Living with dementia

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Personal planning

What is personal planning?

Personal planning is about making arrangements to prepare for a time when a person may need help managing their affairs.

Personal planning allows a person with dementia to stay in control of their own future. It can also make things easier for family and friends by giving them legal authority to carry out the person's wishes.

Personal planning involves all areas of life, including:

  • Health care.
  • Personal care.
  • Legal affairs.
  • Financial affairs.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia highlights the need to think about personal planning. The time to plan is now!

Why is early planning important?

  • Early planning honours the person with dementia because it allows them the opportunity to participate in making decisions about their own future.
  • Waiting increases the risk that it will be difficult to have a process where the views and wishes of the person with dementia are made known.
  • The person with dementia may be required to have “legal competency” in order to sign several important documents related to planning.
  • Personal planning can help avoid crises and make future situations more manageable.

What does personal planning involve?

Personal planning will mean different things for different people, as everyone's situation is unique. Most families will benefit from considering the following areas:

  • Arranging for the management of a person with dementia's financial and legal affairs.
  • Understanding tax benefits that may apply to your family.
  • Making health care decisions.
  • Discussing the person's living situation, including decisions about moving to a long-term care facility.
  • Making decisions together about what to do when the person with dementia can no longer drive safely.
  • Making a will and funeral arrangements.

Where do I start?

Visit the following links to help you get started:

Additional materials related to personal planning are available at your local Alzheimer Resource Centre.

Important notes

  • A variety of personal planning resources and tools are available to British Columbians. The Alzheimer Society of B.C. suggests that people with dementia and their families explore the range of options available to determine which personal planning strategies are best suited to their circumstances.
  • Nothing on this website can replace seeking independent legal and financial advice about your particular circumstances.

Additional resources


Last Updated: 02/14/17
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