Long before they receive a dementia diagnosis, many people start losing their ability to manage their finances and make sound decisions as their memory, organizational skills and self-control falter, studies
show. As people fall behind on their bills or make unwise purchases and investments, their bank balances and credit rating may take a hit.
Mental health experts say the pandemic may have masked such early lapses. Many older people have remained isolated from loved ones who might be the first to notice unpaid bills or unopened bank notices.
Even during times that aren’t complicated by a global health crisis, families may miss the signs that someone is struggling with finances, experts say.
Many people have mild symptoms for years before a diagnosis. During this stage, before obvious impairment, they may make substantial errors managing their finances.
Once the diagnosis is made, solutions can be implemented. Some people will hire a financial manager to help set up a system. This may involve cancelling credit cards and removing Ebay and Amazon from your phone. Others may hire a daily money manager to actually pay the bills and put them on a cash allowance per month.
When a person has a caring spouse who is not afflicted, he or she can also be a loving way to double check accounts and keep the household on a straight economic path. A gentle approach can be very helpful and actually bring a couple closer together in the conscious time they have left together.
Parts of this article were taken from an the Kaiser Health News and written by Michelle Andrews
Marc has 36 years in financial services and 6 years in teaching.
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