Hannah Davies's look at it my way column: about dementia and finances
It's been a quiet week for me and I've not been able to see Mum much as I've had a stinking cold. Visiting a care home with a cold, cough or other virus doesn't seem fair to the staff or residents, so I've phoned and sent my love to Mum through other people.
Being inside with my laptop means I've had time to start my annual report on Mum's finances that I have to submit quite soon. We missed the opportunity to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney for Mum, all of us being in denial at the speed of the disease's progression, and suddenly found ourselves in the situation where Mum was diagnosed as not being able to make sound financial or legal decisions for herself. We had to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy, me, and now there are considerable reporting responsibilities. The Office of the Public Guardian protects vulnerable people and their finances and rightly I have to justify every penny spent of Mum's money, be it for toiletries, clothes or Christmas presents for her grandchildren.
A Lasting Power of Attorney seems much more straightforward if the person with dementia feels confident enough at the time to sign that paperwork. Although the time when you need to get the legal paperwork signed can often be when the condition triggers feelings of paranoia and with all the stress of this and the illness, family relationships can become strained. For me, getting great advice from a solicitor experienced in the situation made it much less painful than I'm sure it could have been.
If you would like to share your experiences of caring email: Write-to-Hannah@hotmail.co.ukFor further information about the services and support available from the Alzheimer's Society visit www.alzheimers.org.uk or call 0300 2221122
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