Alzheimer’s disease often begins months or even years before noticeable symptoms occur. However, a new study indicates that when an older adult starts having trouble with their finances, it could be one of the earliest signs that Alzheimer’s is affecting their cognitive abilities.
Alzheimer’s and Fiscal Responsibility
Before receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, many older adults begin doing things differently than they once did. These changes may go unnoticed. Unfortunately, that can lead to some disastrous situations, like making serious financial mistakes.
To examine the relationship between financial issues and Alzheimer’s disease, researchers used data collected between 1992 and 2014. The data was collected using Medicare claims data and the national Health and Retirement Study of Americans who were over age 50. The health and retirement study involved questions regarding the participant’s finances. There were approximately 8,900 participating households in all. Around 2,800 of them had someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The results of the study showed that not only does early Alzheimer’s disease impact the financial well-being of the senior with the disease, but also other family members. Seniors with undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease may forget to pay bills, spend too much using credit cards, or not pay enough attention to investments and assets. One of the reasons the researchers were concerned about their findings is that the financial problems were occurring right before the person was going to be impacted by increased medical bills.
Other Signs of Alzheimer’s
The results of the study indicate that taking an interest in your aging relative’s ability to handle their finances can help you to spot signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Some other signs to look for are:
- Increased reliance on reminders, such as making notes or setting alarms and reminders on their smartphone.
- Losing items frequently and being unable to trace steps to find them. Items may show up in strange places, like putting the television remote in the refrigerator.
- Getting lost on the way to familiar places, like the grocery store the senior has used for a long time.
- Withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed.
The good news is that there is help available to families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Home care can offer the support and assistance your older adult needs to continue living safely in their home for as long as possible. A home care provider can supervise them to ensure they stay safe, drive them the places they need to go, and remind them when they need to take medications. Home care providers can also help with cleaning the house, preparing meals and snacks, and assisting the older adult to dress, bathe, and groom themselves.
If you or an aging loved one needs Home Care in Lincoln, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.