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.
Any advice is general in nature only and has been prepared without considering your needs, objectives or financial situation. Before acting on it you should consider its appropriateness for you, having regard to those factors.