Managing the finances of a parent with dementia
Friday, May 21, 2021
Talking about finances is rarely straightforward, particularly with family members, but things become even more complicated when a loved one is suffering from dementia. In 2021, there are an estimated 472,000 Australians living with dementia.
We have put together some advice on how best to handle this delicate situation, but don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like further assistance.
Having the conversation
One of the hardest parts about helping a parent with dementia is openly acknowledging their condition. An honest conversation is the first step towards managing the emotional and practical implications of this condition. If you think your parent might be showing symptoms, it’s important to discuss it with them as early as possible, emphasising your support.
If your parent is experiencing dementia, the financial measures you need to take will depend on how advanced their condition is. If your parent is still in the early stages of their condition, the best thing you can do is work with them to plan ahead.
This might include:
- Checking that their will is up to date.
- Making aged care plans for the future and allocating savings or resources to ensure they can be paid for.
- Looking over your parents’ accounts with them to ensure you have visibility over their savings, investments and debts. Having clarity from the beginning will help if you take on a more active management role in the future.
It is also sensible to consider establishing an enduring power of attorney. In this case, your parent will appoint one or more people to manage their financial affairs in case they lose the capacity to do so themselves. Your parent should trust the person they appoint to act in their best interest, and it is common to consult with a legal adviser before making such an important choice.
Managing the family
Having a parent with dementia can be an emotionally challenging experience for any family. You should be transparent about your parent’s condition, their financial situation and your role in managing it. Coming up with a collaborative approach ensures the responsibility is shared and avoids disputes later down the line. For emotional support, there are organisations that can help, like the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. If you’d like to know more about some of the financial measures available to you, please contact us today.
General Advice Warning
Any advice or information in this publication is of a general nature only and has not taken into account your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. Because of that, before acting on the advice, you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs.
Before making a decision to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate advice. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases, the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither we nor our employees give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document.
Identity McIntyre Pty Limited and Specialist Advice Pty Limited are Authorised Representative(s) of IMFG Pty Limited Limited ABN 18646084666, AFSL number 527657, an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Registered office at Level 8, 171 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000.