Dementia can interfere with a senior’s ability to make sound decisions concerning finances. However, recent research suggests functional brain changes and environmental factors can also contribute toward an older adult’s inability to properly manage money. Physicians from Rush University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical College proposed the term age-associated financial vulnerability (AAFV) to define behaviors that could lead to adverse financial circumstances for seniors. This condition is caused by dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment, as well as by the natural aging processes in the brain.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. In Fort Myers, families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Here are a few things you need to know about Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability (AAFV) in seniors.
AAFV Risk Factors
- Seniors with chronic illnesses, physical brain changes, or those experiencing the side effects of certain medications are at risk of AAFV.
- Older adults who live isolated lifestyles may feel lonely and reach out to salespeople or scam artists who then take advantage of them for personal gain.
- Elderly people who do not have contact with family or friends may not have anyone to advocate on their behalf when they experience financial abuse.
Signs of Age-Associated Financial Vulnerability
Someone who has a long history of financial irresponsibility does not have AAFV, since the disorder describes recent behavioral changes. Some of the basic symptoms of this condition include:
- Bills not being paid
- Money spent on unnecessary items or gambling in hopes of getting rich
- Taking part in questionable investment schemes
- Checking account displays strange activity
- Numerous overdrafts from overspending
- Making donations they cannot afford
- Money management behavior differs from how finances were previously handled
Helping a Senior Loved One with AAFV
Reduce the amount of junk mail your loved one receives. You can do this on behalf of your elderly family member by contacting the Direct Marketing Association at the DMAChoice.org website. Over time, the amount of junk mail and solicitations will decrease. However, in some instances, it may be necessary to contact the companies directly.
Talk about the danger associated with phone solicitations. Many seniors prefer answering the phone every time it rings, as the caller might be a friend or family member. The habit might be hard to break. For some seniors, implementing a phone with caller ID helps them differentiate between necessary and unnecessary calls. You should also consider adding your loved one’s phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Seniors with cognitive impairment may benefit from having a phone and service that restricts incoming and outgoing calls based on a specific call list.
Dementia is one of the many reasons behind AAFV. If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, trust in the Fort Myers dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance to help him or her manage the condition while continuing to live at home. In addition to high-quality dementia care, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care.
In some cases, a family member or guardian may need to play an active role in managing a senior’s finances. Consider getting a financial power of attorney. Have your name added to checking and savings accounts. This way, you can monitor your loved one’s transactions.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Fort Myers live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. If you need a professional, reliable, and compassionate caregiver for your senior loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 239.449.4701 today.