There are many worries a person may have about a family member's well-being when that family member has developed a form of dementia. One thing they may have concerns about is how much the dementia is affecting their loved one's financial management abilities. There are many different financial skills that dementia can potentially impair, from the ability to manage a checkbook to the very ability to understand money matters.
Facing loss of financial management skills due to dementia is not at all uncommon among senior citizens. It is estimated that the number of individuals 65 years of age or older who have a form of dementia that can impact financial management abilities is around 5.1 million. Furthermore, it is thought that this number is likely to increase in upcoming years.
Loss of management abilities regarding money matters can expose an elderly individual to some major financial risks. For one, it could make them more vulnerable to making poor financial decisions. Also, it could make them more susceptible to falling victim to scams or other financial exploitation. A True Link Financial study put the total amount elderly individuals lose annually to financial abuse at around $36.48 billion.
Such increased exposure to significant financial risks could put many things in danger for an elderly individual, including their ability to hang onto their home, their ability to pay for important medical care and their quality of life.
Thus, it can be vital for the families of seniors who suffer from dementia to take proper steps to keep the financial wellbeing of their elderly loved one protected. In some instances, this may involve taking steps to try to get someone to be given the authority to make financial decisions for the elderly individual. In conservatorship proceedings, a court may appoint someone to have such authority if certain circumstances are present.
Experienced Michigan conservatorship attorneys can help answer questions family members of dementia sufferers have about the conservatorship process and can help families who are requesting that a conservatorship be established for an elderly loved one with conservatorship proceedings.
Source: The Detroit News, "Dementia puts seniors at risk of financial abuse," Pamela Yip, July 5, 2015