In this section, the caregiver will find a number of practical approaches to some difficult and challenging issues associated with Alzheimer’s. Sexuality, home safety, wandering, *legal and financial issues, and *driving are topics that frequently become stumbling blocks for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Obtaining information on Safe Return, Project Lifesaver, and Silver Alert before your loved one wanders or is lost is very important. Planning ahead is always vital to smooth sailing.
*Legal and financial issues must be addressed by the caregiver EARLY in the Alzheimer’s disease process. To sign legal and financial documents, persons with dementia must be deemed to have “legal capacity” and be able to understand what is being signed. With the progression of dementia, there comes a time when the person with dementia will not understand what he is being asked to sign or may not be able to sign his name. This pertains to new documents as well as to changes made to previously signed documents. A caregiver is also at risk for becoming ill, and plans need to be in place should the caregiver become ill or involved in an accident.
*Driving will eventually have to stop as the person with dementia’s judgment, reasoning, perception, and memory become more impaired. Alzheimer’s driving is an extremely sensitive issue for a person with dementia, but there are approaches and tools that may make the transition to not driving easier.