Dementia can be recognized through financial forgetfulness.
All people can be forgetful occasionally.
Forgetfulness is not always an indicator of dementia.
However, it is a symptom.
According to a recent Medical Express article titled “Older adults with dementia exhibit financial ‘symptoms’ up to six years before diagnosis,” financial forgetfulness is correlated to higher rates of dementia.
In fact, a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University with researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School found those with lower educational status showed financial forgetfulness as a symptom up to seven years prior to a clinical diagnosis of dementia.
Those with a higher educational status exhibited the symptom of financial forgetfulness about 2½ years before a dementia diagnosis was given.
Researchers reviewed whether these financial symptoms and problems were associated solely with dementia or with other health concerns as well.
There was no correlation between arthritis, glaucoma, or a hip fracture and the financial issues, and there was no long-term impact associated with heart attacks.
What is financial forgetfulness?
Financial forgetfulness includes missing payments and routine bills.
These missed payments lead to a higher risk of developing subprime credit scores.
Subprime credit scores are those in the fair and the lower range.
With the correlation between financial symptoms and dementia diagnoses, missed payments could be used in early detection for dementia.
Why is early detection valuable?
Although no treatment to reverse or delay dementia symptoms exists, early detection can benefit financial and estate planning.
Dementia is not uncommon.
In fact, about 14.7 percent of Americans over age 70 are diagnosed with dementia.
Dementia results in diminished cognitive skills and memory.
As a result, individuals struggle to manage personal finances and carry out basic daily tasks.
Because dementia is a progressive brain disorder, those who have the disease tend to be at a greater risk of elder financial abuse and loss of significant assets.
If you recognize financial forgetfulness in yourself or a loved one, contact an experienced estate planning attorney to create an incapacity plan and an estate plan without delay.
Reference: Medical Express (Nov. 30, 2020) “Older adults with dementia exhibit financial ‘symptoms’ up to six years before diagnosis”