Montana State University Extension has teamed up with several state departments to create a free packet of information related to giving care for those with memory loss.
“Legal and Financial Steps and Resources for Caregivers and Others Concerned about Memory Loss” was created in partnership with the Montana Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Workgroup, Alzheimer’s Association Montana Chapter, AARP Montana and the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
“We want to ensure those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their family caregivers have access to Montana-specific materials about legal and financial alternatives,” said Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist.
The packet includes MontGuide factsheets about financial and health care powers of attorney, wills, letters of last instruction, Medicaid and long-term care costs, provider’s orders for life-sustaining treatment and more. The Alzheimer’s Association Montana Chapter has also provided three brochures and information about its 24/7 helpline.
“Early planning allows the person with dementia to be involved and express their wishes for future care and decisions,” said Lynn Mullowney, executive director of the chapter. “This eliminates guesswork for families and allows for the person with dementia to designate decision makers. Early planning also allows time to work through the complex legal and financial issues involved in long-term care.”
AARP Montana provided materials that explain the Montana Caregiver Act, which, according to the organization’s Outreach Director Nancy Anderson, provides support when patients return home after hospital stays. The act requires hospitals to notify caregivers about the patient’s release and instructs the caregiver on managing medication and other at-home care.
Kerrie Reidelbach from the Montana Office on Aging said she believes this information is crucial for Montana families dealing with memory loss situations. Its office has a Legal Developer Program, which can help people age 60 and older draft documents, as well as figure out which are most appropriate for their situation.
“We want family members to be able to execute appropriate legal documents for their circumstances,” Reidelbach said. “We also want to provide access to printed materials for those who do not have computers or have difficulty accessing internet services.”
For a free copy or to download the packet, go to: alzheimers.msuextension.org/concernedaboutmemoryresources.html, call 406-994-3511, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.