When a loved one begins exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, it may be difficult to know when to step in and take control of the situation. However, one international study shows that someone who receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s may already have been struggling with its symptoms for as long as six years. This may mean they have already been making critical legal and financial mistakes. For many in Ontario who do not have powers of attorney in place, guardianship may be the most appropriate course of action.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s include forgetfulness and poor decision-making skills. These and other issues make Alzheimer’s sufferers prime targets for scams. However, even more basic problems may arise that can place a loved ones’ health and wealth at risk, such as:
- Paying monthly bills they have already paid
- Forgetting to pay critical bills, such as the mortgage or insurance premiums
- Giving more money to charities to which they have already donated or giving more than they can afford to legitimate causes
- Making investments without fully understanding the risks
- Giving away money and property they need
Of course, if a loved one is making these serious financial mistakes, it is likely his or her failing memory is causing other problems, such as forgetting to take medications or neglecting to eat properly. Through guardianship, a trusted individual can take responsibility for a loved one’s personal, financial and legal matters for their own protection. It is often a difficult decision to make, but it may be in the best interests of an ailing family member.