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How do you replace lost IDs for a person with dementia?

I was hoping someone could help me figure out what to do. My MIL is suffering from dementia and it has reached a critical stage where she needs to get into a safe living situation as quickly as possible.

My SIL has found a Memory Care facility with an opening but they require papers such as ID, Social Security, Insurance, etc. We have now found out that MIL has either lost, destroyed or hidden all documentation of her existence. Where do you start to repair this damage - how do you restore these documents when the person either can not or will not cooperate? No one in the family knows what to do because normally to replace things like a driver's license or social security card you need to bring 2 forms of ID. BUT EVERYTHING IS MISSING AND SHE HAS NO FORMS OF ID AT ALL. Even her insurance papers, birth certificate, bank records and passport are all gone. Her doctor might be able to help because she does have medical records but the doctor is afraid to cooperate because of privacy laws.

We don't have much time because the room can only be held until the end of February and MIL's condition is quickly declining into an emergency as she is a danger to herself and others. Any help would be greatly appreciated as we don't know where to start.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Status: Open    Feb 07, 2016 - 09:15 AM

Dementia

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Expert Answers

Feb 10, 2016 - 10:33 AM

My heart goes out to you and your family in this situation, dealing with someone with dementia is always tough, but you all now have an added layer of problems. Does your MIL have a Durable Power of Attorney naming someone as her agent? The agent can work on obtaining these documents on her behalf if she is not cooperative. If there is not a POA, you may consider filing for Guardianship/Conservatorship, which might be necessary to complete some of the paperwork ahead. You should seek a local attorney to help you determine if this is the necessary course of action. (Elder Law attorneys in your area can be found at https://www.naela.org -- then click on "About" then "Consumers" and "Find an Attorney".

The agent or Guardian can call her insurance companies, utility companies, doctor's office, etc. to request these documents on MIL's behalf. You can likely order a birth certificate through the state or county where she was born. This may not require any forms of ID just to order, and many states have order forms that you can download online. Once you have a birth certificate and a utility bill, for example, you may be able to get a state issued ID card.

Good luck to you and your family!

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Feb 10, 2016 - 10:33 AM

My heart goes out to you and your family in this situation, dealing with someone with dementia is always tough, but you all now have an added layer of problems. Does your MIL have a Durable Power of Attorney naming someone as her agent? The agent can work on obtaining these documents on her behalf if she is not cooperative. If there is not a POA, you may consider filing for Guardianship/Conservatorship, which might be necessary to complete some of the paperwork ahead. You should seek a local attorney to help you determine if this is the necessary course of action. (Elder Law attorneys in your area can be found at https://www.naela.org -- then click on "About" then "Consumers" and "Find an Attorney".

The agent or Guardian can call her insurance companies, utility companies, doctor's office, etc. to request these documents on MIL's behalf. You can likely order a birth certificate through the state or county where she was born. This may not require any forms of ID just to order, and many states have order forms that you can download online. Once you have a birth certificate and a utility bill, for example, you may be able to get a state issued ID card.

Good luck to you and your family!
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