Recognizing when a senior loved one might be ready for dementia care can be difficult on many levels, but a recent article in the New York Times shows that, often, financial competency is the first thing to slip.
You may still be a long way from looking into dementia care or Alzheimer’s facilities for your loved one, but that doesn’t mean that some of the signs aren’t there. For someone who is starting to show signs of dementia—even the very earliest stages—simple financial tasks they’ve done for years may become more and more difficult.
Signs of financial difficulties:
• Taking longer to complete simple tasks like paying bills
• Declining math abilities, like having trouble calculating the tip in a restaurant
• Difficulty discerning between legitimate financial inquiries and potential fraud threats
• Confusion over simple financial documents like bank statements or bills
• Not understanding simple financial concepts like deductibles or interest rates
Identifying these issues early on can help you step in and avoid major financial issues later on. Seniors are known targets for financial scams, and if your loved ones aren’t as sharp on the financial issues as they used to be, they could be even bigger targets. Even if fraud isn’t involved, mismanagement of money later in life can have huge consequences.
These early signs do not mean that your loved one immediately needs dementia care, but it is a good indicator that this is something you need to start thinking about. To help identify what you need to look for in dementia care or Alzheimer’s facilities for your loved one, visit our tip sheet on What to Look for When Choosing a Memory Support Program.