’t declined too much.
Your mom has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s time to get both medical and financial powers of attorney in place. You do not want your mom to put this off. There’s no guarantee that she’ll have years of decision-making skills left. The sooner you take these steps, the better protected she is.
Why Does She Need These Powers of Attorney?
There are medical and financial powers of attorney. They both start with your mom choosing an agent. This is a person she trusts fully to make medical or financial decisions on her behalf.
When her memory retention and cognitive skills decline, she may not be able to decide if she needs a flu shot or not. She might fall and fracture her wrist and not understand what happened or why she needs x-rays. She can’t sign medical forms, so someone needs to be able to do this for her.
A medical power of attorney often goes hand-in-hand with a living will or advance directive. If your mom had a stroke, would she want to be put on a ventilator or given a feeding tube? Does she want to donate organs, if possible? What does she feel about being resuscitated? Does she have a DNR order in place?
A financial power of attorney is designed to give the person your mom designates permission to access her financial accounts, pay bills for her, and make financial decisions regarding things like insurance coverage, loan applications, or housing contracts.
For example, your mom’s situation worsens and she needs Alzheimer’s care or to move to a facility with locked wings to prevent wandering. Her agent could sign the pricing contract and other forms needed to ensure she gets the care she needs. This might mean signing paperwork to allow a credit check if needed.
If she doesn’t designate a power of attorney for her medical and financial decisions, it could become up to the courts to decide. Your mom could end up with a family member she doesn’t trust making decisions for her.
Arrange a Free Consultation
Initial consultations with an attorney who specializes in elder law are free. You’ll learn more about the cost to draw up the legal forms and what can be done to ensure your mom is protected in the months and years to come.
Call or go online and schedule a consultation with an elder law attorney. Make sure that power of attorney designations are completed before it’s determined your mom’s skills have diminished too much to make her own legal decisions.
If you or a loved one need assistance with Elder Law in Centerpoint, AL contact The Alabama Elder Care Law Firm, LLC today. (205) 390-0101