Dealing with a Dementia Diagnosis: 4 Ways to Help Your Parent Plan for the Future

Sometimes a parent’s dementia diagnosis comes as a surprise, and sometimes you’ve known it was coming for a while and hearing it officially diagnosed is simply a confirmation of your fears. Whether you’ve been in denial or just chalked the forgetfulness and unusual behaviors up to old age, or you’ve spent weeks or months reading up on dementia in anticipation of this diagnosis, getting that diagnosis is your cue to help your loved one start planning. If you haven’t gotten a diagnosis yet, but your parent’s behavior doesn’t seem right, it is wise to push for a doctor’s visit as soon as possible. The earlier you get a diagnosis, the sooner you can get to planning and taking action that will protect your loved one down the road. Read on to discover ways you can help your parent plan for the future after a dementia diagnosis.

1. Research local resources.

A quick Google search can reveal many resources, both on a local and wider level, that are intended to help people with dementia and their loved ones. If you live in the Janesville, WI or Wales, WI areas, we encourage you to learn about the work we are doing here at Elder Advisors Law and sign up for one of our workshops [link].

2. Get educated.

Many scholars have studied dementia and a lot of progress has been made towards understanding what to expect at each stage. We encourage you to read up on dementia because knowledge is power. It is also wise to accompany your loved one to their medical appointments — and don’t be afraid to ask questions! You will better be able to tackle each challenge as it comes if you have a clearer idea of what to expect in advance. 

3. Seek emotional support.

Being a caregiver can take a huge toll on your emotional wellbeing. There’s nothing easy about watching a person you love slowly lose themself to dementia. Fortunately, there are support groups that can help. We also recommend being forthcoming with friends, coworkers, and family about what you are taking on. You will need help during this process, and you’ll be better equipped to help your parent in the future if you have a strong support system already in place.

4. Connect with a lawyer as soon as possible.

A lawyer can help you determine how you’ll tackle this challenge financially. There are many things that need to be taken care of from a legal standpoint before your parent loses his or her ability to make decisions and verbalizes desires. You’ll likely want your parent to establish you as their Health Care Power of Attorney so that you can make medical decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able. 

If you’re ready to get started on a plan, please contact the Elder Advisors Law team today. We have vast experience working with dementia patients and their families, and we would love to share the knowledge we’ve gained with you. You can reach us at (608) 371-7207.

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Elder Advisors Law

As Leaders in Estate Planning and Elder Law, we are passionate about helping families protect their hard-earned assets from the government, nursing homes, lawsuits or other predators.