World Alzheimer's Month

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World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month

Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can be a daunting moment, just as it can be if you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As a person who has first-hand experience of a family member being diagnosed with and going through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease, I can understand how this can make you feel.

The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells which are connected to each other. In a person living with Alzheimer’s disease, some of these connections are lost which then causes dementia. Some symptoms of this are memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.

There are more than 520,000 people in the UK alone who have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s disease, 2021). Knowing that there are so many other people within the UK in your shoes, can really help you feel supported and not alone. Whether it’s yourself or a person you know with Alzheimer’s disease, there are many support networks out there offering support, guidance and advice, such as the Alzheimer’s Society.

Access to insurance

When it comes to taking out life insurance, this can be quite a tricky conversation to have, as it can be somewhat difficult to obtain life insurance. There are options and our advisers are here to help you, so that we can take some of the trickiness away from you. Insurances that cover funeral costs such as Guaranteed Over 50’s life cover can be a good choice, as these usually don’t have any medical questions and can still give you peace of mind knowing that your family won’t struggle with any unexpected costs in the event of your death.

An important thing to be aware of, is that if you are speaking with an adviser and you share that you have Alzheimer’s with them, they should immediately take a slightly different approach to advising you. The adviser will want to make sure that you absolutely know what you are arranging and that you are not being influenced into buying the policy. It is part of an adviser’s safeguarding procedures and it is done with your best interests at heart. It might be that the adviser asks you to have a loved one or friend join the conversation, or they might ask if there are any power of attorneys in place.

There are a few things some insurers will want to know to fully assess your application. This will include when you were diagnosed with Alzhiemer’s disease, what your symptoms are and how the condition is currently affecting your ability to work and complete day to day tasks. Most insurers will also want to make sure that you fully understand the insurance policy and what it offers, before they offer any terms of cover.

It’s quite common practice for an insurer to ask for a medical report from your GP surgery to support your application, in my eyes this is quite a good thing as the insurer will have a clear understanding of your diagnosis, so there should be no queries about you answering the questions rightly or wrongly. 

It could be that you are still completely able to make your own decisions, but not able to communicate as clearly as you used to be able to. This is when a power of attorney is likely to become useful. In the UK, a power of attorney is a legal document which allows a person to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf if you’re no longer able to or want to make your own decisions, this can be temporary or permanent. You can also appoint one person, or multiple people to make decisions on your behalf. 

There are different types of power of attorney:

  • Ordinary power of attorney
    • This covers decisions about a person’s financial affairs and is valid where a person has mental capacity. It is suitable for if a person needs cover temporarily, such as during a hospital stay or a time where you may be finding it difficult to get out. This will come to an end if you were to lose the mental capacity to make decisions.
  • Lasting power of attorney (LPA)
    • This covers decisions regarding financial affairs as well as health and care. This comes into place if a person loses mental capacity or chooses to no longer make their own decisions. Many people set these up to ensure they are covered in the future.


You must be careful when registering a power of attorney, as there are many websites that will take advantage of a person’s needs, by possibly charging more money than necessary or not correctly registering a person as your power of attorney. You can register a power of attorney online or by completing paper forms and sending them to the correct postal address to be dealt with, please use the government website
https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

For life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection, there can be options for people that are living with Alzheimer’s. It is not possible to say exactly what is available and what isn’t, as there are so many different routes to these insurances. Some may have exclusions relating to the Alzheimer’s, others may not, it is completely down to your individual circumstances.

Please call one of our team who support you. We will provide you with clear guidance as to what insurances will be available to you, so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for you.

References

Alzheimer’s Society. 2021. Alzheimer’s disease. [online] Available at: <https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/alzheimers-disease> [Accessed 14 September 2021].

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