Having power of attorney (PoA) for your parent or parents suffering from dementia makes caring for them so much easier. It allows you to act on their behalf on financial and medical matters.
It is a powerful document and can be abused by some families or become a source of friction. Be informed before you go that route. Getting this document if the parent is not of sound mind may be difficult, so, you may want to plan ahead and obtain a PoA before the onset of mental decline. Thankfully, I got mine before their medical conditions took a turn for the worse.
I often spend hours each day on the phone talking to doctors, ordering prescriptions, straightening out medical bills, talking to Medicare, etc. If I did not have power of attorney, I would have to put my parent on the phone each time and they would have to tell details about themselves first and then give the person permission to talk to me. One day I was on the phone, trying to get a 1099 for my dad to get their taxes completed. The place I was talking to did not have my PoA on file. I put my dad on the phone. He could not remember his birth date, social security number or address that he lived at for over 50 years. I wrote the info down for him and we were eventually able to complete the mission. Continue reading Power of Attorney