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 home.
- 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:
- Personal Planning: Along the Dementia Journey (PDF): A checklist to help you and your family decide if you have dealt with some important planning issues.
- Freda's Story: Living Alone and Finding Help on the Dementia Journey (PDF): Information on legal, personal and health care planning for people with dementia who live alone.
- Decision Making Checklist (PDF): A checklist of legal and ethical points to help guide people with dementia, family members or caregivers.
- A Road Map (PDF): A more in-depth guide for ethical and legal planning.
- Cam and Sally's Story and Getting Your Affairs in Order: Legal Planning and the Dementia Journey (PDF): Learn about the important legal issues that affect people with dementia and their families. Follow Cam and Sally's Story as one family's experience using the law.
- All About Me (PDF): A booklet designed for people living with dementia, to help them create a record of their background and what is important to them.
- Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry: A non-profit organization. Provides information to British Columbians about personal planning.
- Public Guardian and Trustee of B.C.: Operates under provincial law to provide assistance to adults who need support for financial and personal decision making.
Additional materials related to personal planning are available at your local Alzheimer Resource Centre.
- 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.
- Guide to Income Tax and Benefits 2019 (PDF)
- Representation Agreement
- Enduring Power of Attorney
- Writing Your Will (PDF)
- It's Your Choice: Personal Planning Tools (PDF)
- Health Care Consent
- My Voice: Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment (PDF) (B.C. Ministry of Health)
- People's Law School
- Advance Care Planning (PDF) (BC Ministry of Health)
- Watch the Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre's videos on personal planning