Important Financial Information for Caregivers - Dementia Caregiver Web Support
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Important Financial Information for Caregivers

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It is important to take care of financial affairs before dementia progresses too far.  A person can allow someone else to handle personal and financial matters for them in the even they are unable to do it themselves.  These documents vary by state.


Signs of Financial Troubles

Because dementia is a progressive disease, it is important to talk to your loved one about his or her financial planning while they can knowingly voice their wishes.  Some signs that your loved one may be having financial troubles include:

  • Unopened mail piling up and unpaid bills
  • Mishandling money
  • Calls from creditors
  • Costly new purchases and hobbies
  • Complaining about not having enough money
  • Physically not able to go to the bank or pay bills


Important Information to Have on Hand

Important information to have about your loved one includes:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Property
  • Investments
  • Insurance
  • Savings

Like other important documents, keep this financial information in one place where you can easily access it, such as a filing cabinet. Let someone that you trust, such as a family member or lawyer, know where you keep this information.


Legal Assistance for Finances

The following are some legal ways in which you can help your loved one with his or her finances.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney (POA) gives someone the right to act for another person. This can include making financial or legal decisions. It can also include writing checks to pay your loved one’s bills. It stays in place if your loved one becomes unable to make decisions. It is recommended that you give the VA a copy of the POA for their records.

Living Trust

A living trust gives instructions about a person’s estate. An estate includes a person’s property and funds. The trust appoints someone to handle the estate when the person becomes unable.

Will

A will states how a person wants assets distributed at death.  It lists who is in charge of a person’s assets and includes things such as gifts or funeral wishes.

Guardianship

In a guardianship, the court appoints someone to make decisions when a person no longer can.  The family may need this if other advance planning documents are not in place. This process can take some time.


If you have questions or concerns about financial issues, contact your VA social worker.  Your loved one’s insurance may offer help with financial management. It’s important to start planning in advance.  This can save you a lot of stress and work in the future.

 


Additional Sources of Financial Assistance

Many community-based Area Agencies on Aging (ie: Eldercare, Elder Options, Eldersource, etc.) have offer assistance programs, such as Meals on Wheels for individuals who are experiencing financial troubles. Locate your local Area Agency on Aging by searching the Eldercare Locator for programs held in your community.


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VA Resources

US Department of Veterans Affairs
VA values your commitment as a partner in our pledge to care for those who have "borne the battle." We have several support and service options designed with you in mind. The programs are available both in and out of your home to help you care for yourself and the Veteran you love.

Geriatrics and Extended Care Services (GEC) is committed to optimizing the health and well-being of Veterans with multiple chronic conditions, life-limiting illness, frailty or disability associated with chronic disease, agining or injury. This VA site reviews information on delirium, dementia and Alzheimer's care, decision making, home and community based services, and advance care planning, among many other important topics that may be important for you as a caregiver.

Veteran's Crisis Line Phone: 1-800-273-8255 (Veterans Press 1)

The VA does not endorse the following resources or guarantee that their information is 100% accurate.  However, you may be able to find some helpful information by visiting the following pages:

RESCUE: Resources and Education for Stroke Caregivers' Understanding and Empowerment
A VA website that has information helpful to all caregivers, even though the focus is on those caring for Veteran's who have had a stroke.  


The VA does not endorse the following resources or guarantee that their information is 100% accurate.  However, you may be able to find some helpful information by visiting the following pages:

AARP
This section of the AARP website provides information on saving for retirement, estate plannings, employment options, consumer protection, and more.

Alzheimer's Assocication: Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiving Center
Explore the Financial and Legal Planning section to find out more information on finances and important financial documentation.

GovBenefits
GovBenefits is a partnership of Federal agencies designed to provide improved, personalized access to government assistance programs.

Veterans Benefits

The eBenefits portal is a Veterans Administration and Department of Defense one-stop shop for benefits-related online tools and information. The portal is designed for Wounded Warriors, Veterans, Service members, their families, and those who care for them. You can also get information from the National Hotline for VA benefits at 1-800-827-1000.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This site provides information about SNAP, a Federal program that helps people with little or no income buy nutritious food.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The site provides information about LIHEAP, a Federal program that helps low income households, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The site provides information about WAP), a Federal program that enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.

References: Information adapted from Alzheimer’s Association
If you have any questions or concerns, contact us.