A loved one’s dementia will break your heart. Don’t let it wreck your finances

Dementia can severely impact the financial well-being of individuals, leading to a need for proactive planning to protect oneself and loved ones from financial ruin.

The big picture: Studies show that people with dementia face worse financial outcomes, with research from Johns Hopkins University in 2020 revealing that people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias started to develop subprime credit up to six years before a formal diagnosis.
* Financial problems can be both a warning sign and a consequence of cognitive decline.

Proactive steps: Financial advisers and mental health professionals recommend having open conversations about money with loved ones, setting up tools to track finances and flag unusual patterns, and creating a collaborative plan with family and friends before dementia symptoms appear.
* Services like EverSafe and Carefull help monitor for financial fraud, exploitation, and errors, while SilverBills functions as a concierge service that ensures bills are paid on time and inspected for fraud and errors.

Involving loved ones: Giving family members a heads-up about discussing finances can make difficult conversations more likely to go well, as these issues involve addressing the realities of aging, the inevitability of death, and concerns over autonomy, security, and control.
* Choosing a financial and medical power of attorney and making decisions about daily money management are important topics to cover in these discussions.

View original article on NPR

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