Living with dementia
We know dementia impacts many of our clients and so we’ve been working to build a strong understanding of what living with dementia means for our clients. Many of our colleagues are now Dementia Friends which means they are trained to support those affected. We’ve put together information below to help you if you’re living with dementia or supporting someone living with it.
Helpful tips for looking after your finances
Here are our 5 tips to help you get a handle on your finances so you can concentrate on the important stuff:
Set up a Power of Attorney
As dementia progresses it might eventually reach a point where you need help with decision-making. Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in advance, while in good health, is a good way to take the worry out of who will step in to manage affairs later. It also gives you reassurance that someone you trust is ready to take on this role. You can still make your own decisions. An LPA is in place just in case support is needed. You can find out more about this here.
Dementia can impact how you understand information and relationships with people. It’s a sad fact that fraudsters tend to target those who’re older or in vulnerable circumstances.
You can set up a separate bank account to limit the money they have access to. You can also make it harder for scammers to approach with a call blocker for their phone, and by signing up to a telephone and mailing preference service to cut down on junk mail and nuisance calls. Visit our security centre to find out more about avoiding scams.
Help with regular payments
A person living with dementia might have difficulties remembering to pay regular payments which could lead to unpaid debts. To avoid this, try to set up Direct Debits and automate payments for their bills and any regular payments. If you can visit, keep an eye on the post, particularly any unopened envelopes.
Setting up a third party mandate
This is quicker than setting up an LPA and is a good option for those who want help with simpler actions like setting up Direct Debits or monitoring spending. If you have an LPA, you can cancel credit cards and any overdraft facility to stop running up debt. If you don’t have an LPA, you can discuss setting up a third party mandate on their bank account, so you can help monitor the accounts. You can link accounts which acts very much like a third party mandate. Find out more about linking your account and supporting someone else with their finances here.
Forgetting or sharing PINs
If the person you’re helping is having trouble remembering their PIN for their bank account they might write it down and end up sharing it either deliberately or accidentally.
You can talk to their bank and arrange for them to have a card that lets them spend with their signature. When contacting the bank over the phone it’ll help if you’re both present for the call.
Support for you and support for them
The Alzheimer’s Society has lots of support on their website for people caring for someone living with dementia. They’re there to help you so get in touch if you need some guidance or support.
You can also contact their online community, Dementia Talking Point, where you can share and read about other people’s experiences.
If you need to speak to someone straight away you can contact their dementia connect support line on 0333 150 3456. Whether this is to ask questions, get advice or just for someone to talk to, they’re there to help.
Could financial advice help?
Managing costs and getting a plan in place for the future can be incredibly difficult and complex. For expert support and guidance, you might want to consider financial advice.
Whether you’re living with dementia, or you’re caring for someone who is, we can help with financial planning. We have a team of trained SOLLA (Society of Later Life Association) financial advisers who specialise in this area.
The first step is to book a call back with our advisory helpdesk. They won’t provide personalised advice on the call but they can help you determine if you would benefit from advice, and discuss the costs. If advice isn’t right for you, they’ll point you to free tools and information instead.
Organisations that can offer support
The local authority of the person you care for might be able to help you care more effectively, you can find their details on the Gov.uk website. Here are some other organisations who can also help:
A guide to social care
Expert advice, information and support
Information on Government services and allowances for carers
Money Advice Service
Advice for paying for the cost of care and managing money