Researchers from Maryland and Michigan recently published an article that found that people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder were more likely to be billed six years before their diagnosis than older adults without a diagnosis (7.7% versus 7%) , 3%). and they were also more likely to develop subprime credit scores (7.9% versus 6.9%). As the authors admit, there were a number of problems with the study, including an unequal agreement in the mean age of the groups (79.4 versus 74.0 years), which could mean that the results were actually based on age and not on Alzheimer’s -Disease. The authors have tried to make up for this difference with their statistical analyzes, but sometimes this does not fully correct this type of inequality.
The tip of the eisberg
The biggest problem with the study, however, is that it grossly underestimates the real financial hardships people with Alzheimer’s disease face. After reading this article, one might think, “Well these differences are only 1% or less, that’s not a big deal.” However, the article does not address the main financial problems faced by people with Alzheimer’s disease: poor decision-making and the related problem of falling victim to financial fraud.
How many times a week – or on a day – does your phone ring for someone offering you a new credit card, car loan, or investment deal? How often do you get a call from someone who says it was from your credit card company or Social Security Agency?
Fraud is a big problem as one in 18 cognitively intact older adults in the United States falls victim to it. However, people with Alzheimer’s disease and people in the pre-dementia stage with mild cognitive impairment are even more susceptible. Research in healthy older adults suggests that susceptibility to cheating is related to shrinkage of memory-related structures in the brain – some of the same structures that shrink in Alzheimer’s disease.
Impaired judgment and decision-making
People with Alzheimer’s disease fall victim to fraud for impairing judgment and decision-making. Making financial decisions requires the coordinated functioning of many brain systems in order to retrieve previous information from memory, to incorporate new information into memory, to consider and analyze this information. People with Alzheimer’s disease have problems with the brain system that is involved in all of these functions.
It is this difficulty in decision making and judgment that leads to the next two biggest financial problems in Alzheimer’s disease. The first is to donate too much money to legitimate causes and the second is to make bad financial investments.
You may have had recent calls from your local police force or fire department pension fund, in addition to calls from organizations like Save the Children. You may want to donate to some of these causes. But did you donate to this organization last month? How much money should you give How often should you give
It can be difficult for anyone to keep all of these legitimate reasons in mind and donate a decent amount within your budget. People with memory and judgment disorders have much greater trouble knowing what charities they have given to lately – and when to stop donating money so they have enough for this month’s food, rent, and warmth!
Even the most intelligent people with excellent memories sometimes make poor investment decisions, resulting in significant financial losses. Given its complexity, it is not surprising that many individuals who eventually develop memory disorder have made poor investment decisions in the years prior to their diagnosis. Unfortunately, I have seen many families’ savings wiped out in this way.
Protect yourself and your loved ones
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from such financial troubles.
- Avoid scams by not answering the phone unless you know him. Even better, you can set up your smartphone to silence unknown callers.
- Decide in advance for the year which legitimate charities you would like to donate to. Write them checks and do not answer other inquiries.
- Make investment decisions with a trusted family member, friend, or financial advisor. Financial investment decisions can always require an extra pair of eyes.
- If you’ve done all of these things and are still having problems, try setting up a separate bank account that only contains a small amount of money and a credit card with a low spending limit.
These measures allow you to continue your everyday life without buying expensive items or giving away large sums of money.