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MSU Extension offers updated legal and financial information for caregivers of those with memory loss

MSU News Service

Montana State University Extension has partnered with the Montana Alzheimer's Work Group, the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Alzheimer's Association-Montana Chapter and AARP Montana to offer Montana-specific information for caregivers and others concerned about memory loss.

The Work Group has a revised website with vital information on Alzheimer's in Montana, including resources for health care professionals and caregivers; a list of support agencies; and online education videos. Visit mtalzplan.org for more information. 

"Many people don't realize we have more than 22,000 people aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer's in Montana," said Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist and member of the Alzheimer's Work Group. "Dementia places substantial emotional, physical and financial stress on affected individuals and their family members. This website is a great resource if you have a loved one with memory issues."

Additionally, the work group is currently updating its state plan to better serve Montanans. The mission of the state plan is to improve the lives of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease or dementia in Montana and to provide better support for their families and caregivers. The work group's four new goals are:

• Increase public awareness, prevention and early detection of dementia, and brain heath strategies.

• Enhance the quality, access and coordination of dementia care.

• Enhance and expand support for family caregivers.

• Advance ADRD research, encourage evidence-based practices and enhance data capabilities related to dementia's impact and the effects of research into interventions.

"The purpose of the plan was, and still is, to address the current and future needs of individuals and families who are living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias," said Dan Koltz, MSU assistant professor and Extension gerontology specialist and member of the work group.

Another resource for Montanans concerned about memory loss is a free packet from MSU Extension. The packet includes fact sheets, called MontGuides, about financial and health care powers of attorney, wills, letters of last instruction, Medicaid and long-term care costs, Provider's Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, and more. The Montana Alzheimer's Association provided three brochures and information about its 24/7 helpline. AARP Montana supplied an explanation of the Montana Caregiver Act. The Montana Department of Health and Human Services added a brochure about the Montana Lifespan Respite Voucher Program.

To order the packet or download the information, visit https://www.montana.edu/extension/alzheimers/packet. Readers without computer access can contact Marsha Goetting at 406-994-5695 to leave their name and mailing address.

"We want family members to be able to execute appropriate legal documents for their circumstances," said Kerrie Reidelbach from the Montana Office on Aging. "We also want to ensure they have access to Montana-specific materials about legal and financial alternatives."

 
 
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