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How to plan for the future?
Posted: Monday, September 19, 2022 8:53 PM
Joined: 9/19/2022
Posts: 1

I am looking for the best way to get oriented to what is ahead… legal, financial, and logistical.  There are so many resources, but I find it a bit overwhelming.  I am unsure which suggestions apply.  What first steps do people recommend to orient to the situation?  
My mother is in her 70s and has been identified in ES of Alz.  She was first identified during the pandemic, but signs were earlier.  She is on medications and they do help.  She is in a AL program.  I am helping coordinate everything from a distance.  I am her only child.  I am originally from the US.  I have lived in Canada for 15 years and cannot move her here due to immigration restrictions, though I have tried.  We video chat every morning during breakfast with my 4yo daughter.  We are close and I have a good handle on her changes and needs day-to-day.  
However, I worry greatly about the upcoming stages and levels of support and funding needed.  I think I would worry less if there was a clear plan in place.  Thank you in advance for any guidance offered.  

Posted: Monday, September 19, 2022 11:15 PM
Joined: 2/3/2018
Posts: 1167

A great first step if you and your mom haven't done this already is to see an elder law attorney who can assist you with the legal and, if not offer some level of financial planning, refer you to someone who specializes in end-of-life planning. They can also help with medical end of life planning. You may have to consult one in Canada and one in the state your mom resides in to be on the safe side of both governments. I suspect getting all this done will take a weight off you and your mom's shoulders.

I would also contact her state or county's aging and disabilities office. They should have information about potential day centers in the area, caregiver resources that may be available locally (there's always the big guys to go to, but there might be something more homegrown in your mom's area), memory care facilities. Now, you don't have to act on any of this, but knowing who to call and what kind of info they can supply will help when it is time to potentially need these resources. It's also a good way to start doing a little budgeting - find out the average hourly rate for in-home companions now, assisted living, memory cares to figure out some financial needs in the future.

Dementia is super overwhelming, especially in the beginning, so don't rush you or your mom to know everything right now. It's all problem solving all the time so don't burn out in the first couple of years! It's also love, frustration, laughter, guilt, heartbreak, and hilarity. It's a wild ride! Keep coming here for questions, venting, empathy, and some funny stories here and there! And good luck to you both.

p.s. One of my blog posts covers the more common behaviors your dementia person may experience, you might find it useful to be aware of some of the challenges that may be coming you and your mom's way. https://www.stumpedtowndementia.com/post/every-dementia-person-is-different


Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 7:45 AM
Joined: 1/11/2013
Posts: 229

Lots of great advice already given. One thing to add, you may want to look into hiring a geriatric care manager who can manage everything for you locally. It's going to be difficult to do that long distance.
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 9:58 AM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2840

Second that suggestion from fesk, was the first thing that came to my mind.  Unless you are prepared to move back to the states I would hire someone here.  Probably worth every penny.
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 5:19 PM
Joined: 5/22/2021
Posts: 12

I manage my mother's care long distance - we are 1500 miles apart. I make lots of trips, write lots of emails, and make lots of phone calls. My mom is in a facility so we can only facetime if someone has a cell phone with the software to assist.

I would encourage you to find a virtual caregiver support group within you or your mom's local chapter (https://www.alz.org/local_resources/find_your_local_chapter). 

My group meets online every Wednesday at 5pm with Zoom. At first, I was like do I need a support group? But I have found answers to questions from people in the group who have already walked the path, sympathy, and solutions to problems.

There are also resources for Long-Distance Caregiving



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