Coping with Alzheimer’s: Determining When Your Loved One Needs a Guardian

Caregiving

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It can be very difficult to watch your parent or spouse suffer from Alzheimer’s. While the person with the disease struggles and becomes easily frustrated as they forget things, it is just as difficult for the person who is caring for them. You want them to stay as independent as possible for as long as possible, but the sad reality is that eventually all Alzheimer patients need a guardian. Here’s how to determine the best time to designate a guardian.

Unable to Perform Daily Tasks

If the Alzheimer’s patient has trouble remembering daily tasks such as showering, eating, drinking enough fluids, this is a sign that they are not able to care for themselves any longer. Before these extremes occur, you may notice that your loved one forgets how to do things they have done all their lives, such as how to create hobbies that they have enjoyed for decades or how to mow a lawn.

As soon as you notice that your loved one is forgetting the every day things that they once knew, it is time to consider setting up a guardian for your loved one. If they are unable to perform even these everyday tasks, they do not have the cognition to deal with medical or legal matters.

Unable to Manage Finances

Many people with Alzheimer’s begin to forget about their finances. They may forget about important bills. They may also become extremely frustrated as they try to use a debit or credit card and have it declined because they have forgotten that they already spent the money. When your loved one consistently has these problems with their finances, it is a good idea to set up a guardian to handle these things for them.

Unable to Understand Doctors

If your loved one has difficulty understanding their doctor’s orders, remembering medication, or following recommendations, a guardian is usually required. As your loved one’s guardian, you will be able to remain completely informed about their medical condition and requirements. You will also be able to make informed medical decisions for your loved one.

If any of these seem immenent or are happening now, you should set up a guardian for your loved one as soon as possible. It is a good idea to designate a guardian even before it becomes absolutely necessary, soon after diagnosis. This will ensure that you are prepared for the inevitable. If you are needing to designate a guardian for your loved one, contact us today for more information.

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