Top financial tips for people with dementia mark start of partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and Alzheimer’s Society
9 Mar 2013 09:25 GMT
Lloyds Banking Group has today (Saturday 9 March) launched a set of money management tips for people with dementia and their carers to kick-start their two year charity partnership with Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland.
The two charities and Lloyds Banking Group plan to tackle some of the problems faced by people with dementia and their carers when dealing with personal finances, exploring ways to make the banking sector more ‘dementia friendly’. This builds on work that Lloyds Banking Group has already been doing as part of the ‘Dementia Friendly Communities Champion Group’, led by Alzheimer’s Society and set up in March 2012 as a result of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.
The initiative complements the Group’s Money for Life financial education programme that is designed to support communities with money management,
including training thousands of organisations to deliver face-to-face support to vulnerable groups.
Today’s launch of the top tips is a first step by the partners to encourage people living with dementia, their family members and carers to think about what they need to do to future-proof the management of their finances. The top tips include information from arranging a power of attorney and applying for the correct benefits, to organising bank accounts.
Angela Rippon, co-chair of the Dementia Friendly Communities Champion group and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador said:
‘Dealing with finances when you are living with dementia can be a minefield. People in the early stages of the condition often feel locked out of the system, with all the many passwords and personal details they are expected to remember.'
'When a carer takes over, the pressure of getting to grips with power of attorney and trying to make decisions in the best interests of a loved one can be very stressful. These top tips from Lloyds Banking Group and Alzheimer’s Society’s Live Well partnership are a great guide to help navigate what can be a really tricky time.'
Over the course of the partnership Lloyds Banking Group hope to raise at least £2million to fund 'Live Well' – Alzheimer’s Society’s first UK-wide support programme for people with dementia and their carers. This pioneering campaign will provide life- changing guidance covering topics such as coping with challenging behaviour, communication and legal and financial information.
Graham Lindsay, Responsible Business Director at Lloyds Banking Group said:
‘With 44 per cent of people in the UK connected to someone living with dementia, we know that many of our colleagues and customers will be affected by the condition at some point in their lives.'
‘By funding the ‘Live Well’ programme, we hope to educate people in how to deal with dementia and live the best possible quality of life. Today’s launch of our top tips will serve as a valuable guide on how to plan finances when dealing with condition. We look forward to working on other similar initiatives as our partnership progresses and will ensure that our work in financial education through the Money for Life Programme will be extended to help those living with dementia.'
Liz Monks, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society said:
‘Coping with a diagnosis of dementia is a lot to take in, but it’s really important to start planning your future as well as thinking about your immediate needs. The top tips will help people do just that.'
‘We are thrilled to be partnered with Lloyds Banking Group for the next two years. The money raised will enable us to improve the lives of thousands of people with dementia and carers across the country.'
The Live Well financial top tips for people with dementia and their carers
Top tips for managing money if you are living with dementia
- Discuss money management with your family – Money can be a difficult subject to talk about but it’s important you plan how you want your finances to be managed if you became unable to look after it yourself.
- Make sure that all important papers are in order and that you know where to find them. These might include bank statements, mortgage documents, insurance policies, a will, tax and pension details and bills or guarantees.
- If you have financial assets, such as property or savings, you can set up a trust. This ensures that the assets are managed in a way that you choose, both now and in the future. There are a number of different kinds of trusts and ways of arranging them.
- Set up a lasting power of attorney (LPA). This enables you to choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf about things such as paying bills and collecting income when you no longer want to make those decisions. It’s important you set up an LPA early so that you can give your full and informed consent.
- Speak to the local bank manager. The discussion can look at extra support that may be available as your condition progresses and ways of managing money e.g. using a signature card instead of a PIN number.
Top tips for carers managing the money of a person with dementia
- Make sure your loved one is receiving all the benefits to which they are entitled. Contact your local office of the Department for Work and Pensions or Citizens Advice Bureau to find out exactly what should be being received. As a carer, you may also be entitled to benefits such as Carer’s allowance.
- For some, a joint account may be a useful way of managing finances in the early stages of dementia. However, most joint bank accounts are set up to operate only when both parties have capacity to use it. If a bank knows that someone is acting as a lasting power of attorney, they will usually want a separate bank account for that person.
- Separating your account when it comes to paying for care it is also advisable. This is because a local authority ought to be means testing the person who is in receipt of the service (e.g. home care or residential care), and no one else.
- Protect your loved one’s finances by stopping junk mail and unwanted telephone calls by signing up to the Mailing and Telephone Preference Services. Put a ‘no cold callers’ sign on the door. These can be obtained from the local trading standards department and will help prevent door-to-door salesmen from visiting.
- Speak to Alzheimer’s Society about attending the Lloyds Banking Group funded Live Well programme. The programme educates carers and people with dementia about how to deal with everyday life and how to plan for the future, including advice related to money management and finances.
Further top tips for managing your finances through a range of life events - including bereavement and retirement can be found on the Money for Life website at www.moneyforlifeprogramme.org.uk/moneymanagement