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All About Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

A report in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests age-related changes in the brain can affect a person’s ability to make financial decisions even in the absence of cognitive decline. The authors of the report refer to this phenomenon as age-associated financial vulnerability. Here are a few things you need to know about this condition.

Understanding the Risk Factors for Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability

Seniors may be financially vulnerable if their behaviors result in a loss of resources and are inconsistent with how they previously managed their finances. Seniors at risk of age-associated financial vulnerability include:

  • Those who are socially isolated
  • Those with vision, hearing, or mobility impairments
  • Those who have progressive illnesses that cause cognitive decline
  • Those who take medications that affect cognitive abilities.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Palm Beach families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Identifying the Signs of Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability

If your senior loved one is otherwise independent, it may be difficult to discuss financial matters. However, there are a few signs that indicate the need for such discussion:

  • You see stacks of unopened mail or evidence of unpaid bills
  • Your loved one talks about participating in dubious investment or marketing schemes
  • You notice frequent overdrafts or unusual activity on your loved one’s bank accounts
  • Your loved one frequently talks about making donations to organizations and charities
  • You notice your loved one engaging in gambling or other risky behaviors in hopes of solving his or her financial difficulties
  • Your loved one shows a decrease in math skills or the ability to understand basic financial concepts

Dementia and other types of cognitive decline can make your loved one susceptible to age-associated financial vulnerability. In Palm Beach, FL, dementia care professionals are available around the clock to help seniors with memory-related conditions age in place safely and comfortably. At Home Care Assistance, we understand the needs of seniors with dementia and the unique challenges they face as the disease progresses.

How You Can Protect Your Loved One

Enlist the aid of other family members or even your loved one’s doctor when discussing the subject of financial vulnerability. There are steps you can take to protect your loved one:

  • Add your loved one’s phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry
  • Encourage your loved one to use caller ID and never answer calls from unknown numbers
  • Purchase a phone for your loved one that only accepts calls from a preapproved contact list
  • Remove your loved one from mailing lists by visiting the Direct Marketing Association website at DMAChoice.org or by contacting the company directly
  • Encourage your loved one to remain physically active and socially engaged
  • Ask to be added to your loved one’s bank and credit card accounts so you can monitor the activity
  • Make sure your loved one has a financial power of attorney in place in the event you need to intervene

If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he or she is at a greater risk of age-associated financial vulnerability. While you should discuss this vulnerability with a doctor or legal expert, you should also consider hiring a professional caregiver for your loved one. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Palm Beach families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s home care needs. To create a customized Alzheimer’s care plan for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 561.429.8292 today.