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Legal Plans to Consider After a Dementia Diagnosis

It’s important for seniors facing dementia to make informed legal decisions while it’s possible. While not a pleasant subject, making these legal plans early protects the senior’s wishes and quality of life, as well as loved ones by offering clear guidance on the type of care that should be provided. Toronto senior care experts recommend having the following in place to determine who manages financial and medical decisions when necessary.

Living Will and Health Care Proxy
A living will allows someone to declare his or her wishes about the use of medical procedures. A health care proxy, on the other hand, gives caregivers in Toronto the legal right to make medical decisions for the senior. These documents should be completed as soon as possible after diagnosis so the person with dementia can make sure his or her wishes for treatment are understood. Both of these documents will only come into effect when a doctor determines the senior with dementia can no longer make his or her own medical decisions.

Power of Attorney for Finance
This legal document designates someone to handle the senior’s finances when he or she cannot. This is an important legal document for anyone with dementia, as it designates a trusted individual to manage the person’s money on his or her behalf. Without it, a judge will appoint someone to manage the finances. 

POLST Document
The Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment document allows seniors who are facing dementia to decide what treatments they do and do not want. This document is important for seniors who do not want emergency responders to perform CPR or those who want a Do Not Resuscitate order. 

Will
A will allows a senior to determine how his or her estate will be dispersed following death. Without a will, the estate must go through the complicated probate process and belongings and money may not go to the family members, friends, and organizations the senior wishes. 

After a dementia diagnosis, you might also want to discuss plans for long-term dementia care in Toronto with your senior loved one. Most seniors wish to age in place, which is also recommended for seniors with memory impairment. If your loved one wishes to remain at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance at (416) 488-8777 to learn about our customized dementia care services. Our experienced Care Managers are available 24/7 to take your call.