You want to plan for the future, if possible, with help from the person while he or she can still make decisions. You need to review all of his or her health, legal, and financial information to make sure it reflects the person’s wishes. Here is a planning checklist from the National Institute on Aging’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center:
Update health care, legal, and financial information
• A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances gives someone called a trustee the power to make legal and financial decisions for the person with AD.
• A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care gives someone called a proxy the power to make health care decisions for the person with AD.
• A Living Will states the person’s wishes for health care at the end of life.
• A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Form tells health care staff how the person wants end-of-life health care managed.
• A Will tells how the person wants his or her property and money to be divided among those left behind.
• A Living Trust tells someone called a trustee how to distribute a person’s property and money.
Check for money problems
People with Alzheimer’s disease often have problems managing their money. As the disease progresses, a person may try to hide financial problems to protect his or her independence. Or, the person may not realize that he or she is losing the ability to handle money matters.
Someone should check each month to see how the person is doing. This person might be a family member or the trustee.
Protect the person from fraud
Scams can take many forms, such as identity theft; get-rich-quick offers; phony offers of prizes or home or auto repairs; insurance scams or outright threats. Here are some signs that the person with AD is not managing money well or has become a victim of a scam:
• The person seems afraid or worried when he or she talks
• Money is missing from the person’s bank account.
• Signatures on checks or other papers don’t look like the
• Bills are not being paid, and the person doesn’t know why.