When someone is living with a memory condition like Alzheimer’s disease, their family members will often be concerned about their physical safety. In the early stages of dementia, however, another threat arises. It is worrying when financial duties start to become complicated and they have to confront the difficulty of managing their own money. It is one of the first symptoms that appears and the person will struggle with tasks like balancing their checkbook.
As their condition progresses, they might attempt to conceal their financial troubles in order to maintain their independence. They could also be unaware of the situation. Find out about how older adults can learn to manage both their finances and Alzheimer’s disease.
Indicators of Financial Difficulties
Some obvious symptoms of an older adult dealing with financial troubles include difficulty counting change, deciphering a bank statement, or even paying for a product. It can also be evident in their choice of words when discussing money. Other signs include unpaid bills and unusual new purchases. Entrusting a family member to analyze bank statements and other associated financial papers to ensure that the individual with Alzheimer’s illness is doing well is also a smart idea.
Steps to Take to Help
What should you do if you discover that a loved one is having financial difficulties? You can take quick action by adding a co-signer to their banks and automating bill payments. This makes bill payments easier and ensures that they are paid on time. If it makes them feel better, offer them a modest amount of money to keep in their wallet or handbag. However, you must exercise caution in allowing them some independence, as it may be intrusive to manage their financial matters without their permission. If you are planning to avoid serious complications, there might be a need to take over the finances through legal means. Do note that you will need to approach this transfer with understanding and respect.
Protection Against Financial Abuse
Persons with Alzheimer’s may be victims of financial exploitation or scams committed by dishonest people. Unfortunately, sometimes the perpetrator can be someone who is close to them. There is plenty of evidence that can point to the financial abuse or fraud that they have experienced. Some examples are signatures on the paperwork that does not seem to be theirs. At times, it could also be that their will was altered without consent or they signed legal documents without understanding the contents of the papers. Items in the house such as clothing or jewelry could also be missing from their home. Before these problems surface, it is best to discuss with them preventive methods.
Lastly, the major action is to delve into the legalities to preserve your loved ones and their finances. Speak with an attorney in the state to find out what legal procedures can be done. A durable power of attorney for finances is one example of such a document. This document delegated authority to the chosen person to make legal and financial decisions for the person suffering from dementia. It will be required in the long run to protect the finances of someone suffering from dementia.