Encountering financial issues is not something that can be avoided for people who have dementia. It is important to learn how to help and support those who may be going through this hardship. One of the most common ways that people with dementia can lose their money is by scams. In fact, scammers will target the elderly, because they know how susceptible they can be to false promises.
Dementia & Signs Of Money Issues
At first, managing money is still possible for those with dementia. Paying bills, balancing checkbooks, or keeping up with bank services will become increasingly more difficult as the disease progresses. There are some signs that a person is starting to struggle with managing their money such as:
- Unpaid bill statements in the mail
- Multiple calls from bill collectors or the bank
- Trouble counting change
- Forgetting to tip at a restaurant
- Miscalculations when balancing a checkbook
- Multiple purchases on a credit card
- Strange, new merchandise
Families should consider designating one person to check in on a person’s finances to ensure that the person with dementia is taking care of their money and finances. This can help prevent the person from becoming a victim of financial abuse or fraud.
Helping Someone With Dementia Manage Their Money
Money can be a difficult topic to discuss with someone- especially someone you love. However, it is best to be as upfront and honest in your conversations as possible. The clearer the conversations, the better you or someone else is able to protect a person dealing with brain disease. In order to help someone maintain their sense of independence in this matter some things to consider are:
- Giving him or her small amounts of cash or voided checks to have on hand
- Minimizing the spending limit on credit cards or having the cards cancelled
- Telling the person that it is important to learn about finances, with his or her help
- Notifying the person when changes are made or have occurred
Tips for Money Management
- Have open and honest discussions about money with a family member or friend that you trust.
- Organize important documents and keep them in a place that is easy to find.
- Set up a trust for all financial assets.
- Set up an LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) that will allow you to choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf.
- Seek extra support from local bank managers.
Overall, managing money can be quite involved. When someone is diagnosed with dementia, this task becomes increasingly difficult. It is better to be proactive than reactive in this situation so that a person’s finances are fully taken care of.
At Orchard Brookhaven, we take pride in being able to care for our residents well. We want our residents and the families of our residents to feel safe when they are here. We offer a variety of services to our residents that help to keep them independent and help them feel like they are still in control of their lives. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about our senior living community.