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When Douglas MacLean was 23, he began his financial advisory practice with the Barnum Financial Group. Business went well for the next few years until, in 2017, his mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

dementia 3268560 640smallAt 61 years old, the diagnosis caught his family by surprise and eventually led MacLean to make some changes to his practice based on his experiences with his mom.

I realized that as a financial advisor, my most valuable contribution would be learning what we could and should do financially to prepare for a much different future for our mom and family,” he writes for Financial Planning. “It was clear that our family needed a long-term financial plan that would meet changing needs as the disease advanced and address issues such as care giving, long term care, housing and possible life insurance for family caregivers.”

He began organizing documents, such as wills, and had many family meetings with lawyers. “I remember how difficult and emotionally draining those meetings were,” he writes. His research put him in contact with a range of professionals in a number of fields like home care and adult day services.

“While all this was done on behalf of my mother, I was gaining in-depth perspective that could benefit many individuals and families who have a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s,” he writes. “When I begin my work with clients at Barnum now, whether Alzheimer’s is present or not, I am much more aware and sensitive to different challenges that can arise.”

He adds that he tried to meet with his clients’ entire family, including any children, so that everyone involved has a full picture of possible needs and solutions.

Read the full article from Financial Planning.

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