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Dollars and Sense May Be Signs of Alzheimers

- Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dollars and Sense May Be Signs of Alzheimer’s

(From Mays Rocky Mount Cottage Newsletter)

A red flag that signals whether someone may be facing a life with Alzheimer' disease focuses on some green-green as in money.  A decline in money management skills appear to be an early sign of Alzheimer’, based on a study funded in 2009 by the National Institute on Aging.  The study looked at people with mild memory impairment, a phase before the onset of Alzheimer’s.  For 25 out of 87 patients who succumbed to Alzheimer’s a year after the study started, financial skills wont on a steep decline.  These patients had a tough time balancing and understanding a checkbook (including writing a check correctly but failing to calculate the balance), counting change, detecting potential fraud, preparing bills to mail on time, making grocery purchases and reading bank statements.  

Because the ability to manage finances is important for successful independent living, family members, care givers, and doctors need to be aware of how a patient is coping with finances.  Closely watch the situation, and check to see if the patient is missing payments, losing track of money, or making other funding faux pas.