The following was forward to me by a dear friend who thought it would be a perfect Monday Memo and I agreed. It is a column from a syndicated advice column.
Can you do this public service announcement for your readers?
As my father began to age, we thought we had everything in place. Power of Attorney documents were updated and executed. Children’s names were added to bank accounts to make check-writing easier.
When my father began a sudden decline into memory loss and dementia, I was glad that we’d taken care of everything.
Except personal identification numbers. My dad was very active on the computer and actually kept track of his PINs. Except when he changed them. He also was a sucker for signing up for things with recurring charges, whether or not he needed them.
Now instead of being able to take care of things quickly and easily, I have to spend my days going to the bank, spending time on the phone with customer service reps, etc.
I’d advise anyone who may become a caregiver to have a talk with your loved one about recurring charges, PINs, etc. You never know when it’s going to be too late to have the conversation and it’s a lot easier to untangle earlier rather than later.
Dear Busy Caregiver:
Great advice. Caregivers learn one of the biggest challenges is to help the loved one give up control, with dignity.
This is best done gradually and with total honesty and transparency; earlier rather than later.
I would add usernames and passwords to the list. And of course it is important not only to think everything is in place but to make sure – by seeing a professional and discussing all the long term care issues such as Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits and asset protection…
In addition to the above advice, please feel free to access our online resource center designed to help our families cope with Alzheimer’s disease.