Sight & PSP

Standard optometrist tests six months ago have shown my husband can still read the letters off a chart. However, I have concerns that my husband is signing paperwork that he does not appreciate the ramifications of, even though he appears to others to have read the large quantity of paperwork placed before him. I feel he is not able to read and process the documents readily, but have nothing to medically support my idea. Where to go from here?

4 Replies

  • Do you have, or is he willing to giving you his Power of Attorney? As long as he's cognitive, he can still participate and contribute, but it would give you the final authority to sign or not to sign.

    My 1st visits with my Neuro when he diagnosed me was a firm directive to immediately get my POA assigned to someone.

    I gave it to my best friend, Connie, and haven't regretted it since. My impaired visual abilities does make it harder for me to read printed copy, but an even bigger concern, is my ability to truly understand/comprehend the content of what's on paper. Is/would he be the type to willingly tell you if he's understanding content 100 percent?

    Just a thought; let me know what you think.

  • The Power of Attorney suggested by Judy is a good one except it could be a catch 22 situation where your husband is already showing frontal lobe problems in decision making and won't agree to such a decision.

    I mentioned in April that many PSP sufferers have dysexecutive syndrome where they cannot handle and process "complex" material. They can read but not organise and process the content normally. To be technical, it's a striatofrontal brain problem (this area is damaged in PSP). There are other cognitive issues in PSP as well.

    How can you medically support this problem (was your question)? I would ask my neurologist to confirm this finding of dysexecutive syndrome and then have him/her write a letter to that effect to be shown to all and sundry who try and make your hubby sign anything. They then could be liable to legal problems if they are aware of his condition, and continue to place before him material that he cannot handle.

  • Mum realised she was struggling with paperwork about 3 years into her PSP (while still undiagnosed) and while she was still able to get about or ring people she went to a solicitor and made my sister and I joint Lasting Power of Attorney thinking that it would solve every problem including after death but people need to be aware that LPA dies with the person so you still need to make other arrangements like a watertight will and check that any one bank/building society account doesn't have more than £25,000 in otherwise it will go to probate. Probate can run on for years in some cases. Mum's probate was delayed as her solicitor had not dated the will properly. Luckily as there was a year mentioned on the will the Probate office accepted that it had to have been written during that year and we were luckily able to trace the legal secretary who signed the will and she completed an affidavit to say she remembered signing the will (the solicitor had gone out of business). You also need a medical provision otherwise the agencies not only have to ask the person's permission on everything but also send them a copy of every piece of paper they write on. The advanced directive is a must, as should they be admitted to hospital or care suddenly you need to provide their written consent regarding the use of DNR or feeding tubes. The Dementia Associations and Dementia clinics have such forms if you are not able to find them.I found it imperative as people would presume that mum had dementia due to her slow responses and inability to say much and the AD covered her own requests which meant no one had to make the decisions for her.If you are not able to get these things in place a sensible GP can talk to your person and ask them about DNR but can also override the person's wishes at end stage if there are too many problems to make it viable to resuscitate. Due to the Dysexecutive syndrome Mum did not agree to DNR on her AD but also did not agree to tubal feeding! So to resuscitate her at the end stage would have been pointless and her GP was able to override it on that basis. Resuscitation is rarely effective and can just be traumatic for everyone involved. It is not a good peaceful way to go.

    Good luck

  • This is a difficult question. In my case I open the mail and thus intercept any financial, legal or other mail before she sees it. This allows me to only involve her where necessary. I have a power of atty and have filed same with the financial organizations that have her IRA and other investment accounts that are (and can only be) in her name alone. This will allow me to withdraw funds for her care if I need to. She only makes a squiggle line for a signature at the moment. All other assets are in both our names and have been for a long time. This allows me to avoid probate. All I need to do is take her will (leaving all to me) to the courthouse and have it accepted. It's that simple if all assets are in both names. However if you have even one single asset that is in her name alone you will have to probate. If all is as I've indicated you don't even need a lawyer (cost savings). I know this to be true because my first wife and I had all assets in both names, she passed on, I took will to courthouse and they reviewed it, stamped it, case closed, no probate required. I recommend that you get all assets joint while you have the chance to avoid large legal fees. This of course applies in the state of Florida USA. Other countries may be different.


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