My father just got a dementia diagnosis and I’m worried about his finances

My father just got a dementia diagnosis and I’m worried about his finances. Senior care is expensive and I don’t know that he has a ton in retirement savings. What should I do in terms of legal steps to protect my father’s assets and ensure he receives proper care? I’d love any advice on how to navigate elder law and understand what I can do for managing her father’s finances. In case this makes a difference, I’m divorced and receive child support. We’re doing ok but I can’t afford to support him financially on my own.

I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s diagnosis. My mother went through a similar situation a few years ago. The first thing I’d recommend is to make sure he has all his important legal documents in place, like a durable power of attorney and a living will, if he hasn’t done this already. That way, you can help make decisions for him if he’s unable to. It’s best to consult with an elder law attorney for this step.

I agree with LoneWolf, getting the legal documents sorted out is crucial. Additionally, you might want to consider setting up a meeting with a financial planner - they can provide helpful advice on managing your father’s financial assets while ensuring his needs are taken care of. Also, look into long-term care insurance. If he has a policy, it could help cover some of the costs of his care.

I completely understand how overwhelming this can be. My father suffered from dementia too. Besides what LoneWolf and MJimenez said, look up government assistance options. Assisted living can be cost prohibitive for many of us. My folks sold their home to pay for their care. But I hear there are programs that help cover the expenses of long-term care.

That’s a great point, DevotedDaughter. Local resources can be really helpful. In our case, we were able to utilize a local agency that connected us with care support for dementia patients. They helped deal with caregiving and the process of applying at the time which was incredibly helpful.

Yes, government or city services can be a game changer. Medicaid planning is another important aspect to consider. This process usually involves transferring assets and adjusting his income to qualify for Medicaid benefits. However, it’s crucial to do this in accordance with the state laws and under the guidance of an elder law attorney to avoid penalties.

I second that, MJimenez. As for your child support, it’s worth discussing with your ex-spouse if there’s any possibility of adjusting the terms in light of this new responsibility. It may not be feasible, but it’s worth exploring. Communication is key in these situations, both with your family members and with professionals who can guide you in making the best decisions for your father’s care and financial well-being.

I completely agree with all the suggestions mentioned above. My mother also had dementia, and we were able to find resources within our community to support her care. You may also want to consider joining a support group for family members of dementia patients. This can provide emotional support and help you navigate the complicated process of caregiving. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and there are resources available to help you and your family during this challenging time.

Thank you all for the insightful and practical advice. I, too, have a family member currently dealing with dementia, and it has been a challenging experience for the entire family. We’ve consulted an elder law attorney who has assisted us in navigating Medicaid and other available resources.

In addition, joining caregiver support groups and staying connected with others experiencing similar situations has been incredibly beneficial. Don’t be afraid to reach out and explore all possible avenues for assistance. It’s essential to remember self-care throughout this process, as caregiving can be emotionally and physically draining. Ensure to lean on friends, family, or support groups to avoid burnout and maintain your well-being.

Wishing you and your family all the best during this difficult journey.

I am sorry to hear about your fathers diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed 3 years ago. Your first step is a durable power of attorney and then provide copies of that to any company you would need to speak to on your fathers behalf. Without a POA, companies will not talk to you. Make sure you are on all financial accounts and all medical accounts. Forward all mail to your address if your father is still living in his own home. Speak with and hire an elder attorney, this will be very helpful to navigate through the complexities of Medicare and Medicaid. There are many programs available for seniors with dementia, the attorney will be a good resource for that. Good Luck to you.

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Thank you so much for your advice. The recommendation for getting a durable power of attorney was very helpful and I have already begun the process. I’m working on becoming connected to all of my father’s accounts too.

I can see how receiving his mail would enable me to manage his finances more effectively and anticipate any changes or issues. Hiring an elder attorney is something I hadn’t considered strongly, but hearing your experience and advice, it makes complete sense to have somebody knowledgeable about Medicare, Medicaid, and senior programs navigating with us.

This is a heavy burden to bear, but your advice and encouragement give me hope that I can successfully manage my father’s finances and ensure he has the care he needs. Thank you!

I’m also in a similar situation with my father’s dementia and I agree with all the advice given here. I noticed the recommendation of an elder care attorney and I cannot stress enough how valuable this was in our case. They are well-versed in elder law and were able to guide us through all the red tapes of Medicaid and Medicare, as well as helping with estate planning. In a situation like this, professional guidance can be invaluable.

On a practical note, I’d also recommend helping your father minimize any potential sources of financial fraud or exploitation. Scammers often target older individuals, especially those with dementia. I made sure my dad’s credit is frozen to new inquiries and we have alerts set up for any unusual activity on his bank accounts.

Remember, it’s OK to ask for help. We all need it during times like these. Seeking help from professionals and support groups can make this process much less daunting. Take care, you’re not alone in this!