When your loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it can be difficult to know where to begin. One of the most important aspects of ensuring they’re looked after is looking out for their finances. Managing finances is difficult enough as it is, but when you throw in mental decline, things can get much more complicated. Here are some of the best tips for helping your loved one with dementia manage their finances.
Gradually Ease Them Into It
It’s not always easy for your loved one to accept that they have dementia. Initially, they may deny it altogether, despite what the doctors may say. This is why it’s important that you gradually introduce them to the idea of you helping them manage their finances. If you come on too strong and too quickly they could reject the idea altogether.
Instead, slowly ease them into it, and remind them that the condition will get worse over time. Explain that the earlier they allow you to help them with the financial planning process, the more say they’ll have in ensuring that their wishes will be respected.
Make it Simple
The more that dementia progresses, the more that your loved one may become overwhelmed by seemingly simple information. Keep things simple and in terms they can understand. From automating their bill payments, to minimizing the amount of bills they have with multiple financial institutions, simplifying the process as much as possible is ideal.
Seek Professional Help
Even though we might like to believe that we can take on everything ourselves, the truth is that helping a loved one navigate dementia on our own can be a big task. If possible, you may want to consider bringing in professionals.
A professional financial planner is experienced with situations like these, and can help coach you on the best ways to plan. In addition to a financial planner, you may also want to consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in dementia. They can provide all the right guidance on estate planning and organizing assets.
Protect Them From Scams
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that scams could never happen to you. Unfortunately there are people out there specifically seeking out victims like your loved one. The more vulnerable a victim is, the easier they are to target. Seniors are a major target for scams— and senior citizens with dementia are even more vulnerable to being taken advantage of. So, it’s important that you protect your loved one from scams as much as possible.
Regularly monitor their accounts, and notice if you see any suspicious charges. Make sure that you educate them about the latest scams, and warn them of the potential dangers.