By, Nicole Ruggiano, PhD, MSW
Some time ago, I met a caregiver in Jefferson County named Mary who asked:
How do I get my husband to stop giving out our banking information? Sometimes I catch him on the phone talking about our finances and I have no idea who he is talking to or how much information he gave out and it scares me.
Oftentimes, one of the earliest signs that a loved one is developing dementia is when their difficulty in managing their finances becomes noticeable to others. For example, a person with dementia may be overspending to the point of financial instability. A person with dementia who is unable to manage the task of paying bills could have utilities cut off or large financial fees for late or missing payments. In other cases, like the one Mary was experiencing, a person with dementia may be at increased risk for financial exploitation or identity theft. As a result, many caregivers end up taking on the day-to-day finances for their loved one. Whether you are already managing you're loved one's finances or beginning to suspect that this task may be placed on you in the future, there are some things you should consider.
By, Bryan Ford, PhD, MSW
Caring for another human being can be one of the most rewarding accomplishments of your life. It can also be very challenging and at times, overwhelming. It disrupts our lives, forces us to change our schedules and habits; just when we feel our lives are already busy enough. Yet, how you approach care planning can be just as important as what you do.
Actively caring for another person has the potential to change your life in ways you never imagined. Caring for someone else is one of life's greatest teachers because you will learn much about yourself and those around you.
Many caregivers put pressure on themselves to do everything "perfectly." This can often result in feelings of caregiver guilt. Don't feel that you have to be perfect, just do your best. The aim here is to improve the quality of you and your loved ones’ lives. If you are starting to develop a care plan, here are five areas that you should focus on: Health, Emotional, Legal, Portfolio (financial and insurance), and Social Issues (HELPS). These HELPS tasks are the gleaned from research to get you started.
The Caregiving 101 is a resource for caregivers in Alabama who want to learn more about caregiving and dementia.
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