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AL Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Ways to Plan for a Loved One with a Disabling Conditions

Do you have a disabled loved one in your family? Are you caring for your loved one? As an Alabama estate planning and elder law attorney, my firm knows just how challenging it can be to ensure that your loved one is protected on a daily basis. In addition, when you add to these lifetime caregiving needs by beginning to think about a future that may not include you, we understand if you not only face decision paralysis but fear of the unknown. 

We, therefore, would like to start by putting your mind at ease. While we may not personally understand what you are going through, as every person’s situation is unique, we do understand the Alabama law surrounding how you may protect yourself and your loved one. There are planning opportunities to ensure that your loved one with a disabling condition will be supported.

Watching a loved one struggle with a disabling condition is heartbreaking and challenging. Your loved one may be sad or confused and become angry, have outbursts or be silent. It may be hard to be a caregiver, even under the best of circumstances, so remind yourself that what you are witnessing may be the symptoms of the disability of your loved one.  There may be nothing you can do to change him or her, nor should you expect the behavior to change.

In fact, we would like to share the following techniques with you that you could use them to comfort your loved one and keep him or her safe within the disease process.

1. Remember to not leave things to chance, or memory. You have so much going on. You must make sure there is a detailed record of what you do, and do not do, for your loved one. From prescriptions to allergies to doctors to care needs. Get the support you need and make sure others have access to this information as well.

2. Try to always keep things simple. A person with a disability can often be overwhelmed by the confusion of the situation. You may often want to jump in and try to explain in an effort to help. Instead, breaking things down into the simplest of tasks may be the best support you can give.

3. Help your loved one establish a routine. In addition to keeping things simple, a routine can also help your loved one feel safe. A morning routine, regular meal times and a daily walk are suggestions of ways to provide structure to your loved one. Create a written schedule that can hang on the wall or set timers to help them remember a routine. The goal should always be to retain the dignity of your loved one.  If you need to talk about using supportive devices, be sure to broach the subject with encouragement and love, as opposed to a paternalistic or demeaning way.

4. Most importantly, get the legal planning you need to accomplish your goals. The law helping those with a disabling condition is complicated. You need an experienced Alabama attorney on your side. In addition to creating the estate planning you need for both your lifetime, and the future of your loved one, you also need to have the guidance of an Alabama elder law attorney who can let you know what actions could potentially remove your loved one from access to both state and federal benefits.

Try to be kind to yourself. Caring for another person can be a chaotic experience. It may not always go perfectly, so be sure to treat yourself with the same kindness that you would treat your loved one. The fact that you are caring for your loved one is the greatest source of support and comfort you can provide. 

At the end of the day, estate planning is not just for you. Instead, it is for the ones you love most. If we can answer any questions for you on putting this estate planning in place, please do not hesitate to let us know. For more information, please reach out to our office and schedule a time to meet.

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