• June 27, 2011 /  Resources

    dementia alzheimersAlzheimer’s is a subject Laura Wayman knows well. I have had the pleasure of sitting in her seminars and learning about dementia. As California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, I come in contact with clients who are in various stages of dementia and Laura’s classes and book have helped me identify what might be dementia so I can get help for them. I am not an expert just because I have listened to her and read her book (A Loving Approach to Dementia Care) but I have come away with tools that help me in communicating with my clients and it’s those tools that have made my life less stressful and allow me a richer relationship with my clients.

    Here a couple of quotes from her work:

    “When someone is acting in ways that don’t make sense, we tend to want to carefully explain the situation from our “normal perspective”, calling on his or her sense of appropriateness to achieve more “normal behavior” and compliance. However, dementia-challenged adults are no longer able to access the “boss function” in their brain any longer, so they cannot respond as they did before dementia to discussions, arguments, or customary communication approaches,
    no matter how much our reasoning seems like straightforward common sense to us. This simple motto applies well to communication with a person with any form of dementia; “Only tell them what they can handle, and as the dementia progresses, they can handle less and less.”


    sited June 23, 2011

    “…do not argue with a confused person. Arguing may only escalate and fan the fires of anger, anxiety, paranoia, and fear. If you cannot win the battle, change the war No matter how outlandish the claim or accusation, listen and proceed as though you believe everything the person with dementia is saying. Plan to take action that will give the person with dementia is saying. Plan to take action that will give the person a sense of relief To her, the most frustrating response is for you to argue or try to convince her that the satiation is not real.

    Imagine what it would be like if you thought you were being followed home by a strange car one evening, thought you had been receiving odd or threatening phone calls, or thought you saw someone hiding outside your bedroom window. Now imagine that you shared your fears with your family and friends, and that even though you were genuinely scared, they calmly dismissed your anxiety as foolishness. How would this make you feel?”

    A Loving Approach to Dementia Care, Making Meaningful connections with the Person Who Has Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementia or Memory Loss – Laura Wayman, The John Hopkins University Press, 2011 Pg. 54

    Link: https://www.dementiawhisperers.com/

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  • June 13, 2011 /  Basics

    special needs trustA special needs trust is set up for one of two reasons:

    1. Court ordered on behalf of a person so someone independent can manage funds either up to a certain age or permanently.

    2. Guardians, i.e. parents of a special needs person, sets it up so the special needs person can receive public benefits and still have other expenses cared for. Someone else manages the cash to pay for other expenses not covered by public benefits. Public benefits covers food and shelter and the trust can pay for clothing, furniture, car, gasoline, insurance, etc.

    If there is a pool of money, the fiduciary must invest it wisely to get a return for the client according to the Uniform Prudent Investors Act in the California Probate Code. Other income must also be managed appropriately.

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  • June 13, 2011 /  Basics

    living trustsThere are various types of living trusts, including revocable and irrevocable.


    The Trustor is alive but has resigned as Trustee for a variety of reasons. A fiduciary is asked to be Successor Trustee. This Trust is revocable and the Trustor is still alive and has capacity, the ability to make decisions. Though the Trustor may not make financial decisions, he or she may still make medical decisions. The fiduciary handles financial aspects such as figuring out bills, income, and managing the finances. The fiduciary may be removed at any time from this position by the Trustor.

    The fiduciary can manage a wide variety of things including overseeing property and investments. Much like a CEO oversees a company, the fiduciary oversees things and may hire a property management company to handle overseeing the property. The fiduciary also looks for investors that match the goals he’s trying to reach with the Trustor’s investments.

    On the medical side, if the Trustor loses capacity and the fiduciary was appointed with Health Powers of Attorney, the fiduciary works with nurses and medical professionals to develop a care plan for the client. Over time the plan may change as the Trustor’s health changes. That may change the financial plan as well if additional funds are needed to cover medical costs.


    There are several types of Irrevocable Trusts. The trust is generally frozen and no changes can be made unless ordered by the court. The Trustee acts according to the terms of the Trust and California Probate Code.

    The fiduciary is a professional designed to have time to care for all these needs. He or she is dedicated wholeheartedly to taking care of people and their estates. Family members can rest easier knowing these needs are being taken care of without their having to take time off from work and it taking a toll on their busy lives and schedule to care for all of this and any expenses incurred.

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