It is important to plan for dementia financially. We spend a lot of time thinking and writing about Dementia, a progressive condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to manage their finances and make informed decisions about their future. Without proper planning, the individual with dementia and their family may struggle to cover the costs associated with their care and may face financial stress and uncertainty.
Financial planning for dementia should take into account the individual’s current financial situation, their future care needs, and the potential impact of the disease on their ability to manage their finances. It may involve creating a budget, seeking government benefits, and creating a plan for managing assets and liabilities.
By planning ahead, individuals with dementia and their families can ensure that they have the resources they need to cover the costs of care and maintain their quality of life. They can also reduce the stress and uncertainty that often accompany dementia and have peace of mind knowing that their financial future is secure. Here are some examples of financial planning and how it can be accessed for dementia finance decisions:
- Community centers and senior centers that offer workshops and classes on financial planning
- Online forums and discussion groups that provide support and information for those affected by dementia
- Religious organizations and charities that offer assistance to those in need
- Estate planning attorneys who can help create a comprehensive plan for the future
- Professional fiduciary services that provide support with financial and legal decision-making
- Investment advisors who can assist with managing assets and creating a financial plan for the future
- Tax professionals who can help navigate tax implications and government benefits
- Geriatric care coordinators who can provide support and assistance with long-term care planning
What Are the Costs of Dementia?
The costs associated with dementia can be substantial and can include:
- Medical expenses: This can include costs for doctor’s visits, medications, and any necessary medical procedures.
- Long-term care: This can include the cost of assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or in-home care.
- Home modifications: This can include the cost of adapting the home to meet the needs of the individual with dementia.
- Transportation: This can include the cost of transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and other necessary errands.
- Personal care items: This can include the cost of incontinence products, special diets, and other necessary items.
- Respite care: This can include the cost of temporary care for the individual with dementia so that their primary caregiver can take a break.
- Legal and financial planning: This can include the cost of hiring an attorney or financial advisor to help with estate planning and navigating government benefits.
These costs can add up quickly, especially over the course of the whole run of the disease, and can have a significant impact on the individual with dementia and their family. It’s important to plan ahead and seek guidance from professionals, such as financial advisors to ensure that the best decisions are made for the future for your family and for your loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
There are several types of financial planners who can assist individuals with dementia and their families with financial planning:
- Elder law attorneys: These attorneys specialize in legal and financial issues affecting older adults, including estate planning and government benefits for those with dementia.
- Financial advisors: These professionals can help individuals with dementia and their families create a comprehensive financial plan, including managing assets and liabilities and creating a budget.
- Geriatric care managers: These professionals provide comprehensive care management, including financial planning, for older adults and individuals with dementia.
- Estate planning attorneys: These attorneys specialize in creating comprehensive estate plans, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, for individuals with dementia.
- Tax professionals: These professionals can help individuals with dementia and their families navigate tax implications and government benefits.
Government Financial Assistance for Alzheimer’s
Social Security does not specifically cover costs for dementia, but individuals with dementia may be eligible for two Social Security benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides financial support to individuals who have worked and paid into the Social Security system and are now unable to work due to a disability, including dementia. To be eligible for SSDI, the individual must have a sufficient work history and their condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides financial support to individuals who have a limited income and assets and are aged, blind, or disabled. Individuals with dementia may be eligible for SSI if they meet the income and asset limits set by the Social Security Administration.
Eligibility for these benefits and the amount of the benefit can vary based on individual circumstances. It’s recommended to speak with a Social Security representative for more information and to determine eligibility.
The aging agency, also known as the Area Agency on Aging, can provide information and resources on financial assistance for individuals with dementia and their families. However, the specific financial assistance available through the aging agency can vary depending on the location and the services offered by the agency.
Some services that the aging agency may provide include:
- Information on government benefits: The aging agency can provide information on government benefits, including Medicaid, that may be available to individuals with dementia and their families to help cover the costs of care.
- Assistance with long-term care planning: The aging agency can provide information and resources on long-term care options, including assisted living facilities and in-home care, and can help individuals with dementia and their families plan for their future care needs.
- Information on financial assistance programs: The aging agency can provide information on financial assistance programs, including grants and loans, that may be available to individuals with dementia and their families to help cover the costs of care.
Life resource planners and elder law lawyers can be useful for individuals with dementia and their families who need assistance with financial and legal planning. However, the cost of these services can vary and may be expensive for some individuals. Life resource planners are professionals who specialize in helping individuals and families plan for their future, including financial and legal planning. They can provide guidance on government benefits, long-term care planning, and estate planning.
Elder law lawyers specialize in legal issues affecting older adults, including estate planning, government benefits, and long-term care planning. They can provide guidance on legal documents, such as powers of attorney and trusts, and can assist with navigating the legal system.
The cost of these services can vary depending on the professional and the services provided. Some life resource planners and elder law lawyers charge an hourly rate, while others may charge a flat fee for specific services. It’s important to discuss the cost of services with the professional and to compare costs before making a decision.
In conclusion, life resource planners and elder law lawyers can be useful for individuals with dementia and their families who need assistance with financial and legal planning. However, the cost of these services can be expensive and it’s important to compare costs and discuss the cost of services with the professional before making a decision.