It should go without saying that dementia and Alzheimer’s is hard on everyone, both the person suffering from either condition and those caring for the afflicted.

The Montana State University Extension, in partnership with the Montana Alzheimer’s Work Group, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Alzheimer’s Association-Montana Chapter and AARP Montana, has put together an updated informational packet with legal and financial information for caregivers, tailored specifically for residents of the Treasure State.

While it is geared towards anyone diagnosed with either condition or caring for someone who has been diagnosed, the information is universally applicable.  According to the press release from MSU Extension, inside the packet are fact sheets covering topics like: types of power of attorney, wills and estate planning, Medicaid, and more. Brochures with information on the MT Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline, an explanation of the MT Caregiver Act, and the MT Lifespan Respite Voucher Program, which helps provide various forms of assistance to the caregivers, are also included.

You can view the various guides and resources online, or request a copy be mailed to you, on this web page.

I know the topic isn’t exactly pleasant to contemplate, but here are some things that should really be discussed, even if you’re in good health.

Financial Power of Attorney: Who will have the ability to make financial decisions in the event you are unable to?

Medical Power of Attorney: Same as above, but for medical decisions.

Wills: Even if you’re in good health, you should have an updated will. I don’t want to go into detail, but a relative of mine died a while back, and their will hadn’t been updated in 40 years. I should also point out that the packet includes information about what happens if someone dies without a will.

Ok, I'm stepping down from the soapbox, and going to prod my parents into making sure their stuff is up to date.

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