After the initial shock of a memory loss diagnosis fades and you know more about what to expect, it’s a good idea to begin planning for the future. There are many uncertainties that come with memory loss, so knowing what the plan is ahead of time and how to face any issues that arise can save both you and your loved one from unnecessary stress, unplanned decisions and fear.
The best time to begin planning is in the early stages, when your loved one is still able to make decisions on their own as to what type of care they’d like to receive, as well as where and when. It also helps them to have complete control over their estate. While this may seem stressful, scary and too soon, it’s necessary so you as a caregiver do not need to make these decisions on your own, while not knowing and having to guess what your loved one’s preferences are.
How to Plan for the Future When a Loved One Has Memory Loss
If you are unsure where to start in planning for your loved one’s future, we’ve created a guide to help you navigate your way through this often-stressful journey. Consider some of the following ways you should plan for the future, according to the Alzheimer’s Association®.
- Decide who is in charge of health decisions, finances and more. Your loved one should decide who will become their durable power of attorney. This person should be able to make health decisions for your loved one when they are no longer able, including what types of treatment are done, who treats them and where they will receive care. A durable power of attorney for finances and property should also be named. This person will make decisions about finances, income, assets and more when your loved one is no longer able to do so for his or herself.
- Create or finalize a will. Wills, whether they are living or standard wills, are important for anyone. Living wills help others to know the wishes of your loved one as it pertains to treatment and what they expect to be done near the end of their life. A standard will states what should be done and how the estate will be distributed after passing. This is also a good time for your loved one to make their funeral wishes known.
- Go over POLST forms. Known as a physician order for life sustaining treatment, POLST forms indicate what type of care your loved one does or does not want. When this is signed by your love one’s physician, all emergency, healthcare and medical personnel must follow these wishes.
- Consider future care options. Does your loved one want to be cared for at home by family, or would they prefer to be at home with a nurse? Would a memory care community serve your loved one better while giving them and you peace of mind? It’s a good idea to consider all options to ensure your loved one is getting the care they need and deserve. If your loved one remains at home, chances are they will need to prepare their home to make it more easily accessible to changing needs. The cost of in-home care should also be taken into consideration.
If your loved one is considering a memory care community, it’s best to make a list of everything they would enjoy and need. Then, make a list of communities nearby, tour them, participate in activities, talk to the team and see if it is a good fit. If you and your loved one find one or two you like, consider some respite care to get a better feel for what it would be like to live there. Knowing where your loved one would like to live can help to make the decision easier when memory care needs increase in the future.
For more information about planning for your loved one’s future, or to learn more about how we can help make your journey through memory loss easier, contact The Grande at Sterling Estates of West Cobb. We would be happy to share more about our lifestyle, person-centered care and how our Memory Care Center of Excellence enhances the days of those with memory loss while providing peace of mind for their families.
Experience the Sterling Life
At The Grande at Sterling Estates of West Cobb, we provide an exceptional experience for those in need of a Memory Care Center of Excellence. Our residents can enjoy everything they need to live engaging and fulfilling lives – from an array of programs and activities and a variety of amenities, to the peace of mind of dedicated care and a world of possibilities for enhanced wellness each day.
With spacious features that include a fitness center, dining room, and a greenhouse as well as small, easy-to-navigate neighborhoods for residents to enjoy, they can experience safety and comfort as well as the independence to explore.
As a partner with the Hearthstone Institute, we provide Dr. John Zeisel’s I’m Still Here® programming to change the way residents live. Each day, they can experience a joyful, fulfilling and active life while experiencing the care they deserve. To learn more, contact us today!
Call us at 770-383-1779 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.