Seniors Receiving Consultation
February 11, 2024

How to be ready when a loved one needs an Alzheimer’s care facility

The Senior Care Experts at Ecumenical Retirement Community

“I need to get my stepdad placed ASAP. He has dementia and cannot stay at home any longer. He is 85 and mom is 84. It is deteriorating her health by caring for him.” We hear pleas like this every day, adult children urgently looking for an Alzheimer’s care facility for their aging parent. That’s why it is so important to start planning early, without the emotional stress and immediate need for dementia care.

What financial and legal documents should you have in place when considering an Alzheimer’s care facility for a loved one?

Preparing for long-term memory care requires many financial and legal considerations. The first step is to gather all your loved one’s important documents, such as a birth certificate, Social Security card, bank statements, income tax returns, real estate deeds and information, life, health and long-term care insurance policies and wills and other estate planning documents. Be sure to have the names and contact information of your loved one’s legal or financial advisors handy, too. Before entering an Alzheimer’s care facility, consider having these documents in place:


A will is a legal document that designates an executor to manage an estate, names beneficiaries and establishes the distribution of assets upon death.

Living Will or Advance Health Care Directive

This legal document specifies what life-sustaining measures a person does or does not wish to have in the event they are not able to make decisions about emergency treatment.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney designates a person to act on the behalf of another person for legal and financial decisions when they are no longer capable of doing so.

Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney for Health Care

This legal document allows a person to name someone to act upon their behalf to make medical decisions when they are no longer able to.

Medical Information Release Authorization

A medical information release authorizes information to be released to another person. It does not, however, provide any power over medical care decisions.

Pennsylvania Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) and Out-of-Hospital – Do Not Resuscitate Order (OOH-DNR)

Adults have the right, under certain conditions, to decide whether to accept or reject medical treatment and other procedures that prolong life with assistance. It is important for residents and their designated family members to be aware of what is required in order to inform medical professionals of the resident’s preferences and honor those wishes through the following healthcare directives:

POLST: This state-issued form documents an individual’s treatment choice for end-of-life care, including resuscitation preference, full or limited medical treatment or comfort procedures. It can be authorized by a physician, physician assistant or certified nurse practictioner. This order is revocable and should be reviewed annually.

OOH-DNR: This order instructs emergency personnel not to resuscitate during cardiac or respiratory arrest. This document is used by retirement communities, skilled nursing facilities, and rehab centers. An attending physician can authorize the order.

It can take time to get all the necessary financial and legal documents in order. You may wish to consult with legal and financial advisors as soon as your loved one has received a dementia diagnosis and before the need for an Alzheimer’s care facility arises.

For more information, the Alzheimer’s Association provides financial and legal tips for families dealing with dementia.

When is the best time for a loved one with dementia to enter an Alzheimer’s care facility?

The decision to enter an Alzheimer’s care facility is a personal one. It can be difficult, fraught with emotion and often urgency. Families may prefer to care for their loved one with dementia but find themselves overwhelmed and unable to provide a safe and secure environment.

Because your loved one’s cognitive function and care needs can change rapidly following a dementia diagnosis, it is important to discuss options for care, including a move to an Alzheimer’s care facility, as early as possible. To help families like yours get started with these often difficult conversations, Ecumenical’s sister community, Country Meadows Retirement Communities, has put together a comprehensive Resource Center, which includes When Is It Time for a Memory Support Program, What to Look for When Choosing a Memory Support Program and Tips for Talking with Aging Parents.

Our Harrisburg, PA Alzheimer’s care facility

Ecumenical Retirement Community is a not-for-profit, all-rental retirement community providing personalized memory support. Our compassionate caregivers are trained in memory support techniques, such as the Validation Method. Because dementia affects the whole family, we also host an on-campus Caregiver Network for families dealing with dementia. It is open to the public, whether you have a family member residing with us or not.

We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

All content contained within this page is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for advice and information from a professional financial or tax advisor. Ecumenical Retirement Community is not a provider of these financial products or of financial and tax advice and does not endorse or take responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained on the websites listed and does not receive incentive compensation from the companies and products listed here. Individuals should consult with their personal financial or tax advisor for advice about what financial options are best for them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Contact Us